The FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) is an international robotics competition program for students, organized by the non-profit organization, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Targeting high school students, the program aims to stimulate interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields and foster cooperation, leadership, and technical skills.
In FRC, rules are announced in January, and with district competitions taking place from late February to early April, teams have about 2-3 months to complete their robots. The period from early January to the end of March, known as the robot-building season, involves designing and programming the robot. Each team designs, assembles, and programs the robot within time and budget constraints.
FRC competitions follow a hierarchical structure, including regional qualifiers, regional events, district championships featuring winning teams from qualifiers, and finally, the world championship.
The competition combines elements of cooperation and competition, with multiple teams participating simultaneously in each match, operating their robots through automated programs and remote control.
FRC teams are student-operated, with students handling various roles such as robot design, fabrication, programming, marketing, and financial management. The costs associated with participating in competitions are covered through sponsor support, crowdfunding, and other fundraising efforts by the team. Team members actively search for and secure venues for their activities.
Moreover, during the off-season, teams engage in outreach activities such as community service, emphasizing the significance of contributing beyond the competition itself.