Robotics program from scratch

I might be moving to a new school 7-12 which has had no involvement in first before. I’m in Australia so pltw is out.

My thoughts are:
Fll or vex iq in yrs 7-8 enough kits for 2 per team
Ftc 9-10 4 per team

Frc extra curricular

Where would you start?

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You’re in Australia, so I’d start by talking to 3132. I mean, starting a team from scratch in a country without an established FIRST presence isn’t something you do every day…

In all seriousness, I would start with the administration and the teachers of the school. If one or both groups isn’t on board, life will be much more difficult. Depending on the response, you’ll be better able to determine whether to go FRC first, the rest later, or FTC/VRC/FLL/VIQ first and FRC as interest builds.

You’ll need to figure out a bare minimum of supplies and costs to get started, and per year after starting.



Should have put some context, I’m a teacher moving to a new school having been recruited specifically for my previous frc / viq experience.

I started at my current school with frc then viq but looking at how other programs work like dyr and frog force, I’m looking at other ways which may be more successful

In that case, the teacher/admin problem is solved.

Still, talk to 3132 for some advice.

My advice would be to start with FTC or VRC to build a knowledge base and interest, potentially at a significant cost reduction from FRC, and work towards an FRC team in the background. Say, a field trip to one of the Australian regionals the first year, do an offseason build for Duel the next year, then do a full FRC season the third year or following onto the offseason build.

FRC is “the show”: the robots are bigger, the events are bigger, but it’s more expensive. Starting at a slightly lower level can be a good way to make the transition easier–FRC2753 is the prime example here (FTC to FRC, then went back a couple years later).

As far as VEX programs and getting VEX product you might want to hit up Chris:

Chris Hamling
Region: Australia
+64 21 664 176

Chris has done amazing work with VEX EDR and VIQC, so if you want to start VIQC before jumping into FRC, he would be the contact. Depending on what you decide for VIQC grants will be posted here:
You will be able to have Chris transfer your RE account to Australia for the VIQC program.

Where abouts are you based in Australia?

For starting new teams, I would suggest talking to the people at FIRST Australia - they’re the organisation from Macquarie University that manages all FIRST programs down under.

In the off chance you’re from Western Australia, feel free to send me an email and we can have a chat about the state of FIRST in the region, and what program might be best for you.


I usually recommend starting with FTC, especially if you don’t have many sponsors or mentors lined up. Once you’ve roped in some mentors, started building a relationship with a few sponsors, and have a better sense of how much/what kind of support the school will provide, it’ll be easier to scale up, either to FRC or to more FTC teams. GuamFIRST has put out a great checklist you can use to evaluate whether you’re in a good position to start an FRC team: Paper: GuamFIRST FRC Rookie "Application" If any of those criteria are doubtful, I’d definitely recommend starting with FTC to begin with.

Another good option (depending on who’s around you) is doing your first year of FRC as part of another local team and then splitting off the next year. It’s a lot easier to successfully field a robot your rookie year if some of your students have FRC experience, and getting to know the mentors of a local team can be a tremendous benefit for you.


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