More than a challenge

Every young person deserves the chance to go pro in STEM.

Where STEM meets sport

Meeting weekly, teams of up to 15, aged 12-18, design a robot to take on a global challenge. Supported by a mentor, young people develop technical knowledge like coding, learn about engineering and design principles, whilst building soft skills.

Each team operates like a business – creating a brand and delivering community outreach – before uniting to compete in tournaments and earn awards.

Our e-learning platform, virtual online simulator and curriculum mapped content provides end to end support.

Explore our provision

“I witnessed how a competition that has a primary focus of STEM, does so much more than that. It develops creativity, teamwork, confidence, resilience, inclusivity, humility and so much more. What a great programme! If you’re not involved you’re missing out!”

Ben Barnes, Director of Computer Science – Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Delivering in uncertain times

Normally, FIRST Tech Challenge UK runs from September to April; this season we’re making a few adjustments. Teams can access our new virtual robotics simulator and online content from September. Build season commences properly in January, with our events moved to the warmer summer term.

Preview timeline

The global game

Each year a new game theme is revealed in September. Last year, teams built sustainable cities and this year will be challenged to become ‘Game Changers’ –revolutionising how we move and play sport. Watch the teaser:

Start local, go national

Teams have access to informal meetups in champion schools before local practice tournaments before Easter. All teams then progress to a regional championships in July – competing on the field and for judged awards.

Meetups

Jan to Apr 2021

Access a game field hosted in a Champion School to practice, share knowledge and collaborate.

Tournaments

TBC May/June 2021

One day local competition to hone skills on the game field and earn industry-judged awards.

Robotics Fest

TBC July 2021

Teams come together in inspirational venues to showcase their talent and vie for industry judged awards.

Awarding more than robots

Teams pitch their strategic approach to an industry judging panel in a bid to earn awards that recognise engineering development, creativity, community outreach and collaboration.

Control Award sponsored by Arm


“Mastering Robot intelligence”. This award is given to the team that has been very clever with their programming and has shown innovative thinking in the control system to solve game challenges.

Collins Aerospace Innovate Award


“Bringing great ideas from concept to reality.” This award celebrates a team that thinks outside the box, and has the ingenuity and inventiveness to make their designs come to life.

Connect Award


“Connecting the dots between community, FIRST and the diversity of the engineering world.” This team has helped the community understand FIRST, the FIRST Tech Challenge, and the team itself, and has recognised that engaging their local STEM community plays an essential part in their success.

Design Award


“Industrial design at its best.” This award goes to a team with a robot that functions well, and looks great too. The innovative design does not compromise the practical operation of the robot, but complements its purpose.

Inspire Award


This award is the big one – the team that wins has really earned their place at the global championships in the US. They have embodied the ‘challenge’ of the FIRST Tech Challenge programme, are a top contender for many other judged awards, and are all-round gracious competitors.

Judges Award


Essentially the Judge’s Choice award, this accolade goes to a team that stood out to the panel of judges for their unique efforts, performance or dynamics, however didn’t quite fit the criteria for any other big award.

Motivate Award


“Sparking others to embrace the culture of FIRST”. This award celebrates a team that represents the essence of FIRST Tech Challenge through team building, team spirit, enthusiasm, and by encouraging those around them to get involved with the challenge.

Think Award


“Removing engineering obstacles through creative thinking.” This award recognises a team with an amazing engineering section in their Engineering Notebook. The team has carefully noted the journey they have taken throughout the engineering design process during the build season.

“The project was an exceptional team-building experience, which brought together the enthusiasm and knowledge of each team member. To actually win the competition was phenomenal!”

Sam, 15, CREATED Academy

“Never give up. We created three claws in three weeks, coming in on Saturdays and after school to make sure we completed the robot before the regional competition.”

Oussama, 14 yrs, Fulham College Boys School

Build more than robots

Take part in the UK’s most epic STEM programme for young people. Join the world’s largest student robotics movement.

Register a team now

  • We build More Than Robots

    We invest in the young people who will invent the future. We’re a tech charity using robots, role models and competitions to equip young people with the technical know-how and soft skills to thrive.