Season Kickoff Events l Game Manual 1 l Registration l REV Sponsorship l Grants l Class Packs l Curriculum l Parts l Program Info
ATTEND A SEASON KICKOFF EVENT
The 2019-2020 FIRST Tech Challenge season kicks off on Sept. 7th with the reveal of the SKYSTONE game! Kickoff events are being held around the state. Visit the EVENTS page of the FIRST in Michigan FTC website for a list of locations.
Teams register to attend a kickoff directly with the event host, not with FIRST in Michigan. Click on the event name to be directed to that specific event’s information.
Many events will feature workshops and all will include a fully outfitted SKYSTONE playing field. This is a great chance to meet your local FIRST Tech Challenge community. Together we RISE!
SKYSTONE GAME MANUAL PART 1 RELEASED
FIRST FTC (HQ) has released Game Manual Part 1. This is a critical must-read doc for all teams and team members. It can be found on FIRST FTC’s game page: https://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/ftc/game-and-season-info. Don’t be confused that the website page title still says ROVER RUCKUS.
TEAM TALK BLOG
The FIRST in Michigan FTC website has a new blog category where teams can share tips and resources with our FIRST in Michigan FTC community. Visit the blog from the Team Eblast page or directly via this link: https://firstnh.org/main/category/team-talk/. Those wishing to share a topic-specific, constructive post with our FTC community should email their entry to email@example.com for consideration. Please put “Team Talk Submission” in the subject line of your email.
Thank you to FTC 5385/5391 Coach Dressel for the idea and for sharing our first entry about accessing early game information!
SKYSTONE GAME ELEMENTS
The official FIRST Tech Challenge playing field and game elements are available from AndyMark, a FIRST certified vendor. SKYSTONE full and partial sets of game elements are available for pre-order. Factor this in when setting the team’s fundraising goals!
REV ROBOTICS VETERAN TEAM SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITY
For the 2019-2020 Skystone Season, REV will sponsor 50+ veteran teams from a variety of regions (our region is “Michigan-FiM”) with $250 store credit for use on REV products. The sponsorship is intended for veteran teams that excel on the playing field while being good stewards of their local FIRST community through sharing their knowledge with other teams.
Fill out the form embedded on this page: http://www.revrobotics.com/team-sponsorship/. Applications must be submitted no later than Monday, September 30, 2019. Teams must be registered for the current season.
REGISTER YOUR TEAM
FTC 2019-2020 season registration is open! It’s important to register early so that enough competitions can be organized to support all of our teams.
The registration guides linked below contain info on establishing a FIRST Account, setting up a team profile, inviting contacts, applying for screening, accessing the Storefront, etc. with screenshots.
- Returning Teams (veterans) – remember to register using your existing team number. MI FTC Archived Team Lists
- Veteran Team Registration Guide
- Update team contacts – Remember to have matriculating team contacts invite their replacements before moving programs.
- New Teams (rookies) – start the team registration process but DO NOT PAY for anything until applying for the FIRST FTC HQ Rookie Team Grant. Apply for this grant using your temporary team number which starts with “2019”.
- Rookie Team Registration Guide
- Team Name is a mandatory field when setting up the Team Profile. If your team does not have a name yet, just fill in TBD. You can update this field at a later time once a team name is chosen.
Visit the FIRST in Michigan GRANTS website page for the latest available grant opportunities. Key elements for most grants:
- Teams must be comprised solely of middle school grade team members.
- Affiliated with a school or established youth enrichment 501(c)(3) organization. A school affiliation maximizes the use of available grants.
- Must compete in a FIRST in Michigan sanctioned event in the given season.
- New teams are eligible for rookie grants when all existing team(s) out of the same school/organization are registered for the current season.
- The intent of the grant funding is to assist a new team with their initial start up costs (FTC registration fee and reusable kit of parts).
- Team members and mentors may move through the program but the team number and kit of parts stay with the school/organization for reuse year to year.
FTC CLASSROOM PACKS
FIRST has announced FTC Class Packs which is a non-competitive FTC platform for educators wishing to implement STEM/robotics in their classrooms. FIRST Class Packs provide educators with materials to support 30 students.
The Class Pack coupled with an after school competitive FTC team provides the best of both worlds to students. An in-class experience to introduce STEM robotics to all students plus an after school competitive team (with a free kit) for those students who catch the “robotics bug” and want to take it to the next level. Similar to taking basketball in gym class and having the opportunity to play on the competitive school team.
The competitive FTC team(s) are eligible for all FIRST, FIRST in Michigan, MDE (team grant and stipend; still in legislation), and sponsor specific grants. Class Packs aren’t eligible for FIRST in Michigan team grants but schools are able to apply for ESSA/Perkins funds or other classroom-based STEM programming funding or grants (like MISTEM Advisory Council Grants) to cover the investment.
If you’d like more information on the Class Pack or starting a competitive team, please reach out to FIRST in Michigan FTC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FTC MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
FIRST in Michigan is taking steps towards connecting the FTC experience to middle school curriculum standards. The current Schoology curriculum is more of a “how to” guide and is geared towards high school teams. Our approach will utilize currently existing materials and resources, fit them to middle school curriculum standards, and develop the necessary materials/resources to “fill the holes” and create a cohesive, quality product that can be used both in and out of the classroom.
If you are an educator or curriculum person and would like to be a contributor on the investigative stage of the initiative, please fill out this FTC Curriculum Survey.
PARTS & EQUIPMENT
- SKYSTONE game elements are available for pre-order from AndyMark.
- Veteran teams are able but not required to purchase FTC Kit of Parts components through the FTC Storefront. Storefront purchases are limited to once per season per component category.
- Discount codes for REV and Pitsco are available through the FTC Storefront. From the FTC Storefront, click on the “SUPPORT” link on the top right corner. Once redirected, scroll down the site page and click on “How to Order Extra Parts” link in the leftmost sidebar. REV offers a 15% discount and Pitsco offers 25%.
Links to program information on the FIRST in Michigan (FiM) and FIRST HQ websites:
- Run a Team – Addresses many FAQs
- Resources – Links to FIRST HQ resources, parts, and vendors, logos, etc.
- Grants – information will be updated as grants become available; check back periodically
- Team Eblast Archive
- FIRST FTC HQ Blog – latest program announcements
- FTC Curriculum – Free curriculum; can be used as a stand-alone course or as a supplement to areas where the team needs extra support.
- Alignment: In Michigan, we run a slightly different progression of programs from FIRST national. In Michigan, FTC is a middle school only program with teams comprised solely of MI middle school aged/grade team members. Teams must be properly aligned in order to be eligible for FiM FTC grants and to participate in FIRST in Michigan FTC events.
- Team Size: FTC team size is capped at 15. Multiple teams out of a given school/organization are welcome and can be eligible for all grants. Please review grant requirements in the above linked doc.
- Team Eblasts. FIRST in Michigan FTC team eblasts (sent from email@example.com) are sent to the Team Administrator and Lead Coach 1 and 2 for each team. The eblast distribution list is pulled from the FIRST Team Registration System, per FIRST HQ protocol, so additional email addresses cannot be added to the FIRST in Michigan FTC eblast list.
- Season Events. Planning is continuing for 2019-20 season events. If you’re interested in hosting, information can be found on the RESOURCES site page on the FIRST in Michigan FTC website (toggle box under General section). Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org with your event hosting interest. The event fee is the basis for an event’s budget.