September 2, 2013

Season Information

On Sept. 7th, this year's game will be announced on the FIRST FTC national website: For a recap of information provided to all registered FIRST in Michigan Middle School FTC teams, click on the Read More link below.  Topics include:  Registration, Grants, Kit of Parts, Kickoff Event, PTC workshop, Events and more!  Any questions, please email

The 2013-2014 Team Start Up guide provides an overview of the program and covers many of our FAQs.  

Game Manual Part 1 has been posted on the FIRST site. Part 2 will be posted on Sept. 7th. Teams are responsible for knowing program guidelines and the rules of the game.

Register Your Team

Teams need to register with FIRST in order to be included in 2013-14 season correspondence. As part of the FIRST FTC rookie grant, the $275 registration fee will be waived for newly forming teams.

Teams register and order their kit of parts with FIRST though the Team Information Management System (TIMS) site: Kits are usually received within 2 weeks of ordering.

Step by step instructions (2012 version, but still applicable) on how to register:

Remember that veteran teams retain their team numbers when registering. 

Registration Packets

Every team registered with FIRST should have received a Registration Packet in the mail. It contains: FTC DVD / NI Labview for LEGO MIndstorms disk / Engineering Notebook / Assorted flyers.

If your team has not received this packet, please follow the following steps:

Check that your team's Shipping Contact Information on TIMS ( is filled out completely.
If your contact information on TIMS is complete, please contact with the team number to check on the status of your team's materials.

Rookie Grants
  • FIRST FTC: $500; $275 FIRST FTC registration fee waived, $225 applied directly towards the LEGO Ed kit of parts purchase; 500 team cap; this grant is moving fast!
  • FIRST in MI grants: these are reimbursement grants
    • GM grant: $600 for newly forming MI middle school FTC teams (100 team cap)
    • Consumers Energy grant: $400 for newly forming MI middle school FTC teams in Consumers area of service as verified by the coach/school/organization zip code.
As the FIRST in Michigan grants are reimbursements, the coach/school/organization pays the balance on the kit of parts purchase then applies for the grants. Forward the kit of parts order confirmation email from LEGO Ed/AndyMark to then fill out the grant form (see below). The grant checks have been going out very promptly.

The complete grant procedures and parameters as well as the link to the grant form is located here: FIRST in Michigan FTC Grants.

Kit of Parts
These are the kits that the team will need and all should be ordered via the FIRST TIMS system, where you registered the team: For rookie teams, the FIRST FTC grant of $225 will be applied directly to your LEGO Ed kit of parts purchase. If your organization is tax exempt, please have that information ready at time of purchase.

  • LEGO Ed ordered through PITSCO (distributor) via TIMS (where you registered your team with FIRST)
    • 739114 - FTC TETRIX Base set with Mindstorms; Note that if you already have a Mindstorms kit, there is an option to just order the TETRIX Base kit without Mindstorms (Product code: 739119)
    • 739109 - FTC TETRIX Resource Kit
  • AndyMark
    • 2529 - FTC Samantha Module
Need More Parts? FTC teams receive a 30% discount on TETRIX parts! Information on TETRIX resources, including new parts for 2013, is available on the FIRST FTC site:

FTC Season Kickoff Sept. 7th

MI middle school FTC teams are invited to the FTC Kickoff event to be held at Kettering University on Sept. 7th. Bring your kit of parts as It will include build and wire workshops, programming and break out sessions covering a variety of program topics. The day will finish with a reveal of the 2013-2014 FTC game. Visit the MMRA Event page to register to participate in the event: Kickoff Event Flyer. It is free of charge and open to all Michigan Middle School FTC teams.

PTC Training Workshop Sept. 28th
FRC Team 2834 is co-hosting with PTC a free hands-on workshop to show how you can build a better robot in less time using PTC software products Creo, MathCAD and Windchill. These products are provided free to registered FTC teams. A new curriculum is being used this year. All Michigan FTC teams are welcome to attend. Lunch will be provided.

  • Date: Saturday, 9/28/13
  • Time: 9am - 3pm
  • Location: Bloomfield Hills High School (formerly Lahser High School), 3456 Lahser Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
To register, please use this link:

For information on PTC products available FREE to registered FTC teams and a PTC grant opportunity (deadline 9/6), visit the PTC & FIRST web page:

Program Information
The FIRST national website,, has complete program information and access to a plethora of team resources; the FTC Mentor Guide,, is a "must read" for coaches & mentors. Visit the FIRST in Michigan FTC site,, for Michigan-specific information.

A program goal is to provide quality events for our teams that also minimize their travel time/costs to the best of our ability. Here is a synopsis of this season's event structure:

  • Meets (several): Non-official events that include inspections and robot game. A great way to "meet" the game, communicate with the field, network with other teams for tips and assistance. Usually a half day in duration. Teams can attend more than one - play early, play often!
    • Potential dates: 11/9, 11/16, 11/23; cost: TBD
  • Qualifiers (4-6): Full scale official events that advance teams to the State Championship. Teams participate in one. All day events with Friday early check-in and inspection..
    • Dates: 11/23, 12/7, 12/14; $75 registration fee
  • State Championship (1): 12/21; $100 reg fee; advancement based
  • Super Regional NEW this season (Iowa): 4/3-4/5, 2014; $500 reg. fee; advancement based
  • FIRST Championship: 4/23-4/26, 2014; $1000 reg. fee; advancement based