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The FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) community can come here for (at least) weekly musings on the FRC program, news, community highlights, science and technology shout-outs, and more directly from FIRST Headquarters! Comments are welcome, but they must embody the FIRST values of Gracious Professionalism® and will be moderated prior to posting. Thank you for helping to keep the conversations civil and productive.

Posted On:
Wed, 05/27/2015 - 09:25

Today we have a guest blog from Paul Lazarus, FIRST Executive Advisory Board member and Director/Producer of the film SlingShot.

Congratulations to all FIRST teams for completing another successful competition season.

We are excited to announce a beginning of school year discounted fee to screen SlingShot as a fundraiser. This offer is available exclusively to all FIRST teams (...

Posted On:
Fri, 05/15/2015 - 11:01

As many of you know, after we announced that FIRST would be moving to having two Championships starting in 2017, we released a survey to FIRST Robotics Competition teams on this change.

7,355 individuals responded. This represents about 10% or so of the total number of mentors and students we have in FRC. About 75% of the 7,355 provided a team number, and those respondents were from 1,501 teams, about 52% of the total number of FRC teams we had in 2015.

One question we asked was just a simple ‘How do you feel about having two FIRST Championships...

Posted On:
Fri, 05/08/2015 - 15:05

Today’s blog post is from FRC Kit of Parts Engineer, Jonathan Bryant.

We’re interested in your feedback on the 2015 FRC Kit of Parts! We know that you are getting barraged with surveys right now, we apologize for the overload, but we really want to know what you think! You’re feedback is instrumental in shaping future Kit of Parts. We use this survey to look for new parts, improve current items, and increase the value that the Kit of Parts provides to teams! This feedback is also sent to Suppliers to help them make good decisions about their donations.

Last...

Posted On:
Tue, 05/05/2015 - 13:46

Once again, the U.S. Air Force is offering an Air Force Leadership opportunity for a select group of 28 FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics...

Posted On:
Fri, 05/01/2015 - 07:47

Taking Some Time for Yourselves

I hope everyone who attended Championship was inspired, had fun, and made some lifelong memories. We know that some things went really well, and some things did not go really well. The survey we recently sent out to all attending teams will let us hear directly from you on what aspects of the event fell into which categories from your perspectives.

Volunteers, Mentors, and Team supporters of all types, I hope you are able to take some time for yourselves soon to reflect on the season and recharge your batteries. I know the FRC season...

Posted On:
Mon, 04/20/2015 - 19:51

I walked through the Championship venue this afternoon to see how things were coming along. This is going to be one big show, for sure. There’s something about seeing it in person that makes it much more real than just seeing it on paper. I can’t wait for the teams to arrive! I hope FIRST has some insurance, because we’re going to be blowing the doors off this place.

...

Posted On:
Fri, 04/17/2015 - 20:24

Please find below the preliminary qualification round schedules for each subdivision at Championship. I hope I’m not being too subtle about this, but these schedules are preliminary, so they are subject to change. With 608 FRC Teams (Yowza!) planning to come to Championship, there is a chance some teams may not make it, despite their best intentions. If this happens, or if for any reason a team isn’t able to compete, we will be creating a new schedule for the subdivision to which they were assigned. We don’t want to leave a team that isn’t available to compete in the schedule for...
Posted On:
Fri, 04/17/2015 - 12:55

Practice on Wednesday

We got the message that teams really want to be able to practice on the practice fields in the pits on Wednesday. So, we’re making a change to what we announced earlier. See the updated practice field policy here. Teams that have passed inspection will be able to practice, only in tethered mode, from 5PM – 8PM...

Posted On:
Fri, 04/17/2015 - 09:06

Today we have the second of two blogs focusing on 2015 FIRST Championship logistics from Toby Clarke, FRC Program Manager.

We are committed to make the Championship a great event for all involved. Part of this is a smooth move in which I covered in my previous blog. Equally well, we also need to help create a smooth and safe move out. With the updated schedule this year including qualifying matches finishing on Friday night and Alliance...

Posted On:
Thu, 04/16/2015 - 15:07

Championship Roadmap Information Session

As I said in my last blog, we’re going to be having a meeting with teams at Championship about the move to two Championships starting in 2017. FIRST will be providing some additional information at the start of the session, then we’ll be moving on to questions from the audience. The session will be 12:30PM to 1:30PM on Thursday, April 23rd, in the Ferrara Theater within...

Posted On:
Tue, 04/14/2015 - 14:07

Today we have the first of two blogs focusing on the 2015 FIRST Championship from Toby Clarke, FRC Program Manager.

We can’t wait to see all the teams headed to St. Louis in just a few days. This blog is intended to help make your access to the facility as smooth and easy as possible.

If your team arrives in St. Louis early, please have a team representative go the America's Center lobby Registration starting at noon...

Posted On:
Fri, 04/10/2015 - 13:46

One of the many things I love about FIRST is the amount of passion so many of our community members have. I love it because it shows FIRST is meaningful to you, and you care about its future. I know that for many of us, FIRST isn’t just something that you do, it’s something that you are, and that fact can drive intense emotion when you see something happen with which you disagree. With yesterday’s announcement about FIRST going to two Championships starting in 2017...

Posted On:
Thu, 04/09/2015 - 11:08

We’ve got big news! Hear from FIRST President Don Bossi about how we plan to deliver the FIRST Championship experience to thousands more young people worldwide – starting in 2017.

Posted On:
Thu, 04/09/2015 - 09:20

New Audience Screens

Check out the new ‘Match Preview’ screens below. These screens will be available for field personnel to display between matches starting with this weekend’s events and continuing to Championship. This is an optional screen for events this weekend, so you may or may not see it, but you will certainly be seeing it at Championship. Now would be a great time to make sure the ‘Team Nickname’ field in your TIMS account is up to date! That’s the field from which the system will pull the team name. We will have no ability to edit the name at events...

Posted On:
Wed, 04/08/2015 - 13:25

Last weekend, at the San Diego Regional, during the finals, red card violations of G18, that likely should have been called, were not. As I’ve noted before in this blog, I believe it’s the responsibility of FIRST HQ to ensure our volunteers are properly trained, and I also believe it’s the responsibility of FIRST HQ to ensure the rules are clear enough so that both our volunteers and our teams can easily understand them.

In the case of G18, we provided added clarity in Q223 in the Q&A in January, but did not reflect that added clarity back in the manual...

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