March 19, 2018

03.19.18 Team Eblast

Spring Events
We have our docket of spring FTC events! Thank you to our event hosts - your support of FTC, especially in the midst of FRC season, is much appreciated!

The spring event registration form is linked below. This form will open at 7am on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - tomorrow!
Spring 2018 FIRST in Michigan FTC Event Registration Form  

May 11-12, 2018:

Vassar FTC Spring Event - 24 teams
Vassar Central Elementary School

Blue Thunder Fest FTC Spring Event - 24 teams
All Saints Catholic School

FTC Spring Fling - 24 teams
Iron Mountain High School
217 Izzo Mariucci Way 
Iron Mountain, MI 49801

May 18-19, 2018:

Hammerhead MAYhem - 32 teams
Troy High School

Cassopolis May Day - 24 teams
Ross Beatty High School

These events are listed as scrimmages on the FIRST FTC national site but they will operate as a regular season event (without an advancement component, though) with judging, match play, elimination rounds, awards.  Participation in a spring event is optional for teams that have already competed in the 2017-2018 regular season. Note that we will be playing the FIRST Relic Recovery game. 

To be placed in an event:
  • Teams must be officially registered for the 2017-2018 season with FIRST FTC national
  • Teams must be comprised solely of MI middle school aged team members OR team members who will be MI middle school aged in the 2018-2019 season (matriculating FLL to FTC).
Event assignment order protocol:
1) Teams that did not compete in the FIRST in Michigan FTC regular season and still need to "check the competition box" for grant requirements.. 
2) Teams that are "2nd semester" teams i.e. classroom based teams repopulated post regular season.
3) Teams that competed in the regular season and would love to compete again (as event space allows)!

It's important to submit your team's event registration form as soon as possible as entries are date/time stamped and each order of assignment will use those attributes as a factor.  

Event Consent/Release Forms and Rosters
IMPORTANT! The FIRST Team Information System will be "rolled over" in preparation for the 2018-2019 season at the end of April. Teams that use the electronic roster produced from this system will need to pull/print their roster BEFORE the end of April. Otherwise, paper rosters AND paper FIRST and FIRST in Michigan Consent/Release forms will need to be used.

Two Consent/Release forms are needed for every team member and mentor, at every event where a team participates:
1) A paper FIRST in Michigan Consent/Release Form must be turned in for every team member/mentor at every event where that person participates. This is in addition to the FIRST national Consent/Release Form. The FIRST in Michigan specific Consent/Release form is linked.
2) A FIRST national Consent/Release Form must also be completed for every team member/mentor. This form can either be signed electronically via the Youth Team Member Registration process OR a paper version must be turned in at every event where that team member/mentor participates.  
Team Roster: Team coach must turn in one roster at check-in at every event where a team participates.  The roster can be in one of 3 formats (see below)Note that team size is capped at 15.
  1. Dashboard produced roster - The Lead/Coach Mentors for the team can produce a team roster via the Team Dashboard under Team Contacts/Roster>Contacts Options>Print Team Roster. Example of a Dashboard produced Team Roster. To be on the Dashboard roster, team members must have followed the Youth Team Member Registration process.
  2. Team produced roster - Downloadable Team Roster Template.
  3. Hybrid - Coach writes-in the names of any students who do not appear on the Dashboard produced roster at the bottom of the sheet.
The forms and roster are turned in at event check-in at every event where a team participates.

Event Specific Information
The FIRST in Michigan FTC website will soon have links to the spring event and event specific information. 

General Information: 
  • What to Expect at an Event
  • The Event Fee is $100 per team and made payable as directed by the event host. Hosts will communicate this information to their attending teams. Payment is due at event check-in. Note that the Event Fee is not covered by any FIRST or FIRST in Michigan season grants.
  • Teams are expected to provide one full day volunteer at each event where they participate. Minimum age for a volunteer is 13 years old. Most roles are best suited to those over 18 years of age or high school upperclassmen with the proper skillset. Team affiliated volunteers cannot serve as judge or referee at the event where their team participates.   Many FTC event roles do not require any specialized skills or training. To sign up to volunteer: Volunteer Registration Step by Step Guide
Software Release
FIRST will be releasing version 3.7 of its FIRST Tech Challenge software on Tuesday, 3/20/18.  Version 3.7 contains a fix to allow the FIRST Tech Challenge apps (FTC Driver Station and FTC Robot Controller) to work on Android Nougat (Android 7.x).  Note that if you are a team who will be competing in a FiM FTC Spring Event or FIRST Championships, it is recommended that your team does NOT upgrade your competition phones to Android Nougat.  However, if you do update to Nougat, then you will need to use the v3.7 software with your updated phones.

