Team Blast - 06-27-14

FTC Team E-mail Blast

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  1. Keeping Kids Safe
  2. Standards Allignement help needed!
  3. Update on TETRIX Battery Charger
  4. Fundraising Toolkit Survey
  5. Team displays
  6. FIRST VISTA Program opportunity

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Air Force Academy

1.  A new Youth Protection Program training video is now available. Learn how to protect students on your team with the "Behavioral Boundaries" video.

2. Are you a Mentor and a Teacher? FIRST is looking for help to create a Standards Alignment Map, which will describe how all FIRST programs, including FTC, meet academic standards (Common Core Mathematics, Common Core English Language Arts, and the Next Generation Science Standards).

We are looking for individuals who meet the following criteria:
• Currently teachers
• Experience with FIRST programs as a Coach/Mentor
• Available to work on this project ongoing from May – August 2014

If you are interested in participating, please take this brief survey:

We will be carefully selecting participants to ensure that all programs and age groups are represented.  Selected individuals will be contacted by email, so please be sure to include an email address that you will be checking regularly over the summer. 

3. In September 2013, we were notified that UL had identified the battery charger used in the FTC building kit as containing a counterfeit UL mark. Following a quick test UL conducted on the charger, they had formed the view that it did not meet all of the relevant standards. Pitsco Education, the distributor of the battery charger, contacted the manufacturer regarding the concerns. The manufacturer recognized the correct UL mark was not applied to the charger but disagreed with the safety concerns noted by UL.

The same model charger customers purchased was thoroughly tested by UL, and we are happy to report the battery chargers have passed all safety testing. The UL report has been provided to FIRST and is available on our website.

4. We need your help! FIRST launched the FIRST Fundraising Toolkit this year, and we need your feedback to assess whether it has been useful or if you have not used it, why not. We will use your feedback to improve the Fundraising Toolkit for next season. Please complete the following short 5-10 minute survey here:

Mentors, please forward this email to anyone else on your team who may have used the Fundraising Toolkit.

5. FTC is seeking pictures of Team table displays for an instructional document. The photo should be of a display table used at a public exhibition (i.e. a demo at a fair or local business) and not from your competition pit. The ideal photo will be taken straight-on, contain few (or no) people and the table display should be clean and uncluttered. If your photo is selected, your Team will be credited for the submission.

E-mail photos to

6.  FIRST is currently looking to fill positions in our AmeriCorps VISTA Program for the 2014-2015 season.

You can find out more about the FIRST VISTA Program HERE.

The VISTA program at FIRST strives to match an AmeriCorps VISTA members to our field structure in support of teams within underserved communities. The FIRST AmeriCorps VISTA mission is to create and expand the vision of FIRST by working in areas that are underserved: lower socio-economic communities, rural areas, and areas that have little or no support or resources to be able to easily access STEM initiatives. VISTAs work closely with all teams in their area as general support, with a strong focus in underserved populations.

This is the perfect position for a FIRST alumnus, recent college graduate, or retired Coach or Mentor.

Benefits of the position include: relocation assistance, a monthly living stipend, forbearance of student loans, an education or cash award at the end of service, health coverage, and life insurance.  Another benefit is the possibility of visiting FIRST Headquarters in New Hampshire and going to Championship in St. Louis! The biggest bonus is working with FIRST!

There are currently openings in Manchester, NH (HQ), Durham, NH, Philadelphia, PA; Chandler, AZ; Tempe, AZ; Flagstaff, AZ; Hartford, CT; Columbus/Dayton, OH; Lincoln, NE; Portland, OR; Kansas City, MO; Iowa City, IA

There are also additional opportunities opening soon!

To apply, please visit the AmeriCorps portal and search within the “Advanced Search” function on the right hand side of the screen, enter "FIRST"  and you can sort listings based on location where positions exist.

For more information you can contact any member of our VISTA Management Team:
Casey (FIRST HQ VISTA) at,
Rosy (VISTA Program Coordinator) at,
or Lindsey (FIRST VISTA Leader) at

Mentors/Coaches, don't forget to apply for the Air Force Leadership Experience!

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