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Pennsylvania FTC Team and Volunteer Emails




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2020-2021 Season

PA FTC LEAGUE MEET FINAL RESULTS - Plus upcoming JUDGING TRAINING (3/29/2021)

Hello Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

The FTC PA Meets series is now completed! We now have defined the number of teams eligible to compete in their respective League Tournaments by virtue of completing at least 2 Meets of the series. The League scores have been posted on the FIRST FTC and FTC PA websites. See links below. But first a summary of the results:

 Eastern League

Congratulations to the top three overall lead teams in the Eastern League

  1. 7244 OUT of the BOX Robotics – Downingtown
  2. 13669 Raiderbots – Coatesville
  3. 16468 Green Lemons – West Chester

Central League:

  • 18 of 20 Registered teams have qualified for Advancement to the Central Tournament.
  • 3 teams have played in all 6 Meets

Congratulations to the top three overall lead teams in the Central League:

  1. 16330 Javengers - Mechanicsburg
  2. 12564 Technion - Mechanicsburg
  3. 6964 Igutech - Schnecksville

 Western League:

  • 20 of 21 Registered teams have qualified for Advancement to the Western Tournament
  • 3 teams have played in all 6 Meets

Congratulations to the top three overall lead teams in the Central League

  1. 8393 The Giant Diencephalic BrainSTEM Robotics Team – Baden
  2. 8645 Robotic Doges – Hollsopple
  3. 12593 Yantrick - Bridgeville

 

Top 3 teams across PA based on the top ten (10) Matches are currently:

  1. 8393 The Giant Diencephalic BrainSTEM Robotics Team
  2. 7244 OUT of the BOX Robotics
  3. 13669 Raiderbots

 The 6 completed League Meets results are available in a detailed summary on our Website at:

 

We would love to see your robot in action! If you have match videos that you would like to share with our Pennsylvania FTC community, please submit it to us using the form at http://www.ftcpenn.org/teams/team-robot-video-submission for publication on our website. Remember to request a Referee Review of your matches of choice.

 

For those 62 Teams that have qualified to advance to your respective League Tournaments we look forward to seeing your team compete in the ongoing FIRST Tech Challenge Game ULTIMATE GOALsm . What we do ask is that each advancing team conform with us that you do plan on participating in the League Tournaments by this Wednesday, April 31st so that we may assure that we have the appropriate number of Judge Volunteers, resources and scheduling time to remotely support these events. Please see http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2020-2021-season for event details.

 

FOR ALL ADVANCING TEAMS please make all effort to attend the following very important session this Wednesday. The session will be recorded but we prefer and highly suggest that someone from the team attend live so that we may answer any questions. JUDGE VOLUNTEERS ARE ALSO WELCOME TO ATTEND

 ·       REMOTE JUDGING SESSION #3 - "Remote Judging via the Remote Scoring System" Wednesday March 31st at 7:30PM. This is a technical session on the logistics and scheduling and how the process will work within the Scoring System

https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/462008493

This session will walk you through the elements of the Scoring System involving the scheduling of teams for interviews as well as the associated conferencing tool that will be used for your teams to participate.

Preliminary Plans for both Teams and Volunteers: There will be two sets of judging interviews. The first is the presentation Judging Interview for each of the Tournaments scheduled for Saturday morning between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM. The second interview is the “Pit” or follow-up interview, to be held the same Saturday afternoon between 1:00 PM and 3:30PM.

Interview schedules will be published at least one week in advance for each Tournament now that we have determination of the teams that will be eligible AND again, have confirmed their participation. Interview times will be listed in the scoring system along with links to the web conferencing session for each interview.

DEANS LIST:

Continual Reminder – Dean’s List Interview weekend is May 1stand 2nd and the State Championship (Remote) will be Wednesday through Sunday May 19th – 23rd. As dictated in the Dean’s List Nomination Guide – US, the deadline to make nominations must be received by FIRST no later than April 15th at 11:59pm Eastern time. Please go to the following link for additional guidance and direction and to obtain a copy of the Nomination Guide.

FIRST Tech Challenge Dean's List | FIRST (firstinspires.org)

 As always, please let us know if you should have any questions or concerns and good luck in the coming weeks.

 CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF THE TEAMS THIS SEASON.

 All the best,

 Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett


Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics

FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org


PA FTC LEAGUE MEET #6 - Plus JUDGING Summary (3/22/2021)

Hello again Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

Meet #5 of 6 is now completed and we have a good perspective of the number of teams that will potentially be eligible for their respective League Tournament. The League scores have been posted on the FIRST FTC and FTC PA websites. See links below. One Meet to go kicking off this Wednesday the 24th.

A summary of the statistics:

Eastern League:

  • 17 of the 27 Registered teams participated in Meet #5
  • 21 teams have qualified for Advancement to the Eastern Tournament, 4 more than last reported week
  • The participation window of a 2 Meet min has closed. There are just 3 teams that need to participate this final Meet #6 to establish a 24 team League Tournament
  • 7 teams have played in all 5 Meets

 Central League:

  • 14 of 20 Registered teams participated in Meet #5
  • 15 teams have qualified for Advancement to the Central Tournament, 3 more than last week
  • There are just 3 teams that need to participate this final Meet #6 to establish an 18 team League Tournament
  • 4 teams have played in all 5 Meets

 Western League:

  • 17 of 21 Registered teams participated in Meet #5, Great turnout!
  • 17 teams have qualified for Advancement to the Central Tournament, 5 more than last week
  • 3 teams need to participate this final Meet #6 to establish a 20 team League Tournament
  • 3 teams have played in all 5 Meets

Please join us in rooting on the 9 teams across the state that need just one more Meet to round out our Tournaments. Very exciting for them and the rest of the contingent of qualified teams.

The 5 completed League Meets results are available in a nice, detailed summary on our Website at:

 

As always you may continue to submit your non mandatory and educational game play videos at http://www.ftcpenn.org/teams/team-robot-video-submission and remember to request a Referee Review of your matches of choice.

 

We look forward to seeing your team participate in Pennsylvania FTC League Meet #6 of the 2020-2021 FIRST Tech Challenge Game ULTIMATE GOALsm and see http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2020-2021-season for event details including the following UPCOMING events:

 

UPCOMING:

  •  OPENING CEREMONIES, Tuesday, Mar. 23rd, 7:30PM (Students and Coaches Invited). This is your opportunity to ask about FTC season updates from both a PA or International perspective.
  • DRIVERS MEETING, Friday, March 26th at 7:30PM (Students, Drivers and Coaches invited). ALL teams are encouraged to join regardless of the weeks you will be competing in Meet #4.
  • REMOTE JUDGING SESSION #3 - "Remote Judging via the Remote Scoring System" Wednesday March 31st at 7:30PM. This is a technical session on the logistics and scheduling and how the process will work within the Scoring System

 

JUDGING PLANS and VOLUNTEERING:

We have had a nice response to our call for Judge Volunteers last week and want to recognize and thank those who have stepped up. You are awesome! The Central Tournament is now well staffed but we still need to fill spots for the Eastern (April 17th) and Western League (April 24th) Tournaments. Basic criteria are that a Judge must be an adult aged 21 and over, ideally have familiarity with FTC or other FIRST programs and would be available to Judge a League other than the one their team is affiliated with to avoid any conflict of interest. As stated before, this is especially a great opportunity for coaches and mentors to get an inside view of the workings of the Judge process.

Preliminary Plans for both Teams and Volunteers: There will be two sets of judging interviews. The first is the presentation Judging Interview for each of the Tournaments scheduled for Saturday morning between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM. The second interview is the “Pit” or follow-up interview, to be held the same Saturday afternoon between 1:00 PM and 3:30PM.

Interview schedules will be published at least one week in advance for each Tournament and, for Central especially, following Meet #6 when we will have the final determination of the teams that will be eligible to compete.

Interview times will be listed in the scoring system along with links to the web conferencing session for each interview.

We have scheduled the "Remote Judging via the Remote Scoring System" workshop on Wed 3/31 at 7:30 PM to go over this in more detail and answer any questions teams have.

To Volunteer for Judging go to:

Volunteer | FIRST (firstinspires.org)

 If you already have a FIRST account you can use it. For those of you who do not please register.

 

DEANS LIST:

Reminder – Dean’s List Interview weekend is May 1stand 2nd and the State Championship (Remote) will be Wednesday through Sunday May 19th – 23rd. As dictated in the Dean’s List Nomination Guide – US, the deadline to make nominations must be received by FIRST no later than April 15th at 11:59pm Eastern time. Please go to the following link for additional guidance and direction and to obtain a copy of the Nomination Guide.

FIRST Tech Challenge Dean's List | FIRST (firstinspires.org)

 As always, please let us know if you should have any questions or concerns and good luck in the coming weeks.

