Email Blast- 2014 Preliminary FRC Regional & District Events Schedule~New Districts~Beta Testing~Upcoming Resources

08/22/13

Greetings Teams:

2014 Preliminary FRC Regional and District Events Schedule: Please visit:  http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/regional-events to view the 2014 preliminary competition events schedule. Dates of 12/31/14 or TBD locations or venues are placeholders for information we are working to finalize. All Regional and District events will take place between 2/27/14 and 4/13/14.

New Districts: FRC is officially adding two new districts this season: the New England District and the Pacific Northwest District. For information on the new districts, please reference the FRC Blog: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/blog-districts-2014.

Beta Testing: As FRC prepares for the 2014 season, we are seeking a limited number of teams to assist us with beta testing new software.  A limited number of teams may also be asked to test hardware elements of the control system. Interested teams should complete the Beta Test Application available here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NSJL8NV by Friday, September 6, 2013 at noon ET.  Beta testing will run from September, 2013 through the end of December, 2013.

 Beta Test Goals:

  • Test the features and functions of new elements of the control system to uncover problems and generate solutions.
  • Develop/refine software libraries, supporting documentation and training materials.
  • Allow teams to become experts and serve as area leaders to mentor other teams.

Team Selection Criteria:

  • Community - Teams must demonstrate consistent involvement within the FIRST community.  A team’s communication network should be in place and will be utilized in this project.
  • Vision - Teams must prove they ‘get’ the bigger picture and vision of FIRST and must be prepared to work collaboratively for the betterment of the FRC program.
  • Geographical location - FIRST will consider the locations of all teams that apply in an effort to gather diverse feedback and to create experts in as many locations as possible for future mentoring.

Required Beta Test Tasks:

  • Complete beta test tasks as assigned.
  • Post findings on the FIRST Forums on a bi-weekly basis.
  • Be available to answer questions from area teams and the broader FRC community.
  • Release every piece of code developed.
  • Agree to return beta test hardware to FIRST immediately upon request.

Selected teams will be notified by Thursday, September 12, 2013 and beta testing will begin after FIRST receives a signed Disclosure Agreement from the beta test team.  Please direct questions regarding submissions to FRCbetatest@usfirst.org.

Upcoming Resources: FRC’s ‘Ask an Expert’ series will begin in September, featuring webinars & conference calls led by Senior Mentors and various experts from the FIRST community. Join us for our first webinar on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 focused on FIRST scholarship opportunities. Visit:  http://www.usfirst.org/community/volunteers/fsm_training_calls#FRC for more information.

Go Teams!