How to Start a FIRST Tech Challenge Team

FTC teams come in all shapes and sizes, however the basic requirements are:
  • 2 adult coaches or mentors.
  • 3-15 participants in grades 7-12
  • Teams may be of mixed age and gender.
  • While teams DO NOT need to be formed from an organization, and may be just a group of friends, many teams are formed as after school programs.  

Finding Participants and Coaches

  • Hold an informational meeting at your school or organization in the spring or early September to gauge interest.
  • Recruit coaches and/or co-coaches.  Two coaches per team and no experience is necessary! No need to be an engineer or computer programmer, just the desire to learn, have fun, and work with the kids! 
  • Recruit mentors from local businesses. Many teams reach out to their local communities for assistance. 

Register your new team!

  • Registration is a two step process: National Registration AND MN Registration. 
  • National Registration with FIRST® opens yearly in May.
  • MN Registration with High Tech Kids opens at the end of September. Teams must be registered nationally before they can register locally. 
National Registration  May
Challenge Release/Kick Off September
Minnesota Registration October
Minnesota Qualifying Events November - January
Minnesota State Championship February
North Super Regional March
World Championship April

  Teams typically meet twice per week.
FTC teams do NOT have a restrictive build season. 

Don't know where to start? See these resources from
FTC Mentor Manual
FTC Quick Start Video Guide 

FIRST-YEAR TEAM (for a team of 15, costs average $134/student)

FIRST® National team registration  $275
High Tech Kids Minnesota Qualifying Tournament Fee (per event) $150 
TETRIX or MATRIX Kit of Parts $542-$577
Control Set $268-$302
Electronics Set $127-$391
Andy Mark Game Elements (optional) $450 (full)
$300 (half)
TOTAL: ~ $2000
SECOND-YEAR TEAM (For a team of 15, costs average $67/student)
FIRST® National team registration $275
High Tech Kids Minnesota Qualifying Tournament Fee (per event) $150
Additional TETRIX or MATRIX parts  $0-500
Andy Mark Game Elements (optional) $450 (full)
$300 (half)
TOTAL: ~ $1000*
 *Does not include $275 MN State Championship Fee (for advancing teams)
or shipping and handling fees
High Tech Kids offers a very limited number of scholarships. These scholarships are one time only, and not renewable. Preference will be given to teams comprised of underrepresented youth, rural  or urban teams and all girl teams. 
Boston Scientific also offers special grants to employees and partner schools.
 Information regarding both financial opportunities are on our scholarship page.