 All the best,

Tom Zawislak, Dave Hackett and Bob Debes

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics

FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner

 

ph: (302) 383-9925

email: ftc@pennfirst.org

Website: www.FTCPenn.org



PA FTC LEAGUE MEET #5 - Plus CALL FOR JUDGE VOLUNTEERS (3/15/2021)

Hey there Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

Meet #4 of six is a done deal and the scores have been registered with FIRST FTC. It seems like just a week ago when we kicked off the Meets, but starting this Wednesday, we have only two left to go.

A summary of the stats:

Eastern League

 Central League:

  • 13 of 20 Registered teams participated in Meet #4
  • 15 teams have competed in a least one Meet
  • 13 teams have qualified for Advancement to the Central Tournament
  • 4 teams have played in all 4 Meets

 Western League: 

  • 14 of 21 Registered teams participated in Meet #4
  • 18 teams have competed in a least one Meet
  • 12 teams have qualified for Advancement to the Central Tournament
  • 3 teams have played in all 4 Meets

Remember, it takes participation in 2 of the 6 scheduled Meets to advance to a League Tournament, so we truly hope to see those teams that have not yet participated and those that have accomplished only one Meet to show and excel over the next two weeks.

The 4 completed League Meets results are available in a nice summary on our Website at:

 

Again, please continue to submit your non mandatory but awesome videos as well at http://www.ftcpenn.org/teams/team-robot-video-submission and remember to request a Referee Review of your matches of choice.

 

We look forward to seeing your team participate in Pennsylvania FTC League Meet #5 of the 2020-2021 FIRST Tech Challenge Game ULTIMATE GOALsm and see http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2020-2021-season for event details including the following UPCOMING events:

UPCOMING:

  •  OPENING CEREMONIES, Tuesday, Mar. 16th, 7:30PM (Students and Coaches Invited). This is your opportunity to ask about FTC season updates from both a PA or International perspective.
  •  DRIVERS MEETING, Friday, March 19th at 7:30PM (Students, Drivers and Coaches invited). ALL teams are encouraged to join regardless of the weeks you will be competing in Meet #4.
  • REMOTE JUDGING SESSION #3 - "Remote Judging via the Remote Scoring System" Wednesday March 31st at 7:30PM. This is a technical session on the logistics and scheduling and how the process will work within the Scoring System

REMOTE JUDGING SESSION #2 - "Judging Deeper Dive" recorded Video and Slide deck will be available soon for your review on our EVENT page. Please go to Wed Mar 10 on the calendar.

 

CALL FOR JUDGE VOLUNTEERS

Again, we have two training sessions to prepare teams for Judging which will be incorporated into the three League Tournaments. Note that Judging will occur for all competing teams on the Saturday of your respective League event. COACHES, MENTORS, PARENTS, ROBOT LOVERS: We would love for you to consider Judging at these events as well for the traditional Awards detailed in Game Manual 1. Basic criteria are that a Judge must be an adult aged 21 and over, ideally have familiarity with FTC or other FIRST programs and ideally would be willing to Judge a League other than the one their team is affiliated with to avoid any conflict of interest. Please do consider whether you have volunteered in the past or not. This is especially a great opportunity for coaches and mentors to get an inside view of the workings of the Judge process. Of course, there will be ample training in advance and all Judging sessions will be remote, so no need to travel. We will need a small team for Dean’s List interviews. To Volunteer for Judging go to:

Volunteer | FIRST (firstinspires.org)

 If you already have a FIRST account you can use it. For those of you who do not please register.

DEANS LIST:

Reminder – Dean’s List Interview weekend is May 1stand 2nd and the State Championship (Remote) will be Wednesday through Sunday May 19th – 23rd. As dictated in the Dean’s List Nomination Guide – US, the deadline to make nominations must be received by FIRST no later than April 15th at 11:59pm Eastern time. Please go to the following link for additional guidance and direction and to obtain a copy of the Nomination Guide.

FIRST Tech Challenge Dean's List | FIRST (firstinspires.org)

 As always, please let us know if you should have any questions or concerns and good luck in the coming weeks.

 All the best,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics

FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner

 

ph: (302) 383-9925

email: ftc@pennfirst.org

Website: www.FTCPenn.org


PA FTC LEAGUE MEET #4 - Plus CALL FOR JUDGE VOLUNTEERS (3/8/2021)

Howdy Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

Meet #3 is now in the books! Thirty-four (34) teams participated in this past Meet and from the looks of the scores and videos many are truly stepping up their game. It is great to see the forward progress, and we still have 3 Meets to go! Keep up the good and inspirational work.

