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All comments should embody the FIRST values of Gracious Professionalism® and will be moderated prior to posting. Thank you for helping to keep the conversation civil and productive.

Posted On:
Fri, 12/21/2012 - 09:01

Kit of Parts

For those of you interested, the KOP Website has been updated to include more information about the sizes and weights of the various parts of the Kickoff Kit.


Game Hint #3

31 88274153, 622341415326

412383975388 9788533197

31 262383835388, 332341415326

93276426238397 995323979397


I’ll blog again soon.

Posted On:
Thu, 12/20/2012 - 10:32

Last night FIRST had its annual holiday celebration.  It was a rare chance for us to get together as a group, have some dinner, and have a little fun.  Dean was there, and spoke briefly about the importance of our mission, and our part in making it happen.  It was a wonderful evening, all the way around.

On my way home – after my normal bedtime, by the way – I was thinking about the FRC Staff.  You probably don’t know most of them.  Here are their names, in no particular order:

Monica Cyr

Posted On:
Tue, 12/18/2012 - 13:36

Einstein Update

Even though we haven’t mentioned it for some time, the FRC staff has been hard at work on the ‘Next Actions’ listed on the Einstein Investigation Report released in July.  You can find an update on our progress here...

Posted On:
Mon, 12/17/2012 - 13:35

Today’s post is a guest blog from Kate Pilotte, FRC’s Kit of Parts Manager:

Last week I asked Frank if I could borrow his platform to talk about the opening of FIRST Choice, the issues we experienced when it opened, and what’s happened since.

Bottom line, there were two unexpected issues that caused problems for a few hundred Teams when they tried to log in and place orders. The first problem was that Teams with numbers under 1000 couldn’t log in for approximately the first 15 minutes. The second issue was a software bug exposed by the high...

Posted On:
Mon, 12/10/2012 - 18:04

FIRST Choice Issue, Part II

I apologize once again to teams that experienced issues with FIRST Choice today. 

Teams with team numbers less than 1000 experienced issues logging on to the system when it opened.  This was corrected fairly quickly, but AndyMark later discovered an issue with their inventory management system that made it appear as if certain items were in stock when the stock had actually been depleted.  The system was tested before being put in use, but the tests did not include team numbers under 1000 or placing orders at the rate...

Posted On:
Mon, 12/10/2012 - 16:14

FIRST Choice Issue

I apologize for the problems teams experienced using FIRST Choice today.  The FIRST Choice site will remain down until we have corrected the issues we have found.  We are working to correct those issues, and will have an update shortly.



Posted On:
Mon, 12/10/2012 - 09:21

FIRST Choice Opening

We’re very excited that FIRST Choice and select PDV’s open for ordering today at noon - check October 25th’s blog ( for the original announcement. FIRST Choice password and Voucher codes will be in TIMS for all registered and paid teams at that time.

Special and extra thanks to the team at AndyMark for continuing to host FIRST Choice for free as an in-kind donation to FIRST, no...

Posted On:
Fri, 12/07/2012 - 11:44

Excellence in Design Award

As many have noticed from looking at the 2013 FRC Administrative Manual, the Excellence in Design Award, sponsored by Autodesk, will not be part of our 2013 season.  I had intended to give more advance notice of this change, but things did not go as I had expected, and I’m sorry about that.  While a relatively small number of teams – less than 50 – submitted for this award last year, I recognize that for the teams that did submit, this represented a significant portion of the effort they put forth for the season.  Autodesk...

Posted On:
Mon, 12/03/2012 - 14:21

FRC Administrative Manual

The FRC Administrative Manual is now live!  You can find it here:

Award Notes

Some of you have been asking for details on the new Digital Media Award.  You will find the criteria for the award listed in Section 6 of the 2013 FRC Administrative Manual.  Note that this is a Championship-only award for this pilot year of this new award.  We may expand the scope of this award for the 2014 season, depending...

Posted On:
Mon, 11/19/2012 - 12:57

My blog on Friday, with regards to Regional slots, was confusing.  Sorry about that.  Let me try again.

The Regionals listed below all currently have open capacity showing on the Regional page on our website.  If you are interested in going to one of these Regionals, and you apply, you will likely be granted a slot right away – depending on how many teams, if any, also apply between the time these words get posted and the time you apply.

Many other regionals still have ‘reserve’ slots open.  These are slots we hold back from immediate release to give us...

Posted On:
Fri, 11/16/2012 - 11:16

FIRST Choice

In case you missed it, FIRST Choice opened for a little pre-holiday window shopping on Monday.  Check it out:

And don’t forget to look at the 2013 FIRST Choice Ordering Rules:

Remember one of the changes this year – teams will be...

Posted On:
Thu, 11/15/2012 - 13:08

Check out the short film linked to below, Produced and Directed by Paul Lazarus, member of the FRC Game Design Committee.  This wonderful film features Dean and his Slingshot water purification device and has been entered in the Focus Forward Film Competition.  If this film doesn’t inspire you to become a scientist or engineer so you can make the world a better place, I don’t know what will.     

The film is currently a semifinalist in the competition, and FIRST folks can push it over the top to be named an ‘Audience Favorite’ by voting for it...

Posted On:
Thu, 11/08/2012 - 11:12

The FIRST Future Innovator Award (FFIA) opens today at Noon, EST.  Entries must be submitted via the FFIA portal, .  More information regarding the FIRST Future Innovator Award can be found at  Dean personally chooses the winner from the top submissions.  We had lots of great submissions last year, we hope to see more of the same for 2013!

More later


Posted On:
Fri, 11/02/2012 - 13:58

Team Counts

We’re currently at 2,328 teams registered for events, and several dozen waitlisted for events.  This means we’ve already exceeded our total team count from last year!  It’s shaping up to be an exciting season.

KoP Early Option – More Details

Some commenters have asked good questions on my post regarding the Early Option.  Here are a few more details:

- Teams will be able to place multiple orders in FIRST Choice, limited only by how many FIRST Credits they have available and component availability.  So, a team...

Posted On:
Thu, 10/25/2012 - 15:21

I’ve got some news I think many teams will be happy with.

As more Kit of Parts items shift from the Kickoff Kit to FIRST® Choice and the Virtual Kit (e.g. Product Donation Vouchers, PDVs), teams will receive fewer items in the Kickoff Kit each year, but have a wider variety and volume of items from which to choose that may meet their specific needs better. However, the added flexibility of FIRST Choice and PDV’s mean that teams may need to plan a little extra time for part selection and shipping.

To help teams plan and prepare for the season, FIRST Choice...