August 10, 2017

8.10.17 Team Eblast

Season Reg l Grants l Kickoff Events l Other News
We are less than a month away from the 2017-2018 FTC season kickoff! It's key that teams complete the season's FIRST FTC registration process and gear up in order to be ready to roll!

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 (2nd tab).

ROOKIES: Remember to start the registration process for your team through to the assignment of your temporary team number (2017xxxxx). Do not pay for anything at this point. Then, apply for the FIRST FTC national Team Grant. These grant funds can only be directly applied through the FTC Storefront. See linked "Grants and Application Procedures" below for a step-by-step process. Applying for this grant is a requirement of the FIRST in Michigan Rookie Team Grant.

ALIGNMENT: 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.

TEAM SIZE: FTC team size is capped at 15. Multiple teams out of a given school/organization are welcome and can be eligible for all grants.

QUALIFIERS: 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 "graduating" 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! See the Team Registration doc linked below for the "who can invite whom" pecking order.

PAY IT FORWARD (or backward!): If your team members are all moving to FRC this season (Kudos - you've done an AWESOME job!), remember to pass your FTC knowledge and FTC kit of parts on to the next generation of your FTC team. Coming from FLL? Do the same! Help make the STEM pipeline in your community strong!! Per the FIRST FTC Rookie Team Grant - the team's affiliated school/organization is the "owner" of the team number and FTC Kit of Parts as their purchase was made possible by the grant's funds. 

2017-2018 FiM FTC Grants and Application Procedures
FiM FTC Blog: archived team emails
FTC CurriculumThis free curriculum can  be used as a stand-alone course or as a supplement to areas where the team needs extra support

The FIRST in Michigan FTC grants have a rookie AND veteran component this season! See the above linked "Grants" doc for details. FiM is moving to a different grant submission process (away from google docs and towards one that can accommodate file uploads, YAY!) so there's been a bit of a delay. It's anticipated the grant doc will be open for submissions by the end of August. 

FTC season kickoff will be on Sept. 9th which is when the new game FIRST Relic Recovery will be fully revealed. 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! Game Manual 1 has been published. Game Manual 2 (game specific info) will be available on Sept. 9th

FTC Kickoff Locations (to date): These events are open for registration. All events are on Sept. 9th. All feature a game reveal i.e. FIRST Relic Recovery game elements on display. Many of these events will also include workshops so it's key that your team completes their season registration and has their parts in hand before Sept. 9th

Event(event info is linked)LocationTimeTo RegisterEvent ContactContact Email
Bedford FTC KickoffBedford Junior High School
8405 Jackman Road
Temperance, MI 48182
11:30am - 6pmBedford FTC Kickoff FormJennifer
Bloomfield Hills FTC KickoffBloomfield Hills High School
4200 Andover Rd.
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302.
8am - 1:30pmBloomfield FTC Kickoff FormJohn
FAMNM FTC KickoffUniversity of Michigan
North Campus
2101 Bonisteel Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
9:30am - 2:30pmFAMNM FTC Kickoff FormJack
Freeland FTC KickoffFreeland Elementary School Gymnasium
710 Powley Drive,
Freeland, MI 48623
11am - 2pmEmail Charlie SniderCharlie
Kettering FTC KickoffKettering University
1700 University Ave.
Flint, Mi. 48504
8am - 3pmKettering FTC Kickoff FormKim
West Michigan FTC KickoffGrand Valley State University
Grand Rapids Campus
301 Fulton W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
9am - 4pmWest MI FTC Kickoff FormChad
UP FTC KickoffTBDTBDEmail Melody DoigMelody 
*Detroit FTC Kickoff is in the works. Limited capacity. More info soon.

Save the dates! Two Java programming sessions will be offered on September 12 and 19 from 7-9pm at Kettering University. These will respectively cover intermediate and more advanced Java concepts. These courses will augment the beginner Java programming sessions which are offered as part of the Kettering FTC Kickoff event. Details and sign up info will be shared with teams as it's made available.  Java Workshop Info

From Alex Fera, our FiM FTC head FTA; Alex can be contacted directly at

Last season, FIRST in Michigan piloted a semi live scoring system called the FTC Vortex Counter, which counted the number of shots into each of the Goals during a match.  The system that was used is located here:

As we start preparing for next season, we would like to get feedback on the system from last year and figure out what your would like to see on the scoring side going forward. 

Please take a few minutes out of your day to fill out this brief survey regarding the FTC Vortex Counter and Future live scoring systems.

Check out the great promotion from FIRST FTC with a chance to win a laptop! The first drawing will be coming up on August 18th. Info on the sweepstakes can be found here: Rules on the Sweepstakes.

We have the opportunity to ‘make it loud’ again this year at Selfridge Air National Guard Base during their Air Show.  The event draws between 100,000 and 200,000 people for the weekend.  The plans are currently tentative and we don’t have a lot of information yet.  However, they’ve confirmed they definitely want us there.  Last time, the expo was inside a hangar.

The weekend is scheduled for the 19th and 20th.  We are currently looking for:
  • FLL teams (with table and field setups)
  • FTC teams (with field or partial field setups)
  • FRC teams (we’ll need a couple practice field elements to be brought).
There will not be formalized matches of any sort – we’ll talk to people and show off information as they come in. Interested teams should contact Tom Line (FRC 1718) at as soon as possible. 

Season qualifiers are shaping up but still in a bit of flux. A preliminary list as well as how event registration works in Michigan is linked: MI FTC Event Process. Note that as FIRST FTC event registration is handled at the local level, a team's Dashboard will not include the team's registered events.