Links, Timeline, and Resources for Rookie Teams

The FIRST Tech Challenge Quick Start checklist link is here. Below is a sample schedule to get your team started.



  • Read Robot Tuesday each week for announcements
  • Read emails coming from FIRST for mentors and pass them along to your team members and mentors
  • When available, Stay tuned for the SoCal / Greater Los Angeles (LAFTC) KICKOFF EVENT in September!
    • Game Reveal
    • Workshops
  • Sign up for League Play — Register with FIRST and then register with LAFTC (watch emails for instructions) 
  • Continue recruiting students and subject-area mentors (engineering, Java programming, CAD, PR, fundraising, etc.)
  • Continue fundraising and sharing your progress with your local community
  • Re-READ Game Manual Part One!
  • Read Game Manual Part Two (released on Kickoff Day)
  • Continue your Engineering Notebook
  • Strategize how you want to “play the game”
  • Weekly read the Game Forum for your game questions
  • Start scanning Reddit and YouTube for other questions and strategies being shared by teams across the world
  • Brainstorm robot designs using your strategy


  • Build your robot using your chosen design
  • Find 1-2 local teams that are not rookies to visit and learn from
  • Spend a little time learning CAD (PTC, Inventor or SolidWorks).
  • Program your robot
    • Autonomous: First 30 seconds of the match when the robot runs on programming only and no driver control
    • Tele-op: Final 2 minutes of the match when the 1-2 students are driving the robot
  • Test your robot design and programming. Does it do what you want? If not, re-design and re-build.
  • Journal everything in your Engineering Notebook on a regular basis with different team members
  • Drive your robot – practice really helps
  • Scrimmages are great opportunities for teams to learn and work with other teams – watch Robot Tuesday for possible scrimmages
  • Fill out the Robot Reliability Checklist. Is there anything you need to focus on?