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About FIRST

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self‐confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering.

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Welcome to FIRST Robotics Competition

In 2016, more than 3,000 teams comprised of 78,000+ students from around the world will compete for glory in FIRST STRONGHOLDSM. In just six weeks, they will build, program and test robots with the guidance of adult mentors.

Dubbed a varsity Sport for the Mind™, FIRST Robotics Competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. It’s the only school sport where all members may turn pro if they choose. Teams of 10 or more high school students (ages 14-18/grades 9-12) are challenged to build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors, raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills. It’s as close to real-world business and engineering as a student can get.

Teams compete with their robots as family and friends cheer from the stands at over 120 multi-day events worldwide – all leading up to the 2016 FIRST Championship at the Edward Jones Dome, April 27-30 in St. Louis.

All events are free and open to the public, so rally your kingdom!

The hardest fun you’ll ever have has its rewards.

Participating FIRST Robotics Competition students are eligible to apply for nearly $22 million in scholarships from more than 200 colleges and universities.



The 2016 Game - FIRST STRONGHOLD

FIRST STRONGHOLD is played on a 27 ft. by 54 ft. field. Each alliance commands one tower, five defenses, and a ‘secret passage’ which allows their robots to restock on ammunition, called boulders.

One defense in each alliance’s set of five, the low bar, is a permanent part of the field. Three defenses are selected strategically by the alliance prior to the start of their match. The final defense changes periodically by audience selection.

Each FIRST STRONGHOLD match begins with a 15-second autonomous period in which robots operate independently of human control. During this period, robots attempt to cross opposing defenses and score in the opposing tower.

During the remaining 2 minutes and 15 seconds of the match, called the teleop period, robots are controlled by student drivers from behind their castle wall at the end of the field. Teams on an alliance work together to cross defenses, weaken the opposing tower by scoring boulders in it, and finally surround, scale and capture the tower.

Alliances are ranked by a combination of their Win-Loss-Tie record, breach success, and tower capture success. A win is determined by comparing total match points between alliances at the end of the match and earns an alliance two ranking points. Ties earn an alliance one ranking point. Capturing an opponents’ tower at the end of the match earns each team on the alliance one ranking point. Breaching an opponents’ outer works by crossing four of the five defenses twice earns an additional ranking point.

Ranking points are the primary way teams are ranked during qualification rounds, so are very important. Note that while only one alliance can win a match, either, both, or none may capture a tower or breach outer works.

Watch the FIRST STRONGHOLD Game Animation


Team T-Rx 145 Sponsors for 2015
  • Greater Norwich Foundation
  • Otis Thompson Foundation
  • Peptis Foundation
  • American Legion
  • Balloon Detail Inc.
  • NBT Bank
  • Chenango Valley Technologies


Special Thanks
The Coca-Cola Company and 3D Systems for the donation of an Ekocycle Cube 3D Printer!