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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:
Thu, 12/11/2014 - 14:49

We have determined FIRST Championship allocations for Districts as noted in this blog

The relevant portion of the blog is this –

Districts will be getting the number of available Championship slots (total Championship capacity less the number of pre-qualified teams) proportional to their percentage representation in all FRC. As an example, if a District has 10% of the teams in FRC, they will be ...

Posted On:
Wed, 12/10/2014 - 08:56

A message from our Kit of Parts team:

We’re in full swing preparing for Kickoff, not sure if you heard, but its 24 days away.

Kickoff Kits start leaving the warehouse in New Hampshire today! We want to make sure you have the information you need to get your Kickoff Kit home safely. The Kit of Parts homepage has been updated with sizes and weights of various components of the Kickoff Kit that you can expect to...

Posted On:
Tue, 12/09/2014 - 10:00

Please see below for a note from the Kit of Parts Team:

On November 4, we released some information about the software tools available as part of the Virtual Kit. Today, we’re excited to announce that a few more vouchers will be going live at noon eastern. Check out your team’s TIMS account for details on vouchers from:

Posted On:
Mon, 12/08/2014 - 13:04

Please see the note below from our Kit of Parts Team:

I’d like to tell you a story about Coopertition, Gracious Professionalism, and a group of our Suppliers working together to improve the team experience, even if it might cost them some business.

Earlier this year, Innovation First International agreed to donate half of the CIM motors we needed for each team. That batch was received with no problem and was packed into Kickoff Kits. However, due to shipping issues, the other half of the CIM motors we needed were...

Posted On:
Mon, 12/08/2014 - 10:20

Today’s Mentor Monday blog post comes to us from Elizabeth Davis, an alumnus of FIRST Lego League Team "Central Spacelab One" and FRC Team 45, the TechnoKats.

We’d like you to write a blog post about your journey to the current point in your career. What were the most important steps that you took? Were there influential people or events along the way?

My experiences with FIRST started when I was in 6th grade, on the FLL team at my middle school, Central SpaceLab One. I found that the research project was...

Posted On:
Fri, 12/05/2014 - 09:19

Today’s good question comes from Chris Picone, from FRC Team 2791, Shaker Robotics, from Latham, New York, USA:


Hi Frank,

I'm Chris Picone, currently a mentor for FIRST FRC Team 2791, Shaker Robotics, from Latham, NY. My question today is about when practice matches are scheduled at regional events.

The scheduling of events on Practice Day at regionals has always bothered me. Using the...

Posted On:
Tue, 12/02/2014 - 12:06

We wanted to remind teams that your Priority Lists for FIRST Choice are due tomorrow, Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at noon eastern. As a reminder, in order to have access to your FIRST Choice log-in information, your team needs to have registered and secured payment with a Purchase Order, Payment, or Letter of Commitment from a Sponsor. At this point, almost 350 teams have submitted Priority Lists.

Each Team has 600 credits available, though none show up in...

Posted On:
Mon, 12/01/2014 - 13:54

Today’s Mentor Monday blog post comes to us from Ellen McIsaac, an alumnus of and current mentor of FRC Team 1124.

We’d like you to write a blog post about your journey to the current point in your career. What were the most important steps that you took? Were there influential people or events along the way?

Ten years ago, as a freshman in high school, I heard on the morning announcements that the school’s robotics team had won something called “Bash at the Beach”.  I didn’t know the school had a robotics team until that moment,...

Posted On:
Tue, 11/25/2014 - 14:59

This is a reminder that FIRST Choice opened for window shopping at 12:00 pm (noon) Eastern Time (this FRC blog described the soft opening in detail in October). Your team’s login information will be available on your Team Summary page in TIMS, and your team is now able to start constructing...

Posted On:
Thu, 11/13/2014 - 14:58

New Behind the Lines Episode:  Effective Team Communication

Wednesday, November 19 at 8:00 PM (ET)

Featured experts for this episode are Andy Baker (FRC Team 3940) and Mike Corsetto (FRC Team 1678). They will be discussing the principles of effective team communication - including team building, communication expectations, conflict management, and Drive Coach communication. As always, the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions. See you there!

Visit the...

Posted On:
Wed, 11/12/2014 - 18:37

As I said a few weeks ago, we have launched an exciting new fundraising opportunity for teams. Teams can arrange to show the documentary SlingShot, about Dean Kamen and his work, for a reasonable screening fee while selling tickets to raise the money they need for the season. Please see all the details in the previous blog. Already 56 FIRST teams – including FRC, FTC, and even an FLL team - from 22 states in the US have signed up! The very first screenings are just a few...

Posted On:
Mon, 11/10/2014 - 12:15

Today’s Mentor Monday blog post comes to us from Allison Phelps, an alumnus of FRC Team 1024, a former mentor of FRC Team 1747, and current mentor of FRC Team 1024.

We’d like you to write a blog post about your journey to the current point in your career. What were the most important steps that you took? Were there influential people or events along the way?

My path toward a career in engineering technology began during my junior year of high school. At that time I was taking A+ Certification and thought that I might want to pursue a...

Posted On:
Thu, 11/06/2014 - 13:03

Last year, we asked you for team t-shirts for FRC Staff members to wear during the Kickoff and Field Tour Videos. We received shirts from more than 120 teams and were able to wear all of them received in the videos. It was so well received by both the community and the staff that we’re at...

Posted On:
Wed, 11/05/2014 - 11:54

Safety, Safety, Safety

As you prepare for the season, please keep safety in mind. The new safety manual for 2015 has just been posted. You can check it out here. All teams should read and follow this manual. We’ve made a few tweaks from last year, including some changes to footwear requirements at events, specifically for spectators. We’re trying to strike a balance between keeping spectators wanting to visit the pits safe, and making sure they get to see all the...

Posted On:
Tue, 11/04/2014 - 13:22

Today’s guest blog post comes from the Kit of Parts Team:

Some pieces of the Kit of Parts are kept under lock-and-key until Kickoff (that’s why we call it the Kickoff Kit). FIRST Choice opens on November 25.

But it doesn’t make sense to hold off on all software tools until Kickoff. In fact, it’d be better if you could get them downloaded now so you can start learning them...