Start a Team

"FTC has created the connection between technology and fun.  Hands on robot design and building, coupled with head-to-head competition - all in a community that is there to help you succeed."

Of students who participated in FTC; "90% developed a better understanding of how science and technology can be used to solve real world challenges, 87% report FTC gave them an increased interest in attending college."  Impressive data but that just scratches the surface - for the full survey click here.

The Red Beard Pandas LOVE to help new teams get started! Contact us today!

Grant Terms and Application:

The Red Beard Pandas and local companies partner to offer FIRST Grants

The Red beard Pandas FTC team 4924, with generous grants from local companies, want to encourage the formation of new FIRST teams in Southwest Virginia (Jr FLL, FLL, FTC teams).  


We will have an ongoing grant application for New Jr FLL, as well as FLL and FTC.

How to apply

Submit a 200-300 word essay about your team and how the Red Beard Pandas FIRST grant can make a positive difference for improving STEM in your area. Email your essay to . In your subject line, put “FIRST Grant Application, Team XXXX" (where XXXX is EITHER your team number, or if you have not yet registered with FLL, a team name will suffice).  Attachments must not exceed 2 MB file size.


Recipients will receive:

1. Applications requirements:

  a. Must be a new team (not another robot for existing team)  

  b. Team must be based in the New River VA Corridor region: Smyth, Wythe, Bland, Giles, Pulaski, Radford, Montgomery, Floyd, Roanoke/Salem, Craig, Alleghany and Botetourt counties.  

  c. Discuss team organization/member selection/coach background. Must meet FIRST team requirements for age & number of members.


2. Coach/Team obligations. Grant recipients must:

  a. Preserve the integrity of the robot set for future use

  b. Participate in a Virginia FIRST Regional Tournament this year

  c. Return the robot to the Red Beard Pandas unless the team participates in FIRST competitions for (3) consecutive years. After three years of participation, the robot set will belong to the team's school or organization (not an individual). We hope the organization continues to have a team, including when the team's original coaches have changed.

d. Keep the Red Beard Pandas and your sponsors informed of your progress.


We are quite interested in joining forces with others who wish to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in the primary and secondary schools. In future years, we hope to provide funding opportunities for existing teams. The current program will also include recognition of teams chosen for State competition from our region, as well as appreciation for the coaches who so generously give of their time to make these teams work.