Welcome to the Pittsburgh FIRST website!

Here you’ll find info about FIRST events in Western & Central PA, info for teams (and how to start a team!), and links to further resources. We hope you find what you’re looking for here, but if you don’t please let us know so that we can make this site more useful.

There’s still time to start a FIRST Robotics Competition team at your school or youth organization!  Here are some quick links to learn more, register a team, & apply for rookie funding. There is no financial obligation to register a team on the FIRST website.

Prepare now for 2016 FIRST STRONGHOLD. View teaser for the 2016 FIRST Robotics Competition game.

Start a FIRST Robotics Team: 5 Steps

Register a team  (There’s no financial obligation to register a team, and we’re holding spaces for new rookie teams at the Greater Pittsburgh Regional tournament at Cal U in March.)

FIRST ROOKIE GRANT deadline has passed, but local funding may be available. Please contact FIRST Regional Director – Western PA for more information.

RoboLeague, a documentary airing on AT&T U-Verse Buzz Ch. 1000, follows 5 FIRST Robotics Competition teams as they strive for glory at the 2015 FIRST Championship

What’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)- video

The hardest fun you’ll ever have! Combine the excitement of sports, science and technology, business management, marketing, and fundraising while competing with your teammates in a unique varsity Sport for the Mind™.  In just six weeks, with the guidance of adult Mentors, your team will design, build, program and test your robot to meet the season’s challenge. As part of an FRC team, students get to:

  • Learn from professional engineers
  • Build and compete with a robot of their own design
  • Learn and use sophisticated software and hardware
  • Compete and cooperate in alliances and tournaments
  • Earn a place in the World Championship
  • Qualify for over $20 million in college scholarships

More details on the FIRST website

Register here to start a new rookie team! Note that there is no financial obligation to register a FIRST team. Teams will need to have 2 adult leaders sign up in order to register for an event. We’re holding spaces for local rookies at our regional competition tournament in March – email or call Patricia DePra for more info.

Save the dates:

  • January 9, 2016: FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) KICKOFF! A,W, Beattie Career Center, Allison Park, PA
  • March 9 – 12, 2016: FIRST Robotics Competition – Greater Pittsburgh Regional; Convocation Center, California University of Pennsylvania


2015 Mahoning Valley Robotics Challenge

Thanks to NEOFRA – Northeast Ohio FIRST Robotics Alliance for organizing and running this offseason event in September,  See results and media here – thanks to event volunteers and to participating teams for this awesome event!

Thanks to KDKA & Cal U for the great TV program with highlights of our 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition – Greater Pittsburgh Regional tournament, team interviews, Dean Kamen, and more!

Thanks to Cal U for sponsoring the program that aired on 3/28/15, and thanks again to our major event sponsors: our Keystone Sponsors: Google.org, The Heinz Endowments, and our Captain of Technology Sponsor, Cal U. Sponsors make FIRST programs possible in western & central PA – they keep the inspiration alive – thank you!

Congratulations to all teams who competed – every FRC team overcame great challenges to get to the playing field. Thanks to  everyone who helped to make this happen – from the team members themselves, to their  teams’  mentors, coaches, sponsors, family, and community who all contributed time, expertise, materials, & funding to give our teams an amazing experience. Thank you, thank you!

Best wishes to teams competing at FIRST Championship at St. Louis next week (Apr 22-25), and to all teams planning to take their robot on the road this spring & summer in parades, festivals, etc. Keep us posted by including #PghFIRST in your tweets. Thanks!

Safe travels, happy robot-ing, and awesome inspiration to you all!

Thank you to all volunteers and sponsors of the 2015 Greater Pittsburgh Regional (March 4-7, 2015)

What a great event, thanks to the 120+ volunteers, 54 terrific teams, and our sponsors – with a special thanks to new Keystone Sponsor, Google.org, our founding anxd also Keystone sponsor, The Heinz Endowments, and our Captain of Innovation Sponsor, Cal U.

We had a cold and snowy start, but the weather couldn’t keep teams from the fun of competing, cheering, dancing, and celebrating the 2015 FIRST season and all that they’d accomplished. Only six weeks to build their robot, but throughout the year the teams organize like small businesses, fundraise, plan outreach and events, and train for the next season. Many of our local teams will compete at another upcoming event this season, and still have a shot at FIRST Championship in St. Louis, April 22-25, 2015.

If you’re interested in volunteering at the regional level, becoming a new sponsor, or starting a team, contact us! Be a part FIRST, inspiring thousands of young people in STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. And again, a warm thanks to everyone who helped the 2015 Greater Pittsburgh Regional be a great event for all.

Thank you, Delphi E.L.I.T.E.

Team 48, Delphi E.L.I.T.E., provided the live network streaming of our Regional this year.   Thank you!

What an icy Kickoff 2015

Much of southwest Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia was slammed with an ice storm the morning of January 3rd, but that doesn’t delay the world-wide Kickoff for the 2015 FRC season.  Considering the weather, we had a very good turnout and a huge “thank you!” to everyone, but especially the volunteers who have no connections to any team and yet still braved the ice.  Everyone pitched in and it was a good day of learning about the Game.   A “thank you!” to Team 4991 Horsepower and Lead Mentor Jeff Macek for hosting it.

Thank you, Girls of Steel! 

The SCRA Fall Workshop Day was held on Sunday November 23, 2014 at CMU.  The Girls of Steel did a wonderful job coordinating this day of seminars aimed at helping the local FRC teams hone their skills before build season sets in.

Click here to get to the presentation slides from this Workshop Day.

FRC Teams: Check out our recently updated Team Resources pages

Thank you

Thanks to teams, volunteers, sponsors, friends and fans who helped to make the 2014 Greater Pittsburgh Regional a success!

View photos from the 2014 regional competition on the Cal U Flickr stream

Urgent question?

If you have a time-critical question that isn’t readily answered on this site, please call our Regional Help Line at 724-997-1578.  This will connect you to one of the Regional Planning Committee (RPC) members who will help you with the issue.  (Please note that after you give your name it will return to ringing while the RPC member is being connected.  This is an attribute of this number being a Google-based phone number.  Please don’t hang up – your call is indeed going through.)