First Tech Challenge had its pilot year in 2005 and is designed for students in grades 7–12 to compete head to head, using a sports model. The students that attend the challenge are known for their work ethic and it’s great known fact that over 85% are doing well in their studies and plan to take it to the next level(college).
This is what FIRST says about FTC:
It’s way more than building robots. FIRST Tech Challenge teams (10+ members) are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. Participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have!”
Guided by adult Coaches and Mentors, students develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles (like keeping an engineering notebook), while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and sharing ideas. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and can be programmed using a variety of languages, including Java. Teams also must raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach for which they can win awards. Participants have access to tens of millions of dollars in college scholarships. Each season concludes with Super-Regional Championships and an exciting FIRST Championship.