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FIRST Chesapeake staff are available to help answer your questions about starting a team in your area.  Please contact us or email [email protected] for more information.

For students aged Pre-K-18, it’s the hardest fun you’ll ever have. For team Mentors, Coaches, and Volunteers, it’s the most rewarding adventure you’ll ever undertake. For Sponsors, it’s the most enlightened investment you could ever make. FIRST is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, engineering, technology, and math. Founded over 20 years ago by inventor Dean Kamen, the 2019-2020 FIRST season brought together more than 660,000 young people, and volunteers filling over 300,000 roles, in more than 110 countries. The annual programs culminate in an international robotics competition and celebration where teams win recognition, gain self-confidence, develop people and life skills, make new friends, and perhaps discover an unforeseen career path.


FIRST Tech Challenge

FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) students (ages 12-18, grades 7-12) learn to think like engineers. Teams design, build, and program robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. Robots are built from a reusable platform, powered by Android technology, and can be coded using a variety of levels of Java-based programming.

Registration open: May- April

Game Release: September

Event Season: October- April


FIRST Robotics Competition

Dubbed a varsity Sport for the Mind,™(FRC) combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of students (ages 14-18, grades 9-12) are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to “real world” engineering as a student can get. Professional Mentors volunteer their time and talents to guide each team.

Registration open: May- December

Game Release: January

Event Season: February- April

All FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition students get to:

  • Work alongside professional engineers.

  • Build and compete with a robot of their own design.

  • Learn and use sophisticated hardware and software.

  • Develop design, project management, programming, teamwork, and strategic thinking skills.

  • Earn a place in the Championship.

  • Qualify for over $16 million in college scholarships.

To learn more about program costs and registration, Click here for FRC and here for FTC, or email [email protected]


Get Involved with FIRST


Interested in getting involved in FIRST, but not sure where to start or what to do?    Here you’ll find everything you need to get underway: