Choosing

Which robotics effort to choose?!  Yes, it can be confusing when you decide to jump into this pool.  Hopefully this page will help you to decide, based on your situation.  No matter which you choose, please get involved!  You'll be amazed at the energy that your students display.

Factors that could help guide your decision:
  1. Pre-High School Age
  2. High School Age (and advanced Middle School) - check out the comparison chart below for a quick glance.  These are all team-focused contests, but some could be a club.  Check out the list, but don't let anything scare you away.  Contact teams and clubs in your area to find out more before you decide.
 Contest     Cost Estimates  Age Level Size Team  Summary 
 FIRST FRC
(click here)
$10,000  Any, but some advanced students leaders needed.     10 is a minimum recommendation, and half of those should be very experienced in engineering or programming.  Many students can fill support roles if new. Teams receive a basic kit, including required motors and computers, and new teams can make a complete robot with it.  Advanced teams invest time and money into designing and building many custom built features.
 FIRST FTC
(click here)
$2,000  Any age, but good for advanced middle school or early high school, leading into FIRST FRC for older students.   Similar to FRC (above), but fewer logistics and bulk labor needed. Built from kit parts and additional parts that can be purchased from one source.  Intended to support creativity of design, but not require machining of materials.
BEST 
(click here)
$300   Any age of high school.    5-10 students Possibly the most demanding of creativity:  all students are given the same task, as well as the same materials from which to create a robot.  Strong engineering knowledge from mentors or students is necessary.
 VEX
(click here)
$500   Any age, especially advanced middle school and early high school, excellent for training prior to FRC team beginning.  5-10 students The predecessor of FTC above, also a robot kit, with the ability to buy additional components from one central source. Allows creativity of design, but does not require the actual custom development of parts.

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