FIRST Robotics Competition
The Ultimate Sport for the Mind (TM)
Under strict rules and limited time and resources, teams of high school students are challenged to build industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game in alliance with other teams, while also fundraising to meet their goals, designing a team “brand,” and advancing respect and appreciation for STEM within the local community.
FIRST® Robotics Competition gives high school students and their adult mentors the opportunity to work and create together to solve a common problem. Teams of students are challenged to design, build, and program robots and compete for awards, while they also create a team identity, raise funds, hone teamwork skills, and advance respect and appreciation for STEM within the local community.
Beyond game play itself, students are rewarded by team achievements – in robot design and programming, demonstrating community outreach, Gracious Professionalism®, and the ability to overcome obstacles. Winning is always secondary to the quality of the overall experience.
For All FIRST Students:
Scholarships are available to high school students who have participated or are participating on high-school-level FIRST Robotics Competition and/or FIRST Tech Challenge teams. Most FIRST Scholarship Providers request applications during a student’s senior/12th year, but there are a few scholarships available to juniors or college students. Each scholarship may also have other eligibility requirements as set by the provider. Eligibility requirements are available at: https://www.firstinspires.org/alumni/scholarships
Arizona FRC Scholarships:
Scholarships for Arizona residents only. Other restrictions apply, please pay attention to requirements. Please read the application materials for actual deadlines and requirements.
FIRST Grant Opportunities
FIRST is proud to share opportunities for grant funding from their sponsors. New grant opportunities will be posted throughout the year, so check back often.
In 2016, AZFirst announced a five-year investment of $90,000 to create 15 high-school FIRST Robotics Competition teams in Arizona. The funding for the AZFirst Arizona Rookie Grants was made up of $30,000 from AZFirst, $30,000 from the Steve Sanghi Family Foundation, and $30,000 from the James A. Unruh Family Foundation. To date, 20 teams have been created utilizing a sustainable disbursement model. The teams selected receive the funding in three stages, $3,000 in the first year, $2,000 the second year and the final $1,000 in the last year. This allows teams to understand the importance of fundraising, budgeting through a required business plan and time management.
FIRST has curated a Fundraising Toolkit with a ton of great information, examples of fundraising plans, how to organize presentations and how to maintain sponsor relations, to name a few.
AZ Tax Credit
An individual may claim a nonrefundable tax credit for making contributions or paying fees directly to a public school in this state for support of eligible activities, programs or purposes as defined by statute.
The public school tax credit is claimed by the individual taxpayer on Form 322. The maximum credit allowed is $400 for married filing joint filers and $200 for single, heads of household and married filing separate filers.
Individuals can contribute directly to the school or provide a check to AZFirst with a blank payee field, and AZFirst will coordinate with FIRST Robotics Teams in need.
Here’s some things to consider when contributing with a tax credit:
Tax Credits can be made in smaller amounts throughout the year or at one time
You can make your own donation form to guarantee the money goes to your team
Work with local accountants to ensure the team is able to accept
Reach out to alumni, parents, and ask your parents to promote at work