May 14, 2018

05.14 Team Eblast

2018-19 Season Reg l Grants l Parts l New season reminders
2018-2019 FTC season registration is open!

FIRST FTC (HQ) Rookie Team Grant:
FIRST FTC national is offering a $500 rookie team grant that covers a newly forming team's $275 FIRST FTC registration fee and $225 towards the team's Kit of Parts purchase through the FTC Storefront. Newly forming teams must apply for this grant in order to be eligible for the FIRST in Michigan Rookie Team Grant.
  • To apply: Fill out the interest form and you will be emailed the Submittable grant link.
  • This is a needs based grant that factors in a team's Title I funding and free/reduced lunch percentage.
    • To find your school’s free/reduced lunch numbers:
    • Pick “Michigan” from the State dropdown menu and enter a name, city, or zip code.
    • Select at least one of the four types of institutions found on the right side of the search tool. Once the list of schools is returned, click on your school name.
    • A pop up will appear of your school’s information, click on the “More Information” link at the top, under the school name. It should be the middle link.
    • Scroll down to the pink area and add together the numbers for free and reduced lunch. Divide this result by the “Total Students” number found in the light blue area then multiply by 100.
    • If your school isn’t on the list, reference the appropriate school in your area.
    • On the application:
      • Answer “No” to the question “Is your Team anticipating receiving another registration grant this season?”.
      • Where possible, include your team's/school's/city's unique challenges and include any demographics (underserved populations) that would assist in establishing need.  
  • Rookie teams use their nine digit temporary team number to apply
  • Do NOT pay for anything until a grant award decision is received. If awarded, the team must also see the grant funds as available in their Team Dashboard. Rookie teams that pay their 2018-19 registration fee and/or kit of parts will not be eligible for this grant.
  • Teams will be required to prove season participation at the end of the season
  • Existing team out of a given school/organization must be registered before the new team can be eligible for this grant
  • If awarded, teams will not receive their grant until the teams Lead Coach 1 and Lead Coach 2 are both successfully screened
  • Submitting an application does not guarantee funding. 
  • Only one application per team
FIRST in Michigan FTC Rookie Team Grant:
FIRST in Michigan FTC will offer a rookie team grant for the 2018-19 season. There will likely not be a FiM FTC Veteran Grant for 2018-19. The FiM FTC Rookie Team Grant will be a reimbursement style grant.  Newly forming MI middle school FTC teams, based out of a school or established youth enrichment 501c3 (like 4H or Scouts) will be eligible for the grant which factors in the FIRST FTC national Rookie Team Grant to cover the team's out of pocket costs through the FTC Storefront (cap of $1,200).  
  • Example: Team reg. fee and kit of parts (est.) = $1200. If the FIRST FTC national grant awards a team a $550 team grant which covers the team's $275 reg. fee and provides $225 towards the team's kit of parts cost, the FiM FTC grant will then cover the remaining out of pocket cost to the team so $700. If a team isn't awarded the FIRST FTC national grant, then the FiM FTC Rookie Team Grant will cover the full cost.
  • All veteran FTC teams out of the same school/501c3 will need to be registered for the 2018-19 season in order for a newly forming FTC team to be eligible for FiM FTC rookie team grant.
MDE FIRST Robotics State Grant
The MDE FIRST Robotics State Grant has been included on the Executive/House/Senate budgets and is moving through the legislative process. Grant award amounts are not known at this point. We aren't sure if the non-public FIRST team funding, which was in last year's budget, will be included this year. 

Sponsor Specific Grants
Sponsor specific grants will be eblasted to teams as they become available. Have the parents of team members check with their employers as many companies offer grant funds for youth STEM programs where employees are actively involved.

The 2018-19 FTC season with kickoff on September 8, 2018 with the reveal of the FTC Rover Ruckus game! Stay tuned for kickoff events around the state, many of which feature workshops across a variety of topics.


FTC kit of parts component items have all come down in cost this season! A new option on the build platform side is the REV FTC Competition Kit. 

Per REV, on the topics of compatibility and availability of the REV line:  
  • Compatibility - Our kit uses extrusion as the main structural type and our brackets use the same 8mm pitch that TETRIX does. That means that they play really well together.  The system is designed to stand alone but also interface with other kits and off the shelf components. We produced a compatibility guide last year that shows the common ways to interface between the two of them. We will be updating this guide this summer with more examples, but it is a good place to start. .
  • Availability - FIRST has ordered 800 kits with the option for more, REV is producing more kits than that. We learned our lesson last year about being out of stock and have a much better plan for this season. We are currently building our stock up now and hope to be fully back in stock on everything by the end of this month or into early June. Once we are in stock we are to stay in stock this year.   
Take into consideration, when deciding which build platform to use, that our veteran teams and the FIM Robot Shop (spare parts at events) are predominantly TETRIX based (think robot triage).

  • 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 many grants and to participate in FiM FTC events. High school students can mentor the FTC team but cannot be team members. This is often a point of confusion as the FIRST site reflects a different age/grade range for FTC.
  • 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. Please review a particular grant's requirements.
  • 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 17-18 season, PLEASE invite a replacement! 
  • 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.
  • A 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.