Team Assistance and Resources
From FTC 5291 - TOWR (The Oxford Wildcat Robotics) would like to share its knowledge and experience with fellow Michigan teams, especially with any new spring teams.  We can assist coaches and mentors in helping to get their team off to an organized start.  We are able to assist with brainstorming and/or troubleshooting with robot design.  We can assist with Blocks, as well as Android Studio and Java programming questions and/or issues .  We can share our source options for robot parts (beyond the kit).  We are available for driving practice, as well as driver and driver coach guidance.  We are also able to offer assistance and guidance for the engineering notebook and judges interview as well.  If interested, please contact either Mary Rustoni at or Ian Haden at

From FTC 6134 and FRC 503 - a FTC Helpdesk is available to teams in need. Just email with your questions/issues. Programming assistance includes google Blocks and OnBot Java as well as Android Studio. Also, please visit the FTC Resources page on the FRC 503 website for videos and other tutorials:
Other amazing team resources developed by area FRC/FTC teams:
Shout Out
Excellent showing by our 19 MI FTC teams at the North Super Regional (NSR) in Iowa this past weekend! Five of our teams have earned advancement spots from the NSR to the FIRST Championships-Detroit: FTC 5957, 6134, 7047, 7693, 8579. Congrats!! FIRST FTC national will draw the lottery spots to CMP-Detroit at the end of this month. 

FIRST Championship - Detroit
Teams have been asking about information about the FIRST Championship in Detroit, April 25-28, 2018.  FIRST has a micro site dedicated to the event: Info on schedules, volunteering, attractions, etc. is available on this site. 

FRC Events
Our FIRST in Michigan high school FRC district events are currently in full swing. Take your team to visit one near you and show them the excitement that awaits them in FRC! Events are also still looking for volunteers - these are mostly roles for those over 21 years of age. Note that judging roles cannot be filled by those serving as an active mentor to a MI FRC team. Volunteering is a lot of fun and you get a really cool POWER UP shirt!

FTC Certificate of Participation
2017-2018 FTC Certificate of Participation is linked (editable pdf) which can be customized for your team members in recognition of their participation in the FIRST Relic Recovery season. 
FIRST FTC Jump Start Grant - closes 3/30
If you're thinking of starting an additional FTC team at your school, know of a school looking to start a team, or have a FLL team ready to make the leap to FTC:

FIRST FTC national is offering the FTC Jumpstart Grant for eligible newly forming FTC teams. This grant covers a team's 2018-2019 (next season's) FTC registration fee of$275. Teams must be registered  by March 30th. 

There are a series of grants that work together to make the 2017-18 FTC season registration and the kit of parts totally free!

FIRST FTC national has a needs based team grant that your new FTC could be eligible to receive. That grant covers the team's 2017-2018 (this season's) FTC registration fee of $275 and applies $275 towards the teams kit of parts purchase made through the FTC Storefront (only). So, $550 in funding. Teams must apply for this grant before paying any funds through the FTC Storefront. FIRST FTC national grant awards can only be applied directly through the FTC Storefront.

The FIRST in Michigan (FiM) FTC rookie team grant will then work with the FIRST FTC national that a team's initial start up costs (registration fee and kit of parts) are free! This grant will cover whatever the FIRST FTC national grant does not i.e. $1,300 reg fee + parts - $550 FIRST FTC nat'l grant = $750 FiM FTC Rookie Team grant award. The FiM FTC Rookie Team grant is a reimbursement style grant. If it presents a hardship for the team to front the funds and await reimbursement, let me know and alternative arrangements can be made.

Teams accepting the FIRST in Michigan Rookie Team Grant will have to compete in a spring event as participation in a sanctioned FIRST in Michigan FTC competition is a requirement of the grant.

Steps to follow to apply for these grants can be found at this linked doc: FiM FTC Grants and Application Procedures