Of the teams that have competed in the first 3 Meets fully 2/3s have competed in at least one of the Meets. Twenty-Seven (27) have earned advancement to their respective League tournaments by completing the PA two Meet minimum; 9 each to Eastern Central and Western Leagues. In addition, 17 teams have played in all 3 Meets so far. Excellent fortitude.

Keep up the exciting work teams. You all make PA FIRST Tech Challenge proud.

The 3 League Meets are now complete and results are available at:
Again, please continue to submit your non mandatory but awesome videos as well at http://www.ftcpenn.org/teams/team-robot-video-submission and remember to request a Referee Review of your matches of choice.

We look forward to seeing your team participate in Pennsylvania FTC League Meet #4 of the 2020-2021 FIRST Tech Challenge Game ULTIMATE GOALsm and see http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2020-2021-season for event details including the following UPCOMING events:

UPCOMING:

· OPENING CEREMONIES, Tuesday, Mar. 9th, 7:30PM (Students and Coaches Invited). This is your opportunity to ask about FTC season updates from both a PA or International perspective.
  • REMOTE JUDGING SESSION #2 - "Judging Deeper Dive" Wednesday, March 10th at 7:30PM. This will enhance your learnings from Session #1
  • DRIVERS MEETING, Friday, March 12th at 7:30PM (Students, Drivers and Coaches invited). ALL teams are encouraged to join regardless of the weeks you will be competing in Meet #4.
  • REMOTE JUDGING SESSION #3 - "Remote Judging via the Remote Scoring System" Wednesday March 31st at 7:30PM. This is a technical session on the logistics and scheduling and how the process will work within the Scoring System

Coaches and Students are invited to all sessions.

CALL FOR JUDGE VOLUNTEERS

As noted above we have two training sessions to prepare teams for Judging which will be incorporated into the three League Tournaments. FYI - Judging will occur for all competing teams on the Saturday of your respective League event. COACHES, MENTORS, PARENTS, ROBOT LOVERS: We would love for you to consider Judging at these events as well for the traditional Awards detailed in Game Manual 1. Basic criteria are that a Judge must be an adult aged 21 and over, ideally have familiarity with FTC or other FIRST programs and ideally would be willing to Judge a League other than the one their team is affiliated with to avoid any conflict of interest. Please do consider whether you have volunteered in the past or not. This is especially a great opportunity for coaches and mentors to get an inside view of the workings of the Judge process. Of course, there will be ample training in advance and all Judging sessions will be remote, so no need to travel. We will need a small team for Dean’s List interviews. To Volunteer for Judging go to:

https://www.firstinspires.org/ways-to-help/volunteer

If you already have a FIRST account you can use it. For those of you who do not please register.


DEANS LIST:

Reminder – Dean’s List Interview weekend is May 1stand 2nd and the State Championship (Remote) will be Wednesday through Sunday May 19th – 23rd. As dictated in the Dean’s List Nomination Guide – US, the deadline to make a submission will be the 15th of the month prior to the event where the student will be competing. Therefore, Dean’s List nominations must be received by FIRST no later than April 15th at 11:59pm Eastern time. Please go to the following link for additional guidance and direction and to obtain a copy of the Nomination Guide.

https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc/deans-list

As always, please let us know if you should have any questions or concerns.

Thank you and remember, the clock hops forward one hour this weekend, one hour less to get your Matches in 😊

All the best,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner


ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org


PA FTC LEAGUE MEET #3 - Plus Team and Volunteer Judge Training (3/1/2021)

Hello to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers, 

Happy Monday once again as we have now completed Meet #2 as of yesterday, another fun week for 28 FTC PA teams. Scores continue to be very competitive and riveting, especially after watching several of the videos that were submitted. Of the teams that have competed in the first 2 weeks there are already 19 teams that have earned advancement to their respective League tournaments by completing the PA two Meet minimum; 6 to Central and 8 each to Eastern and Western. Given the energy of these teams I am sure we will see many more matches from them over the next 4 Meets. 

We continue to be impressed regarding fair play and scoring as well expecting nothing less from our honored teams. Keep up the good work and Thank You for making our PA region proud. 

The 3 League Meets are now complete and results are available at:

Again, please continue to submit your non mandatory but awesome videos as well at http://www.ftcpenn.org/teams/team-robot-video-submission and remember to request a Referee Review of your matches of choice. 

