FIRST Tech Challenge

“FIRST is more than robots.  The robots are a vehicle for students to learn important life skills.  Kids often come in not knowing what to expect – of the program nor of themselves.  They leave, even after the first season, with a vision, with confidence, and with a sense that they can create their own future.”
– Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST

New Kent Robotics currently has a team of 12 student members ready to compete in the 2019 FIRST Tech Challenge season, Skystone.  Other students who may be interested in a competitive robotics environment should still contact us!  We will communicate any future plans to those on our mailing list.  Note that not all team roles are technical in nature.  Yes, the team needs robot designers, builders and programmers, but there is also a place for those who want operate the robot, take photos and videos, manage social media content, and even help run the business of a robotics team.

Robotics team members gain numerous benefits from participation.  Students who compete in robotics are much more likely to enter STEM based studies and careers.  They are more proficient in communication, time management, conflict resolution and problem solving.  They will learn and develop real skills, like CAD, programming, and mechanical engineering.  FTC Robotics provides an excellent opportunity to learn while having a lot of fun!  The team will meet two or more times a week. During that time, they will design, prototype, build, and program a robot to accomplish the tasks required for competition.  Along the way, they will make new friends and learn about the engineering process.  

An FTC competition is a full day of excitement, fun and work.  Each team meets with a set of judges to give a prepared presentation, then answer judges questions.  If the judges are impressed by that meeting, more judges will come by and talk with the team later in the day – there are six judges awards given at each competition.  Matches make up a large portion of the day.  An FTC match only lasts 2 minutes 30 seconds, and features a Red Alliance competing against a Blue Alliance.  Each alliance is comprised of two FTC teams, and until the match schedule is released no one knows what teams they will be paired with.  The match play culminates with an elimination tournament, which determines the competition’s winning alliance.

Gracious Professionalism is a term coined by Woody Flowers, co-founder of FIRST.  While Gracious Professionalism is purposely left undefined, it’s a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. With Gracious Professionalism, fierce competition and mutual gain are not separate notions.

Please fill out the information on our Contact Page so that we can connect with you.  Or share this website with your friends who might be interested.  We are also actively seeking area businesses and community leaders who can help in many ways.