The W.A.F.F.L.E.S. are happy to help!
Firstly, if you are in the Kingston or surrounding area, we strongly encourage you to come out to one of our meetings and see if our team is a good fit for you! If you are not in the area and have any questions about FIRST Tech Challenge or are looking for help to start a team, we are more than happy to be a resource. We are just starting out with FTC in the summer of 2020, but we have run VEX teams in past years, and the programs have many similarities. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or are interested in having us mentor you!
1. Gather support resources
Familiarize yourself with FIRST Tech Challenge by checking out the materials on our website and social media pages. Then locate your region’s Affiliate Partner or FIRST Senior Mentor. These people know the FIRST teams, participating schools, and FIRST-friendly businesses in your area. He or she can help you form a plan for getting your team funded, organized, and in touch with other teams in the area.
2. Enlist Coaches & Mentors
Each team needs two or more adult Mentors who are willing and motivated to coach the team through the build and competition season and beyond. Other adults can volunteer to help with administration, fundraising, community outreach, technical skills, and other tasks. Most teams meet once to twice a week during the build and competition season, which typically runs from September through January depending on your region.
3. Register and Pay
Once registered, your team becomes a part of the worldwide FIRST Tech Challenge community. You’ll begin receiving communications from FIRST, along with a temporary team number in preparation for event registration in the fall. Part of the registration process includes ordering the kit of parts and completing payment. (Please note that, until you click submit, you are not committed to becoming a team.)
4. Build your team
Find and invite a few students (maximum 15) who want to be part of a robotics team. Be sure to emphasize that no technical skills are required, just enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. Recruit all kinds of talents, not just engineering and electrical.
Your team will need to build a budget and fund their goals. Recruit local businesses to sponsor you. Some of them may already have a relationship with FIRST. We also have many fundraising opportunities you can explore, including grants for both rookie teams.
6. Review Mentor and Team Resources
Part of the fun is designing and building your robot and FIRST provides a wealth of information in our Resource Library to help you. Find everything from technical guides, to fundraising ideas, and helpful build videos.