FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Teams Compete in Qualifying Tournaments

December 4, 2015

If you ask a student how they became involved in FIRST, you will get a variety of answers: “My teacher told me about it.” “My friends are all doing it.” “I like building with Legos.”

For many FIRST students, the first two weekends in December are more than just a day to show off their robots. It is a day to come together with teams from across central Illinois and compete to earn a spot in the state championships.

On Saturday, December 5, over 25 local FTC teams will come together to compete at Manual High School in Peoria, Illinois. Simultaneously, that same day, the FLL qualifying tournaments will begin across town at Peoria Christian High School, where a total of 16 FLL teams will be competing. An additional 48 FLL teams will compete on December 12 at Bradley University’s Renaissance Coliseum.

Not only are students coming together to compete, but it is an opportunity to promote FIRST’s values of Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition (displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition).

“I like that the whole program isn’t just about programming – it also brings in things like core values and cool projects.” Rachel, Age 13

“FIRST will help me become an inventor and a geologist. It will help me achieve this by helping me learn ways to find solutions to problems.” William, Age 9

“FIRST is a fun way to learn how to work on teams to solve problems and be creative.” Alexandra, Age 11

Caterpillar is a proud sponsor of many FIRST teams and recognizes the need to encourage students to pursue careers in STEM as a critical piece to building its talent pipeline.

Interested in seeing students in action at this year's FTC and FLL qualifier tournaments? Follow #CaterpillarSTEM on Twitter on December 5 and 12 for updates throughout the day.

STEM Initiatives

The number of STEM graduates has steadily declined since 2003 and highly-skilled jobs in these fields continue to go unfilled in the U.S. - a major concern for Caterpillar.

Learn More


Caterpillar partners with industry, government and academic institutions around the world to leverage world-class expertise and speed up the pace of research and development for the benefit of our customers.

Learn More