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2018-19 FIRST® Tech Challenge season coming soon!

Published August 29, 2018

Additional Robotics articles:

The 2018-19 FIRST® Tech Challenge season starts soon. Are you ready?

The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge involves teams of 10 students in Grades 7-12 competing in a robotics challenge that includes head-to-head competitions as well as alliances and chances to earn bonus points.

Registration for the upcoming season began in May, but the big season kickoff, which will unveil details about the new game, ROVER RUCKUSSM, is coming in September. When the season begins, the next few months leading up to the World Championship will be filled with lots of practice builds, trial-and-error runs, and regional and state championships. Teams who hope to do well will have to hit the ground running in September.


The first step for any FIRST Tech Challenge team is registration. The FIRST website has registration information for both veteran and rookie teams. The interactive PDFs also contain loads of helpful information, including FAQs and step-by-step registration instructions.

When you’re registered, you can begin building your robot. And for a durable, adaptable build, you’ll want to go with a set that was designed specifically for the FIRST Tech Challenge. As noted in “Thirsty for success,” the TETRIX FIRST Tech Challenge Competition Set was cocreated by the event designers, partners, and competitors. That means every element of the set – including the eight cables that enable teams to connect TETRIX MAX TorqueNADO® Motors and encoders to the REV HUB – was included purposefully. Additionally, Pitsco also carries several spare part packs that can be useful, such as the TETRIX MAX Structure Pack, the TETRIX MAX Hardware Pack, and the TETRIX MAX Advanced Gear Pack.


Looking for some inspiration? Look no further than these winning robotics teams who used TETRIX as a main component in their robots.

  • “Back in middle and high school, the school STEM programs used another building system of mostly plastic components, and I remember even then, before knowing about TETRIX, remarking how flimsy the stuff was. I can honestly say that Pitsco’s TETRIX robotics supplies are leagues better in reliability, durability, and functionality. I also get the gist that TETRIX gear is designed to very easily combine with third-party components as well, which was almost unheard of when we used the other system.”
    – Willard Sheets, Team 504, first place, 2018 SkillsUSA® Robotics: Urban Search & Rescue (USAR), postsecondary competition
  • “The parts fit together nicely all the time and the gears would never slip. The same goes for the rack and pinion system, which never once broke or had problems for us. Overall, TETRIX parts had a big influence on the reliability of our robot.”
    – Chris Calvao, Team 106, Salvare Saviors, first place, 2018 SkillsUSA Robotics: USAR, high school competition
  • “We appreciated the strength of TETRIX and the material’s enduring quality. Whether we were modifying the robot or practicing repeatedly, the structure and pieces were unchanged. Moreover, the number of pieces allowed us to design and construct a robot that could perform according to the given challenge.”
    – Terdsak Intachot, coach, Valaya Alongkorn team, Thailand, first place, 2017 World Robot Olympiad: Advanced Robotics Challenge (ARC)
  • “The autonomous portion of the teleoperated contest was won with PRIZM®, using Grove sensors as well, which were unbelievably reliable.”
    – Mario Blouin, coach, Team Ontario, first place, 2017 Skills Canada: National Mobile Robotics competition

Funding your team

When it comes to financing a robotics team, there are several options. Many teams have bake sales, car washes, and other fund-raisers. Grants are another possibility. Not only is there a FIRST Tech Challenge team grant, but there are many state- and sponsor-funded grants for robotics teams as well. And for even more funding opportunities, check out the Pitsco Grants and Funding page.

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