January 1, 2017

FLL to Middle School FTC Transition

Welcome to our MI middle school FLL teams looking to transition to middle school FTC! 

FIRST In Michigan FTC is a middle school only program giving this age group their own "turf" on which to learn and play. FTC has proven to be a great fit for middle school students giving them 21st century skills like programming in Java, app development, beginning CAD design, metal TETRIX build platform, and they control their robots with Smart Phones! Our middle school FTC students hit the ground running when they join their high school FRC teams!! Visit our MI FTC State Championship photos to see our teams and program in action!

The 2016-2017 Team Start Up Guide  provides an overview of the program and answers many FAQs. An often asked question is the appropriateness of the program for 6th grade students. We currently have many 6th graders on middle school FTC teams; a mixed age team works best as the older students can help bridge the knowledge gap of the younger ones. Plus, then your team will only need to re-populate the 8th graders year to year. Great sustainability plan!

FIRST in Michigan FTC Rookie Team Grant 
Middle school FLL teams transitioning to middle school FTC in the 2016-2017 season are eligible for the FIRST in Michigan FTC rookie team grant. This grant covers the 2016-2017 FIRST FTC season registration fee of $275 AND the team's initial FTC Kit of Parts cost - this is over $1,500 in funding! Note that the FTC Kit of Parts is a one-time purchase and is reusable year to year. 

A few requirements of this grant are as follows:
  • Teams must be aligned with the FIRST in Michigan Progression of Programs (different than FIRST FTC national). This means that your FTC team must be comprised solely of MI middle school grade/level students (as of the 2017-18 season).
  • Teams must be affiliated with and recognized by an entity such as a school (public, private, or home) or 501c3 type of community organization. This connection helps to ensure that the reusable Kit of Parts will remain "in play" from year to year. Grants checks cannot be made out to individuals.
  • Teams must register with FIRST FTC national in the 2016-2017 season and compete in a FIRST in Michigan sanctioned spring 2017 event. We want the students to experience the fun of competition and check the box on the competition requirement that accompanies all FIRST in Michigan grants. Dates and locations are TBD but most likely will be in May.
  • Teams must also register for the 2017-2018 FTC season and compete in a FIRST in Michigan FTC regular season fall qualifier.
  • FIRST in Michigan FTC grants are reimbursement style grants. Teams fill out the grant form then email their Pitsco kit of parts purchase confirmation to michiganftc@gmail.com. Details are in the doc linked below. If fronting the money presents a hardship for the team, please email michiganftc@gmail.com to make alternative arrangements.
  • Please review the 2016-2017 Grants doc for complete grant parameters and requirements. 2016-2017 FTC Grant Information (to date). Visit the Michigan FTC Team List to see if there is a team at your school already. See the above linked grant doc for rules as to incremental teams at a given school/organization.
  • Note that FTC team size is capped at 15. Multiple teams are encouraged and can be eligible for grants. 
  • Limited number of grants are available and will be awarded on a first come-first served basis to eligible teams. It is recommended that teams form and order parts before February 1, 2017 to avoid part shortages.
This grant is made possible by the generous support of our FIRST in Michigan FTC sponsors: General Motors, Consumers Energy, DTE Energy Foundation and Ford Motor Co. 

SEASON 
The MI FTC competition season runs starts with kickoff in Sept. with regular competition season in November-December. The 2016-2017 game is Velocity Vortex - visit the FIRST FTC national site for the game animation and official game manuals.

RESOURCES
How to register your team, what parts to order:
2016-2017 Team Registration & Equipment Recommendations: MUST READ! Order the TETRIX Build Kit, not Matrix.

Curriculum: New this season: FTC Curriculum! This free curriculum can  be used as a stand-alone course or as a supplement to areas where the team needs extra support.

Build Guides:: A great starting project for a new team is to build PushbotPushbot is a simple robot that can just drive around and "push" things. No shooters, collectors etc. It's essentially a plain chassis the team can build quickly and then decide themselves what to add.  

The Robot Garage and FRC 503 in Novi have developed a version of Pushbot that is game compliant and has easier to follow field communication and programming resources: http://frogforce503.org/index.php/team-activities/2015-10-18-10-54-56. Note that this version uses Android Studio (line based Java) as the programming environment. An alternative version developed by FIRST FTC nationalFIRST version of Pushbot.

After building Pushbot, the students can then analyze what this robot can/can't do in regards to playing this season's game, Velocity Vortex, and watch the innovation begin!  Game Manuals 1 & 2 are "must reads" for every team! 

Programming Resources:
Intelitek and FIRST FTC partnered to produce some amazing resources: http://ftc.edu.intelitek.com/. This provides instruction on utilizing both the MIT App Inventor and Android Studio options.

The FIRST philosophies of Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition are strong with our middle school FTC teams! Email michiganftc@gmail.com to request to be connected to a team in your area.Our teams are more than happy to answer questions and share best practices. We look forward to having your team on board!

August 29, 2016

FTC Season Kickoff Sept. 10th, 12pm!

The 2016-2017 FTC season will kickoff on Sept. 10th with an online "reveal' of new game. Visit the FIRST FTC (national) game page at 12pm (noon) to view the game animation and to access the all important Game Manual 2 containing the rules and details of this season's challenge. Game Manual 1 has already been published and can be accessed at: http://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/ftc/game-and-season-info.

August 14, 2016

Team Eblast 2016.08.14

August 14, 2016

Team Eblast 2016.07.27

July 27, 2017 Team Eblast

September 14, 2015

MDE State Grant Now Open


The MDE FIRST Robotics State Grant is open Sept. 8th through noon on Nov 3, 2015. All high school and middle school public schools, academies charters with FRC or FTC teams are eligible. ISDs with full time students also qualify. Link to grant information: http://www.techplan.org/rdi/.

2015-2016 Season

Welcome to the 2015-2016 FIRST in Michigan Middle School FTC season!   

Information on registering for the season, equipment, and grants is linked below. 


2015-2016 Season Information and Resources
2015-2016 FiM FTC Start Up Guide.
2015-2016 FiM FTC Equipment/Costs/Grant Information

October 9, 2014

Event Registration

The event registration process for this season is available on the FIRST in Michigan FTC site and at this direct link:  Event Registration Process.  The main/alternate contacts for each team will receive the event registration form links via email. Note that teams need to be fully registered for the season to sign up for events. Email michiganftc@gmail.com with questions.  There are two parts to event registration this season:  Home event opt in/opt out and 2nd qualifier registration: