Team Spotlights
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
By FIRST North Carolina
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Each week, we will spotlight one of our FIRST Robotics Competition teams from across North Carolina.  You will be inspired by the amazing variety of teams!  You can check out the spotlight on our website here. Many thanks to our first spotlight team:  FRC 3506 YETI.  From Charlotte, they have been around since 2011 and they were the first to complete our team spotlight survey. 


FRC Registration Fees - Where does it go?
Friday, August 25, 2017
By FIRST North Carolina
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At our recent FRC Planning Committee Re-org meeting, the question came up "Where do our registration fees go and how are they used?"  This is a really good question and one that I thought should be answered.  Back when I was coaching an FRC team, I thought that the fee was high and couldn't begin to imagine why that was so and what were we really getting for our money?  After being on the 'other side,' so to speak, organizing and supporting FIRST programs in North Carolina, I have learned that FIRST is a bargain!

But back to the original question.  When an FRC team pays the $5000 registration fee, it helps to cover the following costs:

$4000 goes to FIRST HQ to help cover:
• Kit of Parts - including not only the parts but the staff needed to source the parts, assemble the KOP, and ship the KOP
• Participation in 2 District Events - including the cost of staff needed to design the game, design the field, source the parts for the field, assemble the field at HQ, disassemble the field for shipping to NC, shipping, staff to answer game questions, staff to manage real-time game play, resources needed to provide real-time scoring and ranking updates
• Staff to process team registration and payments; staff to manage a world-wide organization
• Marketing materials and promotional materials

$1000 goes to FIRST North Carolina to help cover:
• Event expenses including venue rental, AV production, food for volunteers, transportation of all the equipment needed for the event
• Mobile Machine Shop - materials, replacement parts, tools, transportation

Thus both FIRST HQ and FIRST North Carolina are constantly raising funds through corporate and individual donor support to fund a program that impacts so many people in so many ways.  Team fees do not begin to cover the costs of running FIRST.  However, they do help people to have 'skin in the game' and a vested interest in making the most out of the experience possible!  And....

Compared to high school sports, the cost per student in FIRST is lower.  A TD Ameritrade survey found on average parents spend between $100-$500 PER MONTH per child in athletics.  20% of parents spend over $1,000 a month.  An FRC team with a budget of $10K ($5K registration and $5K for travel) and a team size of 25 is $400 per student for the year - or only $34 per month.

It's all about the math.  And for my math, FIRST is a really good deal!

Marie Hopper
President, FIRST North Carolina

2018 Event Dates and Locations
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
By FIRST North Carolina
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We have confirmed all of our dates and locations for the 2018 season of the FIRST Robotics Competition.  Watch for an email from FIRST HQ for details on when and how to register for your two district events.

  • March 9-10, 2018 - Pitt County District Event - East Carolina University Minges Coliseum
  • March 16-18, 2018 - UNC Pembroke District Event - Jones Health Center
  • March 23-25, 2018 - UNC Asheville District Event - Kimmel Arena
  • March 29-31, 2018 - Winston-Salem District Event - Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex
  • April 6-8, 2018 - FIRST North Carolina State Championship at Campbell University - Gore Arena

Please note:  All events EXCEPT the Winston-Salem District Event start with team load-in on Friday at 5 pm and end around 6 pm on Sunday.  Due to Easter, the Winston-Salem District Event will load in on Thursday and end on Saturday.

Happy planning!

FTC will also be at THOR!
Saturday, July 22, 2017
By FIRST North Carolina
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This year, THOR will include FIRST Tech Challenge as well as the FIRST Robotics Competition.  Are you interested in learning more about both programs?  This event is a great opportunity to check them out.  Join us on August 5 for an exciting day of robots.  Details here.

THOR @UNC Pembroke 7/20 Update
Thursday, July 20, 2017
By THOR Planning Committee
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Hello Teams!

Just a few quick updates for THOR @UNC Pembroke on August 5.

• The game will be played with 3-team alliances.  No changes to the rules.  There will be 6 alliances with a bracket play-off structure.

• The list of participating teams is now up on our website here. (scroll down the page)

Unfortunately, due to University policies, NO FOOD OR DRINK from the outside may be brought into the facility.  As a result, pre-order box lunches will not be available.  Nor will our host teams be allowed to sell concessions.  Please plan to feed your team with any of the following options:
A) Bring your own food and store it in your vehicles.  There are plenty of places to eat outside on campus.  Please DO NOT bring the food into the school.
B) The campus cafeteria will be OPEN.  Teams are welcome to purchase lunch there.  It is a very short walk from the gym.

• Volunteers Needed - Please invite your team parents and friends to sign up to volunteer here. 

Questions?  Send us an email to

See you all soon!

THOR Planning Committee