The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, inspire innovation, and foster self-confidence, communication, and leadership. 

The Vermont First Tech Challenge (FTC) State Championship took place on Saturday, February 11 at CVU High School in Hinesburg.

Thanks to steady growth, our championship is now a Vermont-only event. Though we will miss the competition and camaraderie that has been enjoyed with our out-of-state allies, we are excited to be moving forward with a strong program. See below for ways you can get involved!



A FIRST mentor is not only a role model for the students but also a guest of the team whose role is to assist the coach and to add an outside perspective for the team members. Frequently this perspective is that of a technology expert who provides engineering support for solving technical problems. The mentor's job is not to build the robots for the teams, but to give advice, support, and encouragement to the teams. The goal of a mentor is to share wisdom with the students and to create knowledge and foster intellectual growth. Mentors may provide guidance for structuring a technical approach, help solve specific problems, assist with computer programming, set up experiments to evaluate designs, and help with problem-solving and troubleshooting. Although it is not required, mentors may also help the team out with other tasks such as giving guidance on their research assignment or helping the team with fundraisers.


FTC events are greatly dependent on volunteers to help things run smoothly, and there is a wide range of positions available for those who want to be involved (see this link to get more information about what is possible: FTC volunteer opportunities. Not only is it a rewarding opportunity to interact with kids but the events are high energy, big entertainment displays of amazing achievement by the teams. There are three basic steps to being a volunteer:

  1. Contact Courtney Giles at
  2. Register to Volunteer
  3. Get ready to have fun


The FIRST championship at UVM is a special outreach event which brings our community together to witness and celebrate the talents, creativity, and energy of students, mentors, and volunteers from all corners of Vermont and beyond.

Donations are greatly appreciated and help ensure the sustainability of this unique and powerful platform. Please mail checks to:

UVM/CEMS Outreach
Attn: Monika Ursiny
Votey Hall, UVM
33 Colchester Avenue
Burlington, VT 05405

If you are interested in sponsoring a team, or establishing or contributing to a FIRST at UVM scholarship, please contact:

Max Seeland at


General Inquiries

Mailing Address

The University of Vermont
33 Colchester Avenue
Burlington, VT 05405


What is FIRST?

FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. Read more at US FIRST.


What is UVM's involvement?

UVM is the FTC affiliated partner. UVM will organize all aspects of the Vermont Regional Team FTC competition to be held on February 11, 2023.

What is FTC?

FTC is the FIRST Tech Challenge. Teams of up to 15 students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. Teams are comprised of 7-12th graders. Learn more about the FTC program at FTC.

To register an FTC team, please go to FTC Registration.


What about FRC & FLL Challenges?

To find out about other FIRST robotics teams and events in this area, please go to What's Going On?


Who can compete?

For the FIRST@UVM event, any group of students in middle and high school can form a team for the challenge. Teams consist of up to 15 students and can have any affiliation - common school or homeschoolers, boy scouts, girl scouts, 4-H, etc. Teams require mentors, sponsors, and passionate students. To learn more about forming an FTC team, please go to Team Resources. To learn more about mentoring a team, please go to Coaching FTC. To volunteer to be a mentor for a team for FIRST@UVM, please go to the Volunteering/Mentoring section of this page.


What is the game? What are the rules?

The 2023 First Tech Challenge game is called "Power Play"presented by Raytheon Technologies. For game rules, information about the playing field, scoring instructions and video simulations of the challenge, please go to FTC Game.


Who can register for this challenge?

There is a cap of 32 teams. Priority will be given to Vermont teams.


What is the cost to participate in the UVM Tournament?

Once you have registered your team with US FIRST you may register for the UVM Tournament. .


How can I volunteer?

We need many volunteers to make this a success for the students involved. There are many roles to fill. There are many official roles, some are explained here. To help with all aspects of the competition, please go the Volunteering/Mentoring section of this page.


Is there any other information about local involvement in FIRST?

Watch this Across the Fence segment on FIRST.

How can I keep up to date with information about the challenge?



Stay tuned for registration information about 2024 Vermont FTC Championship!