We look forward to seeing your team participate in Pennsylvania FTC League Meet #3 of the 2020-2021 FIRST Tech Challenge Game ULTIMATE GOALsm as presented By Qualcomm. Please see http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2020-2021-season for event details including the following UPCOMING events: 

UPCOMING:

  • OPENING CEREMONIES, Tuesday, Mar. 2nd, 7:30PM (Students and Coaches Invited)
  • DRIVERS MEETING, Friday, February 5th at 7:30PM (Students, Drivers and Coaches invited). ALL teams are encouraged to join regardless of the weeks you will be competing.
  • REMOTE JUDGING SESSION #2 - "Judging Deeper Dive" Wednesday, March 10th at 7:30PM. This will enhance your learnings from Session #1
  • REMOTE JUDGING SESSION #3 - "Remote Judging via the Remote Scoring System" Wednesday March 31st at 7:30PM. This is a technical session on the logistics and scheduling and how the process will work within the Scoring System

Coaches and Students are invited to all sessions.

Team registration for the Leagues did officially close yesterday, February 28th however if you missed this window and may still want to register please write to us and let us know your plans as we would consider accommodating your team.

ftc.events@pennfirst.org and/or ftc@pennfirst.org 

CALL FOR JUDGE VOLUNTEERS

As noted above we have two training session to prepare teams for Judging which will be incorporated into the three League Tournaments. FYI - Judging will occur for all competing teams on the Saturday of your respective League event. We would love for you to consider Judging at these events as well for the traditional Awards detailed in Game Manual 1. Basic criteria are that a Judge must be an adult aged 21 and over, ideally have familiarity with FTC or other FIRST programs and ideally would be willing to Judge a League other than the one their team is affiliated with to avoid any conflict of interest. Please do consider whether you have volunteered in the past or not. This is especially a great opportunity for coaches and mentors to get an inside view of the workings of the Judge process. Of course, there will be ample training in advance and all Judging sessions will be remote, so no need to travel. We will need a small team for Dean’s List interviews as well and on that subject. 

DEANS LIST:

Reminder – Dean’s List Interview weekend is May 1stand 2nd and the State Championship (Remote) will be Wednesday through Sunday May 19th – 23rd. As dictated in the Dean’s List Nomination Guide – US, the deadline to make a submission will be the 15th of the month prior to the event where the student will be competing. Therefore, Dean’s List nominations must be received by FIRST no later than April 15th at 11:59pm Eastern time. Please go to the following link for additional guidance and direction and to obtain a copy of the Nomination Guide.

FIRST Tech Challenge Dean's List | FIRST (firstinspires.org)

As always, please let us know if you should have any questions or concerns. 

Thank you and we think and hope that Spring is right around the corner. (ignore the Groundhog please). 

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett


PA FTC LEAGUE MEET #2 - THIS WEEK! Plus Dean's List Info (2/22/2021)

Hello to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

Happy Monday to all. I hope and trust that you are all staying safe, smart and strong.

Well, we have now completed Meet #1, a very productive and fun week for 25 of our PA teams. It looks like the scores have been very competitive and overall amazing. What a great early learning and competitive effort. What we are most pleased about is the fair play and scoring by our teams. Based on the videos we have reviewed as well as multiple requests for Referee review and teams’ proactive requests to adjust scores for missed penalties post-score submission we are proud of the outright honesty and integrity of the participating teams. Keep up the good work and Thank You keep making our PA region proud.

 Results for the 3 League Meets are now posted for your reference:
For those that have not yet done so we would love to see your robot in action! If you have a video you would like to share with our Pennsylvania FTC community, please submit it to us using the form at http://www.ftcpenn.org/teams/team-robot-video-submission for publication on our website. Also remember to request a Referee Review of your matches of choice. Simply click the YES radio button on the Video Submission webpage.
 
We look forward to seeing your team participate in Pennsylvania FTC League Meet #2 of the 2020-2021 FIRST Tech Challenge Game ULTIMATE GOALsm as presented By Qualcomm. Please see http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2020-2021-season for event details.

For those teams that may be using the Remote Scoring System for the first time or have missed some of Dave Hackett’s tutorials during Opening Ceremonies there are YouTube video tutorials to view in this regard. The disclaimer is that they were produced by FIRST HQ October of 2020 so the views may not be entirely up to date, but should still be able to provide guidance in the step-by-step score submission process.


