Email Blast- FIRST Choice Update~ Administrative Manual~Surrogate Kit Pickup~Consent-Release Forms~Team Roster~Fundraising Tookit ~Scholarship News

12/19/13

Greetings Teams:

FIRST Choice Update: Some teams have expressed concern about the possibility of FIRST Choice reopening around the holiday break. We understand these concerns, and can confirm that FIRST Choice will not be open before Saturday, 12/28/13. The FIRST Choice team is continuing to work on the FIRST Choice website, and will be testing the website rigorously, giving themselves a buffer in case unexpected issues arise. We thank you for your patience.

Awards Section of 2014 FRC Administrative Manual: The Awards section is now available here:  http://frc-manual.usfirst.org/. New this year, we’ve added a FIRST 3D Printing Award, sponsored by America Makes and ORNL, to be presented at Championship.  

FIRST HQ Closed for Christmas Holiday: FIRST Headquarters will close at 3:00 pm ET on Tuesday, 12/24/13 in recognition of the Christmas holiday. Our regular business hours will resume on Thursday, 12/26/13 at 8:30 am ET.

Surrogate Kit Pickup Deadline Approaching: If a team is unable to pick up its Kit of Parts (KoP) at the Local Kickoff they have selected, an alternate, or “Surrogate” team may be designated to do so. The team must provide FIRST with an authorized Surrogate Kit Pickup letter, signed by the Main or Alternate contact, on school or Sponsor letterhead that follows this template: http://tinyurl.com/oohllb2.

All Surrogate Kit Pickup letters must be received at FIRST no later than 5:00 pm ET on 12/30/13.  

The surrogate letter should be sent or faxed to:
            FIRST
            Attn: FRC Team Support/Operations
            200 Bedford Street
            Manchester, NH 03101
            Fax #: 603-666-3907

            Or scanned and emailed to frcteams@usfirst.org

Consent and Release Forms: If you haven’t done so already, please consider which 2014 FIRST Consent and Release form your team members will be submitting this season.  Remember, electronic Consent and Release forms “cover” individuals at all 2014 FIRST competition events (students and their parents access the electronic form in STIMS; adult mentors in TIMS). We strongly encourage teams to use the electronic forms, as this is the most convenient submission method.

If anyone on your team opts to submit a hard-copy Consent and Release form instead, please download at: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/first-student-team-information-members-system-and-consent-form and follow instructions for submission located in the “Process Overview Document”.

Print your Team Roster! No matter which method you choose (electronic or hard-copy), you MUST print off your Team Roster from TIMS and bring it with you to your Kickoff and competition event(s).  To print the Team Roster:

1)    On the Team Summary page in TIMS, scroll down to the “Student/Roster” field

2)    Click “View” next to Team Roster

3)    Click Printable Roster

4)    If you have any students/mentors who are providing hard-copy forms, please write in their names on the printed roster and attach their Consent and Release forms

For more information about the 2014 Consent and Release form, including FAQs and a helpful Process Overview, please visit: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/first-student-team-information-members-system-and-consent-form.

FIRST Team Fundraising Toolkit UPDATE: Sections 5, 6 and 7 of the FIRST Team Fundraising Toolkit: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/first-fundraising-toolkit are now available!  Sponsored by a generous grant from the Argosy Foundation, the Toolkit is a great resource for teams looking for some assistance in raising funds for the competition season.  Written by Renee Becker, the FIRST Fundraising Toolkit Coordinator, and utilizing some tried and true examples from veteran FTC and FRC teams, the Toolkit sections are presented in PDF format along with a series of informational webinars. Additional information will be posted throughout the season and post-Championship. If your team has any questions, suggestions, or comments, please contact Renee at rbecker@usfirst.org.

December FIRST Scholarship Newsletter is available: http://www.usfirst.org/sites/default/files/uploadedFiles/About_Us/Scholarships/2014_Assets/2014_FIRST_Scholarship_News_December_2013.pdf.  We encourage you to apply for scholarship opportunities now!

Upcoming Resources:

  • FRC Ask an Expert Calls: The next Ask an Expert Call will take place on Wednesday, 1/8/14. Details on the Ask an Expert Calls are available here: http://www.usfirst.org/community/volunteers/fsm_training_calls.
  • National Instruments (NI)  offers training materials, grants  and competitions for FRC & FTC teams. To learn more, visit https://decibel.ni.com/content/community/academic/student_competitions/frc.
  • PTC offers free Product Development Software to all FIRST teams. PTC software will enable collaboration, increase efficiency, and enhance accuracy during your team’s Robot Design Process. To help get your team started, PTC runs a weekly webinar series called, Robotalk.  Robotalk gives an in-depth introduction to PTC Creo, PTC Mathcad, and PTC Windchill. Webinar replays are available on the PTC FIRST Community Site. For more information on software offerings, grant sponsorships, online training and hands-on workshops, please visit: www.ptc.com/go/first.
  • Autodesk  To make it easier for teams to design the next great robot, FIRST has partnered with Autodesk, to provide Autodesk® Design Academy 2014 software licenses to schools who have a FIRST program. The      Autodesk grant program is designed to help inspire students to develop a lifelong love for design and prepare them for successful careers. The software will be available free* to schools that have an active and registered FIRST team for the 2013/2014 competition year. The grant provides access to Autodesk software that can be used to support extracurricular competition programs as well as in classroom use. Teachers can apply for an Autodesk software grant on behalf of their school by completing a simple grant request form or learn more about the Autodesk grant program read the Autodesk Grant Resource Guide. To see additional resources available to FIRST teams visit www.autodesk.com/first. Students and faculty can also download free* Autodesk software for their personal computers at Autodesk’s Education Community. *Free Autodesk software and/or cloud-based services are subject to acceptance of and compliance with the terms and conditions of the license agreement or terms of service that accompany such software or cloud-based services.

 The FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) is brought to you, in part, by our generous Sponsors and Suppliers. For a full list, please visit http://www.usfirst.org/sponsors/sponsor-listings.

We wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!

Go Teams!