Start an FTC Team
Anyone can start a FIRST Tech Challenge team. Teams may be made up of neighborhood groups, school groups, home school organizations, Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts, family members, and after school programs.
Some teams and organizations in Maryland and DC welcome new members. To connect with one of these teams, please Contact Us and include the team or organization of interest in the Comment field. We will forward your interest to the team and they can contact you. If you'd like to add your team or organization to our listing, please contact us.
Maryland/DC FIRST Tech Challenge Teams/Organizations Interested in New Members
|Team 2818 G-FORCE||Accident||Garrett||G-FORCE is a 4-H & GEARS Community Based Team|
|Hackground||Fulton/Maple Lawn||Howard||We are a community based STE(A)M club with 6 FLL and 1 FRC team. We will start 1 FTC and 2 FLL Jr teams in 2016.|
|Team 10216 Spiderbyte||Laurel||Howard||An all girls FTC program mentored by professional scientists and engineers from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Hosted in collaboration with the Society of Women Engineers, this team meets in a lab classroom, and is made up of students from all across Maryland Middle and High schools.|
|Team 9799 Ingenerds||North Potomac||Montgomery||Small Community Group|
|Team 8241 ThunderDogs||Clinton||Prince George's||We are actively recruiting members for our FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Team 8241 – ThunderDogs. Meetings are scheduled for 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 6:00 pm @ Prince George's County 4-H Office, 6707 Groveton Drive, Clinton, MD 20735. Beginning in August, meetings take place every Thursday and on 1st and 3rd Saturdays.|
|Team 10047 Galactic Tigers||Lanham||Prince George's||Predominantly Hispanic and African-American student team from Duval High School|
|Team 2843 Under the Son||Hollywood||St. Mary's||Our team is a community based club, which meets in a private home in Hollywood. We currently have only high school students, but will consider middle school students based on interest/experience level of the student.|
If you don't already have an FTC team at your school or organization, the best way to get involved is to form a new FTC team. Your best starting point is the FIRST website's page on Starting a Team. Here are some suggestions to get going:
Steps to Form a Team
- Identify one or more adults (18 or older) as coaches/mentors. An adult can coach multiple teams. Coaches don't need robot or technical experience, but do need to be good organizers and facilitators to keep the team on track.
- Recruit 3-10 kids; 6-10 kids is an optimal number for many teams, but there is no limit to team size; at some events we retrict teams to no more than 10 members in the pits at one time. Team members must be 18 or under on January 1 of the year the season begins to participate. FTC suggests kids be at least 12 years old, but there's no restriction -- a younger child can join a team if you think he or she has the ability and attention span to stay involved. An individual child can be on only one FTC team per season.
- Register the team with FIRST. Registration opens in May and stays open thoughout the season, but it's best to register before October to ensure you get the robot kit in a timely manner.
- Select a meeting place and facilitate regular meetings. FTC teams can meet anywhere. Teams typically meet one or two times per week for up to two hours from September - February, often more frequently as they approach a tournament. Some teams prepare a full practice field, but many teams simply make some of the field components for each season's game.
- Register for a Maryland FTC Qualifying tournament. Maryland FTC holds multiple Qualifiers around the state in December and January. Registration for each Maryland Qualifier is $120 per team. We encourage teams to attend more than one Qualifier to test and improve their robot and game strategies. Registration opens by early November. Top teams at each Qualifier earn the right to compete at the Maryland FTC Championship in February.
A general estimate of costs for a new team is $1500-2500 (including the reusable robot kit), and $500-1500 for returning teams. The variable is the cost of extras such as additional parts, pit tools, shirts, travel, etc. The FTC Registration Information page has detailed information on registration and product costs.
Ideas for covering the costs vary from team to team. Some teams are funded by their school or organization, some find community or business sponsors, some charge for each kid to join, others do local fund-raisers, and some do all of the above. Part of the challenge of FTC is to decide what methods work best for your team.
Registered teams can purchase an FTC Kit of Parts , typically a TETRIX or MATRIX robot kit plus control systems and Android phones, through the FTC Storefront in the Team Information Management System.