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FIRST Tech Challenge

The FIRST Tech Challenge program provides teams of girls the opportunity to participate in the FTC robotics competition. GSGLA will sponsor up to five teams this year.

RNR Robots
Girl Scout FTC Team Rock N Roll Robots during the 2008 World Championship

What is FTC?

Organized by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), FTC is designed for those who want to compete head-to-head, using a sports model. Teams of up to 10 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as for well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments. Learn more about FTC at  

Who can participate?

Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts (14 to 18 years of age as of January 2016) are eligible for the program. Troops, individual Girl Scouts, and friends not currently Girl Scouts are encouraged to apply (girls must register as Girl Scouts to participate).

What is the time commitment?

Each team and their mentors will determine meeting dates and times. Approximately 8 hours per week is recommended, and more frequent meetings may be necessary just prior to competitions. The FTC season runs from early September through March. Tournaments are one-day events, generally scheduled on Saturdays starting in December. Travel to other cities or states may be required to attend competitions.    

What is the cost?

For the 2016-17 season, there is a $450 team program fee for new teams, and a $250 team program fee for returning teams (those that participated in the previous FTC season). 

What are the benefits of participating in FTC?

GSGLA will provide support for you and your team throughout the season. In addition, we will provide your team with a robotics kit and pay your team’s FIRST registration fee and one tournament fee (total value over $1,500; team savings of over $1,100).

What are GSGLA’s responsibilities? What are each team’s responsibilities?

For each team, the council will:

  • provide on-going support and resources throughout season
  • assist team in finding mentors, as needed
  • register the team with FIRST and pay FIRST registration fee ($275)
  • provide FTC Competition kit and FTC Resource kit ($950)
  • pay registration fee for one FTC Tournament (up to $200)
  • potential stipend available if team qualifies for post-season competition (i.e., FTC World Championship)
  • purchase team t-shirts

Each robotics team will:  

  • provide a laptop computer to program the robot
  • purchase supplies for and build a practice field
  • provide/find a practice location and a secure storage space for robotics kit and field
  • pay registration fees for additional tournaments (optional)
  • pay for team transportation costs
  • provide snacks and beverages for practices and tournaments (optional)

How do I join FIRST Tech Challenge?

2016-17 Robotics registration opens on May 1, 2016.

Be Part of a New FTC Team: GSGLA will support five new FTC teams for the 2016-17 season. Veteran FTC team Rock N’ Roll Robots will be available to advise the new teams.

Join a Veteran Girl Scout FTC Team: Rock N’ Roll Robots – a veteran Girl Scout FTC team that has been competing for 7 years – is accepting new members for the 2016-17 season. The team includes Girl Scouts from across greater LA and meets in the San Gabriel Valley with their mentors who are robotics engineers from NASA/JPL. Learn more at the team’s website,

To apply, download and submit a Team Application or Individual Application. Maximum of 10 members per team; we recommend at least 6. Troops and individual girls are invited to apply. Please review the FTC Info Sheet before completing the registration form.

Want to get started sooner?

See what FTC level robotics is all about this summer at the Rockin’ Robots Summer Weekend Workshop August 5-7, 2016! Register now.

Need more information?

Contact Christine Colvin at