The number of teams participating in the Leagues has grown in the past week! Please reference the last column named LEAGUE (REGISTERED) of the 2020-2021 Teams listing on our webpage to view where League teams are assigned for updated information. PA Teams still have another 6 days, until February 28th, to register and join in. Please let your FTC friends know. The Event Registration Fee of $175 is for the seasons League Meet and Tournament participation and must be received before the team is permitted to participate in any League Event. Registered Team Link:


This week we have two sessions scheduled for Meet #2:
  • OPENING CEREMONIES, Tuesday, Feb. 23rd, 7:30PM (Students and Coaches Invited)
  • DRIVERS MEETING, Friday, February 26th at 7:30PM (Students, Drivers and Coaches invited).

For the Drivers Meeting ALL teams are encouraged to join regardless of the weeks you will be competing.

DEANS LIST: As communicated last week PA Dean’s List Interview weekend is May 1stand 2nd and the State Championship (Remote) will be Wednesday through Sunday May 19th – 23rd. As dictated in the Dean’s List Nomination Guide – US, the deadline to make a submission will be the 15th of the month prior to the event where the student will be competing. Therefore, Dean’s List nominations must be received by FIRST no later than April 15th at 11:59pm Eastern time. Please go to the following link for additional guidance and direction and to obtain a copy of the Nomination Guide.


As always, please let us know if you should have any questions or concerns.

Thank you and please stay warm, dry and safe. Spring is coming!

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics 
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

PA FTC LEAGUE MEET #1 - THIS WEEK! - Info (2/14/2021)

Hello to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

Good icy afternoon. We hope you are all safe and sticking close to home as necessary. Although we miss our live events as much as you do this season it is these days, weeks and this winter month in particular that leaves us to appreciate not having to travel cross-state or regionally. Next Year!!

First of all, congratulations to our teams that participated in the 5 Scrimmages held the past 2 months. We are confident from the videos and scores that this was an amazing learning for our teams. A summary of results, including the top 3 teams in each event as well as links to detail results and videos, can be found on the HOMEpage of our website:



This week we are embarking on LEAGUE MEET #1 to be held Wednesday February 17th through Sunday February 21st. This is the first of six (6) consecutive weeks of Meet competitions for the 2020-2021 FIRST Tech Challenge Game ULTIMATE GOALsm as presented By Qualcomm.

To summarize, this experience means that the “official” matches your team plays in these Meets now count towards ADVANCEMENT to League Tournaments and potentially the State Championship. As stated, there are 6 League Meets. Teams must compete in at least 2 League Meets in their respective, assigned League region (East, Central or West) to be eligible to compete in their League Tournament, however they may compete in as many of the 6 League Meets as they wish. Each team will compete in 6 Matches per Meet, so the more Meets you participate in the more Matches you get to improve your play with opportunities to also improve your average scores leading to advancement. A summary of the scoring and Ranking order is available on our website, however please be sure to reference Game Manual Part 1.

Remote Events, sections 4 and 5 for additional details:



Please also note the League Map associated with this page as it was finalized as of yesterday to assure that we have an approximate equal number of teams in each of the three Leagues. Teams that were affected by the relocation of their League location were directly notified yesterday. Please reference the last column named LEAGUE (REGISTERED) of the 2020-2021 Teams listing on our webpage to view where League teams are assigned.


Commensurate with this League Meet start up week we will have two special sessions:
  • Opening Ceremonies and DRIVERS MEETING, Tuesday, Feb. 16th, 7:30PM (Students, Drivers, and Coaches Invited)
  • Robot and Field Inspection Q&A #3 will be held Wednesday, February 17th at 7:30PM (Students and Coaches invited)
We look forward to having a more formalized Opening to the week and strongly advise all teams that plan on competing in the Meet Series to join the DRIVERS MEETING led by Noah Dillard. This will be our first of the season and promises to be very informative, bring you up to speed on game play and observations by Referees to-date this season. ALL teams are encouraged to join regardless of the weeks you will be competing. There will be additional Drivers meetings each Meet week but we anticipate holding them on Friday evenings to accommodate the schedules of our Referees.

Registration applications for Remote League Events remains open and closes on February 28, 2021, so it is not too late to participate. The Event Registration Fee of $175 is for the seasons League Meet and Tournament participation and must be received before the team is permitted to participate in any League Event.


We held our first FTC Remote Judging Information Session #1 - "Judging 101" last Wednesday, February 10th hosted by Lena Dillard and had fantastic participation. There will be additional sessions more directed to the logistics’ of the Judging Process held in March. If you missed this session you may view the video and slide presentation by clicking the links associated with this scheduled meeting on the EVENTS page:


Finally, please be sure to reference our EVENT Schedule to mark your calendars with the dates for the League Tournaments in April as well as the Dean’s List Interview weekend May 1st/2nd and State Championships in Wed-Sun, May 19th - 23rd.

