May 19, 2017

05.19.17 Team Eblast

05.19.17 Team Eblast

Welcome to the 2017-18 FIRST in Michigan FTC season! In Michigan, we run a slightly different progression of programs from FIRST national. In Michigan, FTC is a middle school only program with teams comprised solely of MI middle school aged/grade team members. Teams must be properly aligned in order to be eligible for FiM FTC grants and to participate in FiM FTC events. If 6th grade is a middle school grade in your school/district, then those students can participate in FTC. It is the call of the parent/coach as to the readiness of a particular student for FTC.

2016-17 Certificate of Participation
Please find attached the 2016-17 Velocity Vortex season Certificate of Participation which can be used to recognize your team members.

2017-2018 FTC Season Registration is OPEN!

Updated season docs:

REGISTER YOUR TEAM FOR 2017-2018. VETERANS - remember that FTC team numbers are retained from year to year. Do not register your veteran team as a new team! Register with your veteran team number. Visit the MI FTC Team List for all 2016-17 team numbers.

Teams that complete their season registration before September 9, 2017 will be guaranteed two qualifier event spots in the 2017-18 regular season event structure. The FIRST reg. system date/time stamps all registrations. Participation in one is mandatory for all teams accepting FIRST, FIRST in Michigan, MDE, Sponsor specific grants. Playing in a 2nd event gives a team a chance to apply all they've learned at their first event (plus it's fun!). 

UPDATE TEAM CONTACTS. Remember to have matriculating team contacts invite their replacements before moving programs. If I'm still a contact for your team from the 16-17 season, PLEASE invite a replacement! I currently get the same FIRST FTC note 23 times!! See the Team Registration/Grants/Equipment doc linked above for the "who can invite whom" pecking order.

APPLY FOR FIRST FTC TEAM GRANT. The FIRST FTC national Team Grant is open for submissions. All teams should apply for this grant. For rookie teams - applying for this grant is a requirement of the FiM FTC Rookie Team Grant. Remember to WAIT on your team's award decision BEFORE completing any purchases on the FTC Storefront. FIRST national grants can only be directly applied via the FTC Storefront. 

This grant waives the $275 FIRST FTC registration fee and, for rookies, provides for $475 towards the team's Kit of Parts purchase through the FTC Storefront. The FIRST in Michigan FTC Rookie Team Grant works in conjunction with the FIRST FTC national Team Grant to fully cover a newly forming MI middle school FTC team's reg. fee plus start up kit costs. Details to apply for both are in the FiM FTC Grants and Application Procedures doc linked above.

FiM FTC VETERAN TEAM GRANT. Keep your fingers crossed - a few "asks" are out there! Funding for our veteran teams to purchase the new REV Robotics Expansion Hub ($150 per team) is being requested. If you know of any companies out there they'd like to be a part of making this composite funding a reality (300 teams X $100, $200, $300) - let me know! Every veteran robot would then carry their logo!! This would likely be a reimbursement-style grant. 

SEASON EVENTS. We are looking at possibly needing 25 qualifiers this season. Past hosts that haven't signed on yet, we'd love to have you back! Any interested new hosts out there, send a note to with your interest. The event fee ($100 per team for qualifiers) is the basis for an event's budget.

2017-2018 SEASON KICKOFF. FTC season kickoff will be on Sept. 9th which is when the new game "FIRST Relic Recovery" will be fully revealed. Hope you all enjoyed our first ever teaser video! Save the date and look for details on our kickoff events (many with workshops) going on around the state. It's a great chance to network with area teams, pick up some new skills, hone some old ones, and see the season's game up close and personal!

MDE STATE GRANT. The MI Dept. of Education FIRST Robotics grant, part of the State Aid budget, is currently in the final stages of approval. This grant provides FIRST Teams that are aligned with the FIRST in Michigan progression of programs and are affiliated with publicly funded schools, charter and academies with grant funds (coach stipend/team grant final amounts are TBD). Attached is a spreadsheet recapping all funding under this grant, including advancement funds, for the 2016-2017 season. Note that this grant, if approved, will likely open for submissions in Sept.-Nov. Application is made at the district level. More info will follow in August.

Go Teams!