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The FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) community can come here for (at least) weekly musings on the FRC program, news, community highlights, science and technology shout-outs, and more directly from FIRST Headquarters! Comments are welcome, but they must embody the FIRST values of Gracious Professionalism® and will be moderated prior to posting. Thank you for helping to keep the conversations civil and productive.

Posted On:
Mon, 01/20/2014 - 10:40

Gracious Professionalism

Gracious Professionalism is at the core of FIRST. It’s central to our very identity. It’s the element of FIRST that clearly states ‘Character’ is what matters, in FIRST and in life. Please see the important message below from Woodie Flowers, FIRST National Advisor and Co-Founder:


Posted On:
Fri, 01/17/2014 - 11:21

Safety, Safety, Safety

With the build season in full swing, it’s a great time to remind everyone of the importance of staying safe. Nothing you are doing is worth getting hurt for! Safety should be a regular topic with your team. Talk about it, practice it, and help others stay safe as well.

Speaking about helping others stay safe, I’m very happy to announce the winners of the 2014 Safety Animation Award, judged by our Safety Alliance Partner, Underwriter’s Laboratories.

Team  3324, The Metrobots, from Columbus, Ohio, USA, took 1st Place...

Posted On:
Fri, 01/10/2014 - 17:23


I hope everyone had fun at Kickoff and is hard at work on Aerial Assist.  For the most part, Kickoff went great!  We kept the heart of the broadcast to 30 minutes and added a closed captioned option on the web (thanks, NASA!) for those preferring it.  Between the kickoff broadcast and the supplemental videos, the staff wore over 100 team shirts, and the feedback we received on this new element was very positive.   We’re planning to do this again next year!  

Here in New Hampshire, team mentors braving the cold – including...

Posted On:
Tue, 01/07/2014 - 11:16

From the KOP Team, Kate and Collin:

The treacherous weather in the Midwest has stopped our three major logistics partners in the area: FedEx, AndyMark, and Bona Vista Industries (coldest temperatures in 20 years and terrible driving conditions). We are unsure of when they’ll be reopening.  

The effect on FIRST is that we are unable to get anything out of Kokomo, IN, specifically: replacement parts, remaining MySite Kickoff Kit shipments, and FIRST Choice shipments.

Posted On:
Fri, 01/03/2014 - 12:30

3D Printer Update

We talked about contingency plans for remaining inventory in our 3D printer distribution effort in our original 3D Printing Blog post. Since then, about ½ of the inventory has been consumed, which means we have more printers to get to you! There are approximately 240 Cubes still available. To help that, we’re going to reduce the credit cost for these printers from 600 to 300 credits. This will be implemented between now and tomorrow at 4pm Eastern...

Posted On:
Thu, 01/02/2014 - 15:04

With Kickoff only a few days away, we’re going post a good deal of information and documentation to help you hit the ground running. We recommend you download everything you need ahead of time to 1) beat the rush and help us even out the load on servers and 2) have what you need ready to go on Saturday when/where you may not have internet access.

Below is a quick summary of what will be available, when it will be available, where you can get it, and how it will be shared. All files will be posted unencrypted immediately following Kickoff.

In order to be sure that you...

Posted On:
Thu, 01/02/2014 - 10:38


I hope everyone is as excited for Kickoff as I am! We’ve got a snowstorm going on right now here in New Hampshire – roads are slippery and many schools are closed – but we’re not letting that slow us down! Final preparations are going smoothly. I’m really looking forward to talking to the teams that come to the Kickoff in Manchester to get their impressions of the game after it’s revealed. And I hope everyone is catching up on their sleep.

White House Film Festival

I’m late to the party on this one, but I just saw this referenced on CD:...

Posted On:
Mon, 12/30/2013 - 13:35

Watching the Kickoff Broadcast

If you’re not attending a local Kickoff and want to watch the broadcast, it can be found at The stream may be up and down for the next week or so as various formats and options are tested.  You can click on the "Webcast Flash Backup Stream" if you get a "Playlist could not be loaded" error from the Primary Stream.  NASA is currently streaming the NASA-TV Education satellite feed to that encoder.


Posted On:
Thu, 12/26/2013 - 15:11

From Kate and Collin, the Kit of Parts Team

A team of dedicated, smart people from AndyMark, FIRST IT, and the FRC community have been working to revise the FIRST Choice site so that it’s robust for when we launch. We’re excited to tell you that our ongoing testing is confirming that the site is greatly improved, and we’ve decided to schedule the FIRST Choice launch for this Sunday, 12/29/13, at 3pm Eastern.  You will be able to visit the ...

Posted On:
Fri, 12/20/2013 - 16:08

Here you go!

8234/57, 61126/1963, 62326/15806

Have a great weekend!


Posted On:
Thu, 12/19/2013 - 10:10

The awards section of the manual has been posted.  You can find it here.

You’ll see we’ve added a FIRST 3D Printing Award, sponsored by America Makes and ORNL, to be presented at Championship, to go along with the 3D printers we’re making available through FIRST Choice – once FIRST Choice is up and running. As you’ve seen from their recent updates, our Kit of Parts team, Kate and Collin, has been working very hard with our friends at AndyMark to fix the...

Posted On:
Wed, 12/18/2013 - 15:37

A note from our Kit of Parts team, Kate & Collin:

We’ve had some calls expressing anxiety that we’ll issue the first round of credits in the midst of Christmas celebrations, so we’re going to take this opportunity to give you a general sense of where FIRST Choice is…

AndyMark has been restructuring the FIRST Choice site to one that can meet their standards, our standards, and your standards. That, to us, would be the hat trick. The new framework should be in place at the end of this week, which...

Posted On:
Mon, 12/16/2013 - 16:40

From our Kit of Parts Team, Kate Pilotte & Collin Fultz:

Well, that was a doozy of a weekend. We will leave the technical details regarding the cause and remedies to the experts once this is all over (they’re pretty busy right now).

We’re working on nailing the root cause and a solution to the website issue now (while the number of users may have been an issue, it wasn’t dramatically...

Posted On:
Sat, 12/14/2013 - 13:58

UPDATE 12/16/13: The FIRST Choice site is still under construction and is not yet ready for traffic. We're so sorry for this massive inconvenience. We'll post the new opening time with at least 24 hours of notice.

From our Kit of Parts Team, Kate Pilotte & Collin Fultz:

As many of you are already aware, there was a critical technical issue with the FIRST Choice site today that crashed the site. The result was that all...

Posted On:
Tue, 12/10/2013 - 13:36

District Award Allocations

Folks have asked what the allocations will be for awards at District Championships.

The Districts will have flexibility in how they allocate their awards, within boundaries.  This gives Districts the ability to tailor the award package available at their Championships to local conditions – team capacity at their Championship, number of rookie teams in their District, leadership preference, etc – while making sure the meaning of each award does not vary too greatly between Districts. 

For the 2014 season, allocation...