Registration for FRC officially starts in October. There is an online system that is operated by FIRST. We don’t have a link to this just yet, as it changes every year.
The basics of registration are pretty straight forward. You will enter your teams information with FIRST. They will assign you a temporary team number until the registration is completed.
Once completed, your team will be assigned a unique team number. This is a permanent team number that your team will keep into the future. A team number becomes part of your teams identity, and you will see people referring to themselves as Bob Jones, FRC #361 which tells you which team Bob is with. Your team will eventually wear this as a badge of honor! In general, older teams have lower numbers. The oldest teams in Oreogn are Team 753, 847, and 955.
Fundraising is a challenge. This is a great challenge for the students as they will need to develop both a plan and a presentation. Since the amount of money raised each year is fairly large, the team will need to develop a fundraising group to help. Funding typically comes in the form of grants and donations. Grants have a formal process to be followed, while donations and sponsorships are a bit less structured.
First year teams are often times eligible for rookie grants to help them get started. This is a huge help to new teams. However, these grants are typically only good for the first year or two, and your team will be expected to start working on additional funding. This is a great place to find a parent or two who have some initiative. Raising $10-$15K is well beyond the scope of bake sales.
Boeing graciously offers employees (current and retired) a $6,000 grant to work with a school. Each team is eligible for only a single grant per year. Having a Boeing employee involved with your team is a huge benefit.
Tools and Equipment
About $500 to $1000 of your budget is going to be spent on tools the initial year. If your school has a shop facility, it might be less. In general, you will want your FIRST team to have its own toolkit, as you will be taking it offsite for several days.
We have a few quick suggestions on what you should be thinking about. We will have an in-depth tools and equipment discussion during our workshops and elsewhere on our site. We suggest that the team purchase whatever toolset is available from Costco or Home Depot that comes in a large plastic storage case, costs about $100-$140, and looks like a good assortment of tools for working on a car. You need wrenches (SAE and Metric), hex wrenches, a socket set. The nice thing about the kits in the plastic storage boxes is that at the end of the day, you can quickly see what parts are missing. You will also need a cordless electric drill. We suggest a sturdy, 12-volt or higher, 1/2″ chuck. DeWalt, Makita, Ridgid, or any other major brand is fine. You will want two batteries.
This is not a definitive list, but these two items will hopefully set the tone. You don’t need a rolling toolbox with thousands of dollars worth of tools to accomplish FRC. If you have such things, great. If you don’t, $500 – $1000 is going to outfit your club very nicely.