2018-2019 Registration Kickoff Meeting

On Tuesday evening, March 6th, at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, mentors and students from the Leopard Robotics Club will present general information about FIRST Tech Challenge and how we at Lake Middle School run the teams! If you have questions, please come around 7:00 PM for the presentation and stay to ask questions. We realize that there are school conferences going on for Middleton Elementary school, but with the larger window of time to visit, we hope you can stop by if you’re interested.

You can sign up using this form.

After signing up, you’ll be sent an email confirming your information and providing you a link to a Behavior Contract.

Agenda / Material

Leopard Robotics Club

  • 2018-19 will be our 2nd year
  • Student activity club for students of Lake Middle School.
  • Open to students from 6-8th grade
  • Chad Walstrom - President
  • Amanda Floyd - Secretary
  • Lots of need and room for more parent involvement!

More than Robots Video

What is FTC?

It’s way more than building robots. FIRST Tech Challenge teams are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. Participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have!”

Why Robotics?

The positive impact on FIRST Tech Challenge participants is gratifying and well documented. Over 86% have more interest in doing well in school and 87% are more interested in attending college.

2016 FIRST Tech Challenge Impact Infographic

FIRST Tech Challenge teams get to..

  • Design, build, and program robots
  • Apply real-world math and science concepts
  • Develop problem-solving, collaboration, and team-building skills
  • Build and become strong leaders
  • Understand and practice Gracious Professionalism™
  • Cooperate and compete in alliances at tournaments
  • Compete for awards on and off the field
  • Participate in a tiered competition that culminates at the FIRST Championship
  • Qualify for millions of dollars in college scholarships
  • Have fun!

What does every FIRST Tech Challenge team need?

  • 2 or more adult Mentors who are willing and motivated to coach the team through the build and competition season, and beyond!
  • Other adults can volunteer to help with administration, fundraising, community outreach, technical advising, and other tasks.
  • A suitable meeting place and space to design and build a robot about the size of a microwave oven.
  • A standard kit of robot parts and a common set of game and robot rules issued by FIRST Tech Challenge.
  • A budget and a fundraising plan.
  • The desire to learn, explore, strategize, build camaraderie, share ideas and talents, make new friends, be accepted, and HAVE FUN!

When does FIRST Tech Challenge happen?

The FIRST® Tech Challenge season starts in May, when teams generally form and registration opens. Season kick-off is in early September when the season’s game is announced. The design and build season runs from September to January. Tournament season varies by region and can begin as early as October and continues through April. State and Regional Tournaments advance teams to Super-Regional Championship Tournaments, and winners earn spots at FIRST Championship at the end of April. There are also many off-season events where teams participate, strategize, hone their skills, learn new technology, meet other teams, and have fun!

What is the time commitment?

Generally, plan on 2 meetings per week - one weekday evening and one weekend meeting time. Meetings run 2-3 hours. There may be more meetings as tournament time approaches. It is best if students are at all meetings. When they miss meetings, they have to catch up on what has happened when they were gone, and it slows down the work.

Any special skills required?

All skill levels are welcomed and needed, technical and non-technical. Teams need all kinds of skills to succeed, so what are you good at? Chances are we have a job for you. And we’ll probably teach you a few new ones while you’re with us. Student and adult team members are encouraged to bring any skills they already have, like programming, electronics, metalworking, graphic design, web creation, public speaking, videography, and many more. FIRST Tech Challenge welcomes every student, with or without special skills.

What is a mentor?

  • Parent or other adult who wants to get involved!
  • Skills needed
    • Administrative
    • Electrical/ Electrical Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Programming/Software
    • CAD
  • Time commitment
    • Lead mentor - attends all meetings and tournaments - organizes and works with other mentors to create a program for the team
    • Assistant mentor Major - attends all/most team meetings and all tournaments
  • Background check
    • All mentors must pass 2 seperate background checks
      • District 833
      • FIRST
  • Mentor training will be available and fun.

How Much does it cost?

Costs vary from year to year depending on what tools and supplies can be reused. Teams will need a budget of about $3000 per year.

Student fees cover part of that expense, and sponsors cover the rest.

Student fees to participate this year are $150 per family. It covers tshirt, tools, equipment, and supplies. It does not cover travel and food expenses for tournaments.

We are always looking for sponsors. If your company or your employer is interested in sponsoring robotics, come talk to us!


Each team will participate in at least 1 tournament. The goal is to get each team into 2 tournaments. They are all day events that start at 8:00am and run till 5:30 or 6:00pm. Students are strongly encouraged to stay the entire day even if their team does not qualify for the elimination rounds.


All team communications will come through basecamp.

It’s easy and mandatory!