Please let us know if you should have any questions or concerns.

Thank you and please stay warm, dry and safe.

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org


PA FTC UPCOMING plus SEASON UPDATES (2/8/2021)

Hello to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

Good morning on yet again a snowy day. For football fans in general it will be a good one even though PA is not represented by the Eagles or Steelers. Maybe next year?

We have news for you with regards to several schedule changes and additions to our Pennsylvania FTC Season starting this week. We will list them chronologically but remind you to go to the EVENT page for detailed information. 


UPCOMING:
  • This is the final day of SCRIMMAGE WEEK #5. Please do check out your results and post/view videos starting tomorrow on the EVENT page above and video link below.
  • Remote Judging Information Session #1, "Judging 101" will be held this Wednesday February 10th at 7:30 PM. This is a Virtual Workshop and Students and Coaches/Mentors are invited. As stated in my last email, future Meetings will detail the logistical aspects of Remote Judging including scheduling and provision of the media and technology necessary to accomplish these sessions. 
  • Remote League Meet Week #1 commences on Wednesday February 17 – 21st. (All 3 Leagues). Commensurate with this startup week we will have two special sessions:
    • Opening Ceremonies and DRIVERS MEETING, Tuesday, Feb. 16th, 7:30PM (Students, Drivers, and Coaches Invited)
    • Robot and Field Inspection Q&A #3 will be held Wednesday, February 17th at 7:30PM (Students and Coaches invited)
We look forward to having a more formalized Opening to the week and strongly advise all teams that plan on competing in the Meet Series of (now) 6 weeks to join the DRIVERS MEETING led by Noah Dillard. This will be our first of the season and promises to be very informative, bring you up to speed on game play and observations by Referees to-date this season. ALL teams are encouraged to join regardless of the weeks you will be competing. There will be additional Drivers meetings each Meet week but we anticipate holding them on Friday evenings to accommodate the schedules of our Referees.

SCHEDULE CHANGES:
  • As mentioned above we have added a Sixth (6th) Meet to our Calendar. This will be held the week of March 24th through 28th to allow teams more opportunity and flexibility to compete. Please be reminded that Teams must compete in at least 2 of their League Meets to be eligible to compete in their League Tournament, however they may compete in all 6 League Meets if they wish. Each team will compete in 6 Matches per Meet. We will be extending our Meet duration from Wednesday through Sunday11:59 PM.
  • We have shuffled the dates for the LEAGUE TOURNAMENTS (with Judging) to be held in April to avoid any teams having to compete on Easter weekend (April 2 – 4th). We essentially moved the Western League Tournament to later in the month. The schedule is now:
    1. April 7th – 11th - Central PA League Tournament
    2. April 14th – 18th - Eastern PA League Tournament
    3. April 21st – 25th – Western PA League Tournament
  • Also, due to a conflict with the State AP exam weeks in May we have moved the FTC State Championship (with Remote Judging) to Wed-Sun, May 19th-23rd. As communicated last week, this will now be an all-Remote competition this season.
  • Lastly, we are planning to conduct Dean’s List Interviews in one weekend, Saturday and Sunday May 1st and 2nd regardless of when (or if) your team is competing this season. There is solid precedence for special interview dates within the FTC community and it makes sense to us as well. This will allow us to announce the Semi-Finalists at our State Championship as has been traditionally practiced. To Nominate your students go to:


In order to compete in the all-Remote Meets and League Tournaments this season you do need to register your team with Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge. Registration applications for Remote League Events closes on February 28, 2021. The Event Registration Fee of $125 is for the seasons Meet and League participation and must be received before the team is permitted to participate in any League Event.



Please let us know if you should have any questions or concerns.

Thank you and please stay warm, dry and safe. Happy Super Bowl Day.

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org



PA FTC Scrimmage Week #5 this week PLUS League Updates (2/1/2021)

Hello to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

Good morning on this snowy, stormy wintery start to the week. It is weather conditions like this that make us happy that we are holding remote events…but only a little bit.

This email is to remind you that SCRIMMAGE WEEK #5, our final one, will be held starting this Wednesday February 3rd through Sunday the 7th with an Introduction and Opening Ceremonies tomorrow, Tuesday the 2nd. As in the past weeks, each Scrimmage is kicked off Tuesday evening to address any questions you may have prior to jumping into the Scrimmage. Coaches and Students are invited whether you are competing or not.

