More than a challenge

Every young person deserves the chance to go pro in STEM.

Where STEM meets sport

Meeting weekly, teams of up to 15, aged 12-18, design a robot to take on a global challenge. Supported by a mentor, young people develop technical knowledge like coding, learn about engineering and design principles, whilst building soft skills.

Each team operates like a business – creating a brand and delivering community outreach – before uniting to compete in tournaments and earn awards.

Our e-learning platform, virtual online simulator and curriculum mapped content provides end to end support.

Explore our provision

“I witnessed how a competition that has a primary focus of STEM, does so much more than that. It develops creativity, teamwork, confidence, resilience, inclusivity, humility and so much more. What a great programme! If you’re not involved you’re missing out!”

Ben Barnes, Director of Computer Science – Outwood Grange Academies Trust

Delivering your road to recovery

We’re following the same adjusted timeline as last season. In the Autumn term, teams can progress their foundational skills during the Pre-season term with a range of activities. The Build season kicks off in the Spring term, with 15 focused weeks of making, supported by our new virtual robotics simulator and online content. Events will take place in the Summer term between May and July.

Preview timeline

The global game

An annual game theme is revealed every September. This year’s game, FREIGHT FRENZY presented by Raytheon Technologies, challenges teams to race against time as they transport essential goods for emergency relief. 

Start local, go national

Build up your game play locally ahead of competing at the regional tournaments in the summer. Tournaments may be held remotely or in small local venues subject to Covid-19 safety measures. All teams will be judged remotely for regional awards and if successful considered for national awards too!


Jan to May 2021

Work as a team to design, build and programme your robot, and practice at a local game field.


TBC May-July 2021

Compete at a local or remote tournament, honing your game skills against the clock.


TBC May-July 2021

Showcase your team to an online panel of industry judges to win regional and national awards.

Awarding more than robots

Teams pitch their strategic approach to an industry judging panel in a bid to earn awards that recognise engineering development, creativity, community outreach and collaboration.

Control Award sponsored by Arm

“Mastering Robot intelligence”. This award is given to the team that has been very clever with their programming and has shown innovative thinking in the control system to solve game challenges.

Collins Aerospace Innovate Award

“Bringing great ideas from concept to reality.” This award celebrates a team that thinks outside the box, and has the ingenuity and inventiveness to make their designs come to life.

Connect Award

“Connecting the dots between community, FIRST and the diversity of the engineering world.” This team has helped the community understand FIRST, the FIRST Tech Challenge, and the team itself, and has recognised that engaging their local STEM community plays an essential part in their success.

Design Award

“Industrial design at its best.” This award goes to a team with a robot that functions well, and looks great too. The innovative design does not compromise the practical operation of the robot, but complements its purpose.

Inspire Award

This award is the big one – the team that wins has really earned their place at the global championships in the US. They have embodied the ‘challenge’ of the FIRST Tech Challenge programme, are a top contender for many other judged awards, and are all-round gracious competitors.

Judges Award

Essentially the Judge’s Choice award, this accolade goes to a team that stood out to the panel of judges for their unique efforts, performance or dynamics, however didn’t quite fit the criteria for any other big award.

Motivate Award

“Sparking others to embrace the culture of FIRST”. This award celebrates a team that represents the essence of FIRST Tech Challenge through team building, team spirit, enthusiasm, and by encouraging those around them to get involved with the challenge.

Think Award

“Removing engineering obstacles through creative thinking.” This award recognises a team with an amazing engineering section in their Engineering Notebook. The team has carefully noted the journey they have taken throughout the engineering design process during the build season.

“The project was an exceptional team-building experience, which brought together the enthusiasm and knowledge of each team member. To actually win the competition was phenomenal!”

Sam, 15, CREATED Academy

“Never give up. We created three claws in three weeks, coming in on Saturdays and after school to make sure we completed the robot before the regional competition.”

Oussama, 14 yrs, Fulham College Boys School

Build more than robots

Take part in the UK’s most epic STEM programme for young people. Join the world’s largest student robotics movement.

Register a team now

  • We build More Than Robots

    We invest in the young people who will invent the future. We’re a tech charity using robots, role models and competitions to equip young people with the technical know-how and soft skills to thrive.