May 21, 2018

2018-19 FTC Season

Start a Middle School FIRST Tech Challenge Team!
FTC Season Kickoff will be Sept. 8th with the release of FIRST Rover Ruckus. There will be kickoff events around the state that feature workshops and quick builds. So, it's key to have your team assembled and parts in hands by that date.

See below for grant info. Note that the combo of the FIRST FTC national and FIRST in Michigan FTC rookie team grants makes the season reg. fee and kit of parts FREE to a newly forming MI middle school FTC team!

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. FIRST in Michigan Progression of Programs 

ROOKIES -  Registration instructions for Rookie Teams; includes screen shots

VETERANS - Remember that FTC team numbers (and the FTC Kit of Parts) are retained from year to year. Do not register your veteran team as a new team! Register with your same veteran team number. Visit the MI FTC Team List for all 2017-18 team number. Registration instructions for Veteran Teams

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. 
  • 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
FIRST in Michigan FTC Rookie Team Grant:
FIRST in Michigan FTC will offer a rookie team grant for the 2018-19 season. The FiM FTC Rookie Team Grant is 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 initial out of pocket costs through the FTC Storefront (cap of $1,200). The grant form will be emailed to newly forming, FiM aligned teams in early June.

  • Example: Team reg. fee and kit of parts (est.) = $1200. If the FIRST FTC national grant awards a team a $500 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. MI FTC Team List
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.

PROGRAM INFORMATION: Some docs to help you get rolling

FiM FTC Team Start Up Guide: Addresses many FAQs. 
FTC CurriculumThis free curriculum can  be used as a stand-alone course or as a supplement to areas where the team needs extra support. 
FTC Registration/Equipment/Parts - Step by step guide

2018-2019 Kit of Parts Options; The FTC Kit of Parts is reusable year to year. 

A new option on the build platform side is the REV FTC Competition Kit. Rookie teams should 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).

  • 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.
  • SEASON EVENTS. Our FiM FTC competition season is November-December. We are looking at possibly needing 25 qualifiers this season. 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.
Go Teams!