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All comments should embody the FIRST values of Gracious Professionalism® and will be moderated prior to posting. Thank you for helping to keep the conversation civil and productive.

Posted On:
Fri, 11/15/2013 - 10:29

The Frank Answers Fridays feature of this blog is going to take a little hiatus until after Kickoff.  Relatively few questions have been received in the last few weeks, and I’m finding myself with less time to answer the questions I already have as we prepare for the 2014 season.   We’ll start up again in January.

Frank

Posted On:
Thu, 11/14/2013 - 09:38

Tonight, at The Tech Awards Gala in Santa Clara, California, Dean will be presented with the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award. This award “honors individuals whose broad vision and leadership are helping address humanity’s greatest challenges.”

Read more about this prestigious award including the write up about Dean – with, of course, a spotlight on FIRST

View the Live stream of the event, starting at 7PM...

Posted On:
Wed, 11/13/2013 - 15:51

Our wonderful Team Support Group - these are the helpful folks at FIRST that respond to team phone calls and emails - asked that we include some information about robot transportation in the FRC Blog this week.

All teams must “Bag and Tag” their robots. Teams are also required to transport their bagged and tagged robot to their competition event.  When transporting their robot, teams may use any transportation method they wish (at their own risk and expense), as long as the robot remains sealed in the bag.  You must bring your own bagged, tagged and sealed...

Posted On:
Tue, 11/12/2013 - 12:25

Chairman’s Award, FIRST Dean’s List Award, Woodie Flowers Award and Entrepreneurship Award Submissions open Thursday, 11/14/13 at 12 pm (noon) ET

The Chairman’s Award, the Woodie Flowers Award, and the Entrepreneurship Award must be submitted via STIMS. The Main or Alternate contact for your team must assign at least one (1) and up to four (4) student award submitters in FRC...

Posted On:
Mon, 11/11/2013 - 07:51

Sorry for the delay on this one!

This week’s question comes from Eric Husmann, who is currently between teams, and is from the Los Angeles area, California, USA:

Question:

I was wondering about some of the workings of the FRC Game Design Committee. Specifically:

--What are some of their constraints? Or, to put it another way, what objectives do the games need to meet?

--What is the (current)...

Posted On:
Thu, 11/07/2013 - 13:31

I’ve provided some clarifications and more information related to the FRC Standard District Points Ranking System below.  In addition, the summary document has been updated.  You may find the new version here.

Team Age

Team Age points are applied only once per season, not once per event.

If the new points system had been in place in 2013, Michigan would...

Posted On:
Tue, 11/05/2013 - 12:51

FIRST Choice will be back for the 2014 FRC Season!

There are a few relevant FIRST Choice dates about which you should know.

    • 11/25/13: FIRST Choice will open for window shopping. Teams will see the parts available and how many credits each part will cost.
    • 12/9/13 (noon, Eastern): FIRST Choice log-in information will be available in TIMS for registered and paid teams. Teams use this information to make sure they can log-in to the AndyMark...
Posted On:
Fri, 11/01/2013 - 12:09

New Standard District Points Ranking System

I see the new points ranking system is generating some comments and questions.  I'll address some of these next week.

Frank Answers Fridays

There will be no Frank Answers Fridays feature this week.  If things go well, I will have one next week.

...

Posted On:
Thu, 10/31/2013 - 14:50

As some of you are aware, we have had a team working on developing a standard points ranking system for use in all four of the Districts we will have in 2014.  Members of the team in addition to me included:

    • Jessica Boucher – New England District Representative, FRC Chief Volunteer Coordinator, Team 237 “Black Magic” Student Alumna
    • Patrick Felty – Regional Director for Central and South Texas (Alamo Region)
    • Chris Fultz – Woodie Flowers Award Winner,  Team 234 “Cyber Blue” Mentor
    • Jon Jack – Chairman’s Award winning Team 1538 “...
Posted On:
Fri, 10/25/2013 - 15:05

This week’s question is from Joe Barry, Team 987, The High Rollers, from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA:

Question:

Hi Frank,

Now that we have the Championships venue decided upon for several years to come it makes sense to continue to enhance the experience in St. Louis in ways that ensure a fun, rewarding, educational, and safe experience. As referenced in various Chief Delphi posts and a personal discussion with you this past season, it is obvious...

Posted On:
Fri, 10/18/2013 - 15:58

Team Fundraising Kit

We know that fundraising is one of the most challenging things that FRC teams have to do. It’s also one of the most important! To help with this, FIRST has developed a new resource.  Thanks to a generous grant from the Argosy Foundation, FIRST VISTA Renee Becker has created the FIRST Team Fundraising Toolkit ( http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/first-fundraising-toolkit ) to help teams raise money.  This toolkit will be a growing resource...

Posted On:
Fri, 10/18/2013 - 07:54

FIRST friend and supporter Dave Lavery has won a Service to America Medal in the Science and Environmental category!  Check out all the details here:   http://servicetoamericamedals.org/SAM/recipients/profiles/sem13_lavery.shtml, and be sure to watch the video in which Dave talks about what inspired him in his youth.  Congratulations, Dave!  FIRST wouldn’t be the same without your steadfast support!

Frank

Posted On:
Fri, 10/04/2013 - 12:35

We received two related questions recently.  One was from Nate Laverdure,  Team 122, NASA Knights, from Newport News, Virginia, USA: 

Question:

Frank,

With the announcement of the FIRST Championship dates and location through 2017, we've learned that the Championship will conflict with the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship in both 2014 and 2015.  What actions...

Posted On:
Thu, 10/03/2013 - 14:30

Championship eligibility criteria for 2014 has just been posted here:  http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/championship-eligibility-criteria

Eligibility is the same as it was for the 2013 FIRST Championship, Wild Cards and all.

Note that with the growth of our program, the number of waitlist slots we will be able to offer teams is likely to be very small.  We can’t predict the exact number, as it depends partially on the rate at which teams offered merit-based slots accept,...

Posted On:
Fri, 09/27/2013 - 14:11

Registration

As of midnight last night, we had 1,565 teams registered for their first event. This is a 24% increase from the same time last year, and that’s good news.

Some of you have noted that the opening of registration went very smoothly this year. The FIRST IT department made several changes to equipment and software, and did substantial testing, to help ensure teams experienced minimal delay. I was told what the changes were, but honestly didn’t understand all the terms being used. (What exactly is an ambiphasient...

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