09.05.19 Team Eblast

Ford Motor Co. Employee Mentored team Grant – open, closes Oct. 18
FIRST teams, across all programs, that have a Ford Motor Co. employee as an active mentor can apply for a Ford Motor Co. FIRST Robotics team grant. The grant amount for FIRST Tech Challenge teams that meet the criteria is $300.

Things to note:

  • Team must have a Ford Motor Co. employee as an active mentor for the team.
  • Submit one application per team. The person filling out the grant application cannot be the Ford Motor. Co. employee.
  • FAQs on the Ford Motor Co. grants.
  • Submitting an application for a grant does not guarantee that your team will receive funding. Ford Motor Co. encourages all teams to continue to innovate and find success in STEM.

Instructions for applying:

  • Apply via the Ford Motor Co. STEAM website: http://www.stem.ford.com/STEM/RoboticsOverview
  • Click on the link at the bottom of the page: “Learn more about Ford support for Jr.FLL, FLL and FTC programs”.
  • Click “Submit your preliminary request for team support”.
  • If your team has applied for this grant in the past: Click on “Already a user? Login here”. Use the email and password that you used during last year’s application process. If you have forgotten the password there is a link to have it reset.
  • This will begin a short process in which you fill out the preliminary application. If approved, the submitter will be invited to complete the actual grant application.
  • On the actual grant application, the “Remit to” information for the grant is captured under the “FIRST School” name/address input fields on the grant form. Use the team’s fiscal partner information (school or 501c3 organization) for these fields. The school name/affiliated org. should be included in the “Affiliation” area.
  • Grant checks cannot be made out to an individual.

Attention Teachers: You can create projects for Pitsco and/or Andy Mark materials or robot parts, tools, laptops, tablets, 3D printers, or any other related team materials through DonorsChoose. Get started here.

REV Robotics Veteran Team Sponsorship Opportunity – closes Sept. 30
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.

Events to date will posted on the FIRST in Michigan FTC EVENTS page after kickoff. There could be some flux to the event schedule as school calendars are still being finalized.

A reminder that FTC teams register for events (competitions) at the local level and not through their Team Dashboard. Event registration is done via a google form that is sent to the Lead Coach/Mentor 1 and 2 for each team. Event registration is slated to open in early October.  Teams are guaranteed placement in at least one FIRST in Michigan FTC qualifier. The opportunity to compete in more than one is as event space allows.

New this season will be back-to-back qualifiers at a given location. One qualifier will be on Saturday and the other on Sunday, at the same location, servicing two separate sets of teams. Right now, Oxford and Howell are the locations that will be hosting back-to-back qualifiers.

Areas that have a large enough concentration of teams (12-16) can be part of an FTC league.  A league requires an area league organizer who is willing to facilitate the aspects of the league with FIRST in Michigan i.e. plan 3 league meets, assist with a league tournament (2-3 near area leagues come together in a qualifier type of event), coordinate equipment, identify volunteers in support of the league events. League meets are of short duration (about 3-4 hours) and provide the opportunity for iterative match play experience without a judging component. Details on leagues will be sent to teams post kickoff.

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. To explore the sample first unit of the curriculum and provide feedback: FTC Drivetrain and Gearing Sample Unit.

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.


  • 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%.