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FIRST Tech Challenge

The UK’s most epic STEM enrichment programme for young people*. We're not building robots, we're building the future.
*as voted by robots


FIRST Tech Challenge

A robotics challenge that packs a punch. Supported by an industry mentor, young people aged 12-18 design, build and compete with a robot to take on a global challenge.

Students occupy diverse roles linked to careers so they can think, operate and collaborate as innovators, developing technical knowledge and life skills whilst broadening their understanding of STEM education and career pathways.

Teams of up to 15 young people meet weekly for a couple of hours in school or as an after-school club. The provider will support schools, SEND and alternative providers to make STEM education and careers accessible and inclusive.

Access to resources and session plans are provided via an e-learning platform from September. Pre-season, September to December, content includes:

  • confidence builders in CAD
  • programming
  • community outreach
  • brand building and communications
  • finding a mentor
  • team building

In December, First UK's champion organisations within each of their regional hubs provide access to a game field for scrimmages (practice events) and host regional tournaments in the spring.

Industry partners, universities and local STEM hubs provide mentors and event volunteers. First UK intend to operate up to 15 hubs UK-wide with capacity for around 400 participating schools.


Recommended minimum of 5 participants, competition maximum of 15 team members.

A nominal commitment fee of £299 provides access to the programme, e-learning platform, tournaments, individual learner accreditation and team awards. Charity bursaries for robotics kits and other grants supporting participation including travel and supply cover are available subject to eligibility.


Deliver flexibly to suit you; weekly for 1 to 2 hours as an after school club, or within curriculum optimised for KS3 & KS4 (GCSE Engineering, D&T or Computer Science). The programme is usually spread over 2 terms (typically Sep to Mar ahead of events). Delivery can be compressed into other delivery models e.g. holiday clubs and intense multi-day builds.


Learning outcomes

  • Improve engagement, interest or enjoyment in STEM subjects

  • Improve attainment and progress in STEM subjects

  • Learning what the engineering workplace is like

  • Develop engineering employability skills

  • Improve awareness and aspirations for STEM-related study and careers

  • Challenge stereotypes by showing the diversity of disciplines, people and skills involved in engineering

Subjects and topics

    • Chemistry
    • Computing
    • Design and Technology
    • Engineering
    • Design, art and fashion
    • Electronics, robotics and programming
    • Materials, products and manufacturing
    • Structures, construction and civil engineering

Gatsby benchmark hitter

The Gatsby benchmarks are a framework for good careers guidance for schools across all of England and in some areas across the rest of the UK. This experience helps your school to reach the following benchmarks:

  • Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Encounters with employers and employees
  • Encounters with further and higher education

Essential skills

The essential skills every young person needs to succeed in education and their future career. Find out more at the Skills Builder Partnership. This experience builds the following skills:

  • Aiming high - the ability to set clear, tangible goals and devise a robust route to achieving them.

  • Creativity - the use of imagination and the generation of new ideas.

  • Leadership - supporting, encouraging and motivating others to achieve a shared goal.

  • Listening - the ability to listen and understand information.

  • Problem solving - the ability to find a solution to a complex situation or challenge.

  • Speaking - the oral transmission of information or ideas.

  • Staying positive - the ability to use tactics to overcome setbacks and achieve goals.

  • Teamwork - working cooperatively with others towards achieving a shared goal.

What the teachers say

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