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Robotics competitions are self-motivating, fun, and provide hands-on applications of STEM skills. Robotics competitions teach the 21st Century skills, such as engineering and coding, and soft skills, such as teamwork and consensus building, that students will need to succeed. Being a Robotics coach is a challenging and rewarding experience. This guide is meant to serve as a resource for educators who are new to coaching robotics, as well as those with established robotics teams. Common tasks of coaches include:
- Organizing and Managing the Team
- Planning and Registering for Competitions
- Recruiting Mentors
- Recruiting Students
- Sourcing Parts
- Sourcing Tools
- Finding a Space
- Robot Design and Construction
FIRST Robotics is a large organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to bring the excitement of
sports and technology together. FIRST provides a series of leveled programs for students from ages 4 to
18. FIRST participants use Lego in the FIRST Lego League (FLL) and a variety of other external suppliers
for older students in FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC).
VEX is one of the largest suppliers of robotics parts and hosts annual competitions around the world for
a variety of age groups up through the collegiate level. VEX also has useful curriculum resources and an
intuitive coding platform that helps students that are new to robotics. VEX Robots are often used in
conjunction with the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum. Robots for the VEX Robotics Competition
are similar in size to those used in FIRST FTC.
Kansas City Area Resources