How to Start a Team

What is a FTC team?

Teams can be formed around a school classroom, after-school program, extracurricular group, home school, a group of friends, neighborhood kids, a club, or civic organization. The definition of a team is that it consists of at least 3 youth grades 7 to 12 and at least one adult coach, with additional student or professionals as mentors.

  • Boys and girls self-organize into teams. FIRST and University of Idaho Extension Robotics do not form teams.
  • A youth can be a team member on only one FTC team.
  • A coach or mentor can be the coach or mentor for multiple teams, and they can switch roles between teams.
  • Every team must have at least one adult coach – additional coaches and mentors are encouraged.
  • The younger age limit is flexible. However, FTC is intended to be a suitable challenge for high school students.
  • FIRST recommends teams of around 10 students to ensure all youth are able to contribute.

How do I form a team?

There are always interested kids, they just need a coach. No experience is necessary to coach - you do not need to be an engineer! Coaches can be parents, teachers or volunteers. University of Idaho Extension Robotics provides workshops to learn how to use the Tetrix System, work with the Samantha module, to program in Labview or RoboC, and how to coach an FTC team.

  • Hold an informational meeting for your school or group in spring or very early in September – explain the program, timeframe, costs, and the need for coaches.
  • Recruit mentors or other coaches. Talk to parents, your PTO/PTA, your principal, your school district, or an interested teacher.
  • Recruit volunteers to present ideas to the team to help them with building, crafting, fundraising, or programming.
  • Recruit sponsors to help offset costs or provide non-cash gifts such as access to machinery.

How much does it cost?

Team Costs (based on the 2012-2013 costs)
Program Registration Fee $275
FTC Full Competition Kit (Including Mindstorms) $680
Or, FTC Competition Kit (Without Mindsortms) Or $480
FTC Resource Kit (Recommended) $199
Software Renewal Kit (Returning Teams Only) Free
Samantha WiFi Module $50
Event Registration Fee* $0 - $300
Tavel Costs - food, lodging, gas, etc. $0 - $500
Team T-shirts (optional) $0 - $150
Additional Parts - sensors, motors, etc (optional) $0 - $500
*FTC teams are eligible to attend tournaments inside and outside of their regions. Tournament registration fees vary. The fee for the Idaho FTC Championship Tournament is $100 per team.