F. A. Q. s

National FIRST offers these age groups as a guideline. Through many years of NRRA experience and our regional FIRST organizations, there is leeway in the ages per level.

Q: What are the different levels offered?

FIRST Robotics has 5 programs (see graphics above). Starting in 2018, we have had expo and competition opportunities for all levels in Montgomery County. We are rebuilding teams post-COVID as schools and FIRST figure out the safest way to meet and compete.

Q: Can spectators visit a tournament or practice?

Absolutely! And it's always free! We believe you can't really understand how much fun happens, in conjunction with the leadership, professionalism and innovation until you have seen an event first-hand. FIRST team members love to tell their story and can help you get involved, if you want to.

Q: How can my student join a team?

Because of privacy concerns, we cannot advertise coach contact information. We encourage you to visit a tournament that matches your student's grade level. Also, visit any community outreach event provided by FLL, FTC and FRC teams. Check this website's calendar (on HOME page), Next3Days.com and the website or social media of individual teams for those events. If you would like more information from NRRA volunteers, you can complete this Interest Form and email it to nrrobotics@gmail.com

Q: How can I start a team?

Now you're talking! Many teams start with just a few interested students and parents. It is not required to be affiliated with a school or organization, but you probably will need someplace to meet, whether it's a basement for FIRST Lego League, or a well-equipped maker shop for FRC. We can help answer questions, get you confident, and get you going on your first few team practices and exercises. Just use the contact form to reach us - we love helping form new teams with tailored information and resources.

Q: Where can I find out more about coaching a team?

Coaches face unique challenges and often could use a little advice. We at New River Robotics Association are here to help. Contact us and we'd be happy to meet, chat or get our teams together to make sure you feel prepared for the hardest fun you'll ever have!

Q: How much does it cost to start a team?

As a ballpark guideline, these prices include registration, basic equipment (which can be reused next year) and the field equipment particular to this year's challenge. The upper range includes additional supplies, and t-shirts for the team and coaches.

FLL Junior: $320 to $580 FLL: $975 to $1320 FTC: $1955 to $4155 FRC: $5000 and up

It may help to compare this to competitive sports. This is an all-in price - there's no kneepads, gloves, bats or special shoes you will have to buy! In the case of FLL, for a team of 10, it's about $100 per participant the first year. New River Robotics Association works with several generous groups that can help when pricing becomes a barrier. Talk to us about your particular situation, hopefully before the season begins!

Q: Why FIRST Robotics?

FIRST is an acronym: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. It is founded and run on two principals: STEM can be a way for students to compete like crazy, celebrating their achievements and working together every bit like a sports team. Secondly, FIRST emphasizes Gracious Professionalism: treating everyone with respect, helping both your team and your competition so that everyone benefits. In Virgnia, FIRST has more than a critical mass of teams to ensure all levels of competition, K-12, have plenty of opportunity to compete, and even have nearby teams to collaborate and scrimmage with! The outcomes are fantastic: students are twice as likely to major in science or engineering, and over 86% of students report being more interested in doing well in school!