So far in PA we have held 4 of 5 Scrimmages and have had a total of 17 teams compete. Eight teams have participated in more than 1 Scrimmage taking advantage of the opportunity to play and practice. Based on results we know the teams have greatly benefited from these sessions so we hope that many more of you will be able to participate this week as well. Remember, not competing in Scrimmages will in no way prevent any team from competing in the League Meets. 

The League Meet series of 5 weeks starts on February 17th. Please be reminded that Teams must compete in at least 2 of their League Meets to be eligible to compete in their League Tournament, however they may compete in all 5 League Meets if they wish. Each team will compete in 6 Matches per Meet. We will be extending our Meet duration from Wednesday through Sunday’s noon time.

As with the past Scrimmages, but not required, we request that you submit videos of your robot and team in action to share your accomplishments with other teams. You may also request that your scoring, game play and strategies be reviewed by our Head Referees for a rare opportunity to receive essential feedback. Video submission and view link follows:


ALL FIRST registered teams in PA are already signed up for the Scrimmages so all you need to do is join in. Scrimmages and all informational sessions and meetings are free and open to all teams. For Scrimmage #5 please go to our EVENTS 2020-2021 page for links to Remote Scrimmage #5, (Remote Scoring System) as well as RingCentral Opening Ceremonies link. 


The window for Registration applications for Remote League Events (Meets and advancement to the Tournaments) is now open and closes on February 28, 2021. The Event Registration Fee must be received before the team is permitted to participate in any League Meets.



UPCOMING
  • We have scheduled Remote Judging Information Session #1 for Wednesday, February 10th. View this session as Judging 101. Future Meetings will detail the logistical aspects of Remote Judging including scheduling and provision of the media and technology necessary to accomplish these sessions. Remember, there is no Judging element to the Meets. Judging applies only to the League Tournaments and the State Championship.
  • Robot and Field Inspection Q&A #3 remains scheduled for Wednesday Feb 17th. Please join these sessions regardless of your readiness as they will be highly informational preparing your team for the future Meets and League Tournaments.
LEAGUE STATUS:
  • We have reduced the PA League districting breakout from 4 regions to 3 (East, Central, West) given the low probability that a significant number of Philadelphia City teams will not be prepared to compete given virtual learning circumstances and after school meeting restrictions. Any teams from Philly that can compete will be included in the EAST League District instead.
  • We have also made the decision to hold our State Championship as a Remote Event only. We consider this a prudent decision given the state of continued COVID-19 issues and restrictions in the region. We anticipate that the State Championship will be held the first week of May, 5th through then 9th. More details forthcoming.

And as always, please be sure to reference the HOME page for season updates and associated, important LINKS


Please let us know if you should have any questions or concerns.

Thank you and please stay warm, dry and safe.

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org


Scrimmage Week #4 this week - PA FTC Ramping up the energy (1/17/2021)

Hello again to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

This email is to remind you all that SCRIMMAGE WEEK #4 will be held this week starting on Wednesday January 20th through Sunday the 24th with an Introduction and Opening Ceremonies on Tuesday the 19th. So far in PA we have held 3 of 5 Scrimmages and have had a total of 13 teams compete. Three teams have participated in more than 1 Scrimmage taking advantage of the opportunity to play and practice. Remember, your team has been able to participate in as many scrimmages as you would like however there is only one more scheduled now beyond this week, February 3rd - 7th. 

Of course, not competing in Scrimmages will in no way prevent any team from competing in the League Meets, so no worry there. Scrimmages are informal events (they do not count towards any advancement) but you will still be able to track your performance in comparison to other teams as we are publishing the results. As in the past weeks, each Scrimmage week has been kicked off by a Tuesday evening Introduction and Opening Ceremony to address any questions you may have prior to jumping into the Scrimmage. Coaches and Students are invited whether you are competing or not.

Please be reminded that ALL FIRST registered teams in PA are already signed up for the scrimmages so all you need to do is join in. Please go to our EVENTS 2020-2021 page for links to Remote Scrimmage #4, (Remote Scoring System) as well as RingCentral Opening Ceremonies link. Link follows:


Robot and Field Inspection Q&A #3 is scheduled for Wednesday Feb 17th. In addition, we will be scheduling Remote Judging Practice Sessions in the near future between now and the start of the formal League Meets that commence on February 17th.

Please note that our planning team will be meeting in the near future regarding the PA League districting breakout given the number of teams that have registered for and anticipate will be eligible for PA Remote League. We may have to redefine the Leagues based on the criteria. We will be sure to inform the teams if any changes.

As has been communicated, there is no charge for team participation in our scheduled Kickoffs, Coaches