FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)


FIRST: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology

FIRST’s mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that:

  • Build science, engineering and technology skills
  • Inspire innovation
  • Foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication and leadership

FIRST’s family of programs begins with the Junior FIRST LEGO League for ages 6-9, and progresses to the FIRST Robotics Competition for high school age students. 

FIRST at Villanova University

Villanova’s College of Engineering and the School District of Philadelphia participate in this new robotics initiative. Specifically, they work with the First Tech Challenge program designed for high-schoolers 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. Along with their coaches, mentors and volunteers, teams are required to develop a strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles.

High-school students get to:

  • Design, build and program robots
  • Apply real-world math and science concepts
  • Develop problem-solving, organizational and team-building skills
  • Compete and cooperate in alliances at tournaments
  • Earn a place in the World Championship
  • Qualify for over $11 million in college scholarships

Villanova engineering students mentor teachers and youth participating in the program. The University and School District host the regional competition kick-off and a few months later run the actual event and serve as referees. The competition typically draws more than 300 students whose goal is to make it to the national First Tech Challenge. 

Contact Us

Dr. Stephen Jones, Associate Dean for Student and Strategic Programs

FIRST Tech Challenge