FIRST Tech Challenge UK - funding page - header 01
FIRST Tech Challenge UK - funding page - header 01

More than funding

Our bursaries make STEM accessible to all.

Making STEM inclusive

We’re on a mission to give every young person the chance to ‘go pro’ in STEM. Together with industry partners we remove barriers to participation by:

  • Providing bursaries covering the cost of robotics kits
  • Ensuring our events are free for everyone, forever
  • Offering travel and supply teacher grants
  • Making our content open source

If you’re a DfE registered school, SEND, Alternative Provider, or nationally recognised youth and community group you can apply for a bursary to bring up to £5,000 of STEM enrichment provision to your organisation today.

“These students come from areas where there are not a lot of opportunities, but this challenge gives them life experience. They get to do things here that they’d only do at university, and this experience is also inspiring many of them to pursue further studies at a university.”

Karl Mahon, Teacher, Chiswick School

The kit that keeps on giving

Our robotics kits squeeze in over 1400 parts – plus a control hub for programming and driver station with controllers. Kits are reusable and upgraded annually with game pieces. Commercial suppliers charge thousands of pounds for a kit and our bursary scheme issues them for free. 

Download kit contents*

*does not show the control hub or driver station

FIRST Tech Challenge UK - funding page - reusable kit 2

Grab a bursary

For just a £299 annual commitment fee you can hoover up £5,000 of STEM enrichment provision for your organisation.

What's included

Organisations awarded a bursary will receive:

Robotics starter kit, driver station, control hub and all hardware needed to participate for up to 15 students

This season’s game pieces

Access to educational content

Buddying with a local champion school

Support securing an industry mentor

Free entry to all events – local practice, regional tournament, and national champs

Ability to apply for a travel and supply teacher grant of up to £500

Who's eligible

Bursaries are available to non-fee paying DfE registered schools, SEND and Alternative Providers serving young people aged 12 to 18. Youth organisations with a safeguarding policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Organisations which meet our targeting framework are likely to be considered favourably.

To maximise impact and sustainability of the programme, approval of the SLT or Headteacher is required to participate. The name and email of the sponsoring staff member must be submitted during the registration process. 

Equity, diversity and inclusion

All teams must subscribe to our EDI pledge.

Organisations who demonstrate how they reach underserved groups (gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity), drive social mobility and promote inclusion will be considered favourably.

We recommend you read our targeting framework prior to submitting your application.

Likelihood of success

In 2024 we have up to 150 bursaries to award.

Where an eligible organisation demonstrates a commitment to making the programme inclusive, they are highly likely to be granted a bursary.

Bursary applications are assessed on a rolling basis. We expect all bursaries to be allocated by 31 Jul 2024, so don’t hang around! Apply now.

What is the commitment fee?

All teams – including those awarded a bursary – must pay the £299+VAT commitment fee to participate.

The commitment fee ensures the charity is not misdirecting its resources and £5,000 of STEM enrichment provision.

Robotics kits, game pieces and access to the online learning management system will only be provided once the commitment fee has been paid.

What do I pay and when?

Existing team
If you’ve participated previously and have a robotics kit, you simply register your team and pay the £299+VAT commitment fee by 30 Sep 2024.

Additional team
Commitment fees for additional teams are reduced to £99+VAT. Unless you are awarded an additional bursary you will need to purchase another robotics kit to support any additional team at £999+VAT.

New teams
New teams will be issued with an invoice for:

Commitment fee – £299+VAT

Robotics kit – £999+VAT

Total incl. VAT – £1557.60

New teams receiving a bursary will have a £999 bursary credit applied to the invoice.

The total amount payable will be £558.60, of which £259.60 is VAT and fully recoverable with a VAT-registered organisation’s VAT return – in other words, if you receive a bursary, you pay £299. Download this explainer.


Community outreach is a development opportunity for teams. Fundraising missions and tools are embedded within the programme to encourage teams to drum up support from local businesses for travel and team branding sponsorship.

Keeping it simple

For the numbers folk, here’s a simple two-pager explaining the value of the provision, the commitment fee and bursary conditions.

Download Bursary Conditions

Inclusion Partner

If you haven’t heard of Arm, you’ve definitely held their technology in your hands. Their chips make our robots intelligent, their generosity powers bursaries to make STEM more inclusive and their people mentor our teams.

Register and apply for a bursary now

  • We build More Than Robots

    We use robots, role models and competitions to make STEM more approachable and inclusive, empowering young people to make informed choices about their future.