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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:
Tue, 11/25/2014 - 14:59

This is a reminder that FIRST Choice opened for window shopping at 12:00 pm (noon) Eastern Time (this FRC blog described the soft opening in detail in October). Your team’s login information will be available on your Team Summary page in TIMS, and your team is now able to start constructing...

Posted On:
Thu, 11/13/2014 - 14:58

New Behind the Lines Episode:  Effective Team Communication

Wednesday, November 19 at 8:00 PM (ET)

Featured experts for this episode are Andy Baker (FRC Team 3940) and Mike Corsetto (FRC Team 1678). They will be discussing the principles of effective team communication - including team building, communication expectations, conflict management, and Drive Coach communication. As always, the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions. See you there!

Visit the...

Posted On:
Wed, 11/12/2014 - 18:37

As I said a few weeks ago, we have launched an exciting new fundraising opportunity for teams. Teams can arrange to show the documentary SlingShot, about Dean Kamen and his work, for a reasonable screening fee while selling tickets to raise the money they need for the season. Please see all the details in the previous blog. Already 56 FIRST teams – including FRC, FTC, and even an FLL team - from 22 states in the US have signed up! The very first screenings are just a few...

Posted On:
Mon, 11/10/2014 - 12:15

Today’s Mentor Monday blog post comes to us from Allison Phelps, an alumnus of FRC Team 1024, a former mentor of FRC Team 1747, and current mentor of FRC Team 1024.

We’d like you to write a blog post about your journey to the current point in your career. What were the most important steps that you took? Were there influential people or events along the way?

My path toward a career in engineering technology began during my junior year of high school. At that time I was taking A+ Certification and thought that I might want to pursue a...

Posted On:
Thu, 11/06/2014 - 13:03

Last year, we asked you for team t-shirts for FRC Staff members to wear during the Kickoff and Field Tour Videos. We received shirts from more than 120 teams and were able to wear all of them received in the videos. It was so well received by both the community and the...

Posted On:
Wed, 11/05/2014 - 11:54

Safety, Safety, Safety

As you prepare for the season, please keep safety in mind. The new safety manual for 2015 has just been posted. You can check it out here. All teams should read and follow this manual. We’ve made a few tweaks from last year, including some changes to footwear requirements at events, specifically for spectators. We’re trying to strike a balance between keeping spectators wanting to visit the pits safe, and making sure they get to see all the...

Posted On:
Tue, 11/04/2014 - 13:22

Today’s guest blog post comes from the Kit of Parts Team:

Some pieces of the Kit of Parts are kept under lock-and-key until Kickoff (that’s why we call it the Kickoff Kit). FIRST Choice opens on November 25.

But it doesn’t make sense to hold off on all software tools until Kickoff. In fact, it’d be better if you could get them downloaded now so you can start learning them and make sure you’re...

Posted On:
Mon, 11/03/2014 - 16:24

Today’s Mentor Monday blog post comes to us from Lisa Perez Savage, an alumnus of FRC Teams 573 and 1, a former mentor of FRC Teams 830 and 3182, and current mentor of FRC Team 573.

We’d like you to write a blog post about your journey to the current point in your career. What were the most important steps that you took? Were there influential people or events along the way?

My story starts back in the autumn of 2002, when I was a sophomore in high school. One of my friends encouraged me to join our high schools’ robotics team (FRC Team...

Posted On:
Mon, 11/03/2014 - 10:01

FIRST Championship Eligibility Beyond 2015

In this blog I said I would be finalizing longer-term changes to FIRST Championship eligibility by the end of October this year. I've missed that deadline. 

Current forecasts show that changes to eligibility would not need to be made until 2018 or so, and forecasts that far out are very speculative, requiring accurate estimates of FRC team growth,...

Posted On:
Fri, 10/31/2014 - 08:27

Guest blogging this week is Carla Proulx from FIRST Marketing.  Many of you may remember Carla from her FRC days but she is now the FIRST Alliance Manager, cultivating national Strategic Alliance relationships that play a key role in our success by creating teams, engaging mentors and most importantly, helping FIRST reach more students than ever before.

HOLA Teams and thank you Frank for the opportunity to share some exciting news with the FRC community. 

I’m pleased to announce a brand new grant that is...

Posted On:
Mon, 10/27/2014 - 16:08

Today’s Mentor Monday blog post comes to us from Katie Widen, an alumnus of FRC Team 1675 and mentor of FRC Team 3928.

Tell us about your journey to the current point in your career. What were the most important steps that you took?

It all starts with FIRST. Way back when I was 14, I was interested in writing and wanted to be a journalist or an author of some sort. I joined FRC because my siblings had done it and I idolized them. I started off doing writing-related tasks, but one day the older students offered welding lessons...

Posted On:
Fri, 10/24/2014 - 12:33

I’ll tell you, I love movies. This is not to say I know much about them, because I don’t, but I love them, and I know when I’ve seen a great one.

I saw a great film last Thursday at the New Hampshire Film Festival. It’s called ‘Slingshot’ and was directed by FIRST Executive Advisory Board member, and Friend of FIRST, Paul Lazarus. Slingshot is about Dean, about his water purification device, and, in no small part, about FIRST.  This means, in a way, it’s about you. A vision of a better future? Impossible odds? Huge technical obstacles? Exhausting work...

Posted On:
Wed, 10/22/2014 - 14:56

Know a Rookie Team Needing Financial Support?

If you know of any rookies needing financial support – or if you are a rookie yourself! – FIRST can help.  Generous sponsors have made grants available exclusively for rookie teams participating in the 2015 season.  For more information on these grants, along with a link to the application, please visit:  and click on the “2015 Rookie Grant Applications are now available” link at the...

Posted On:
Mon, 10/20/2014 - 13:18

One of the wonderful things about my job is that I get to work with an FRC staff that is always coming up with great new ideas. Today we’re implementing one suggested by Collin Fultz, FRC Team Advocate. 

We’ve got lots of great mentors in FRC, with lots of great stories about how they got to where they are. Today, we start an occasional feature called ‘Mentor Mondays’, in which they will get to tell their stories. In the first few, we’ll be focusing on female mentors. Among other questions, we’ll be asking them about female student and mentor outreach, to help us better...

Posted On:
Fri, 10/17/2014 - 15:50

Today’s good question comes from Nick Lawrence, from FRC Team 3940, CyberTooth, out of Kokomo, Indiana, USA:


Hi Frank,

Nick Lawrence here, current mentor for FIRST Team 3940. I currently live in Niagara Falls, ON again, but I’ll be returning back to Kokomo just in time for kickoff.

Throughout the Aerial Assist season, a topic that was present in social media and Chief Delphi was of the quality of...