Center for Mathematics and Science Education

The University of Mississippi

FIRST Tech Challenge

The Center for Mathematics and Science Education at the University of Mississippi serves as the FIRST Tech Challenge Affiliate Partner for the state of Mississippi.

Welcome to the FIRST® Tech Challenge Robotics Program in Mississippi! We are a community focused on building a better world for tomorrow by engaging students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). FIRST Tech Challenge is about teaching students the value of hard work, innovation, and creativity. 

What is fIRST ?

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989. FIRST gives students the opportunity to develop the “muscle between their ears” and to gain experiences that will affect their future. It is truly a “Sport-for-the-Mind”. Students who participate in FIRST use and reflect Gracious Professionalism®, get real-world application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) concepts, and participate in an atmosphere that encourages team building, entrepreneurship and sportsmanship. Check out the other FIRST programs and learn more here.

What is the fIRST Tech Challenge?

The FIRST Tech Challenge is an amazing competition for students ready to take on high-school-level robotics. Students experience the power, excitement, and fun of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with hands-on, minds-on activities – all with robots!

Teams of middle- and high-school students design, build, and program robots with both autonomous and driver-controlled modes. They take these robots to local and regional tournaments, competing as Alliances against other teams. The tournaments feature the same excitement and pressure experienced in more traditional high-school athletics. Teams that win at the Mississippi Championship level advance to the annual World Championship. FIRST Tech Challenge teams are adult-led and student-driven, allowing each student on a team to actively participate and engage in the engineering process. Students work with a re-usable robotics kit to design, build, and program robots. FIRST Tech Challenge empowers students while building confidence, critical decision-making, leadership, and teamwork. FIRST Tech Challenge participants are introduced to the engineering process and create and maintain an Engineering Notebook. They develop hands-on programming, rapid-prototyping experience, and learn the value of problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills. FIRST Tech Challenge also creates powerful relationships between the young people who compete and the volunteers and mentors who participate. FIRST Tech Challenge students are eligible for more than $80 million college scholarships nationwide. Teams can be school-based, homeschool-based, part of an afterschool program, or organized by community groups such as 4-H, the Girl Scouts, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. FTC kits can also be used in the classroom as a great learning tool.

Students get to:

  • Design, build, and program robots
  • Apply real-world mathematics and science concepts
  • Develop problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills
  • Compete and cooperate in alliances and tournaments
  • Earn a place at the World Championship
  • Qualify for over $80 million in college scholarships


There are numerous ways to get involved in the FIRST Tech Challenge! Individuals can mentor teams, volunteer at events, or join committees to help organize events. FIRST Tech Challenge is supported by a growing network of sponsors that provide funding, mentorship, time, talent, equipment, and more. FIRST Tech Challenge is privileged to have the support of some of the most respected organizations in the world. They understand the importance of nurturing the next generation of technology leaders!


Get more information
on how to start an
FTC team.


Get more information on how to make an FTC event a success.


Help us create a high quality robotics program for students.

For more information, please contact Mannie Lowe at or 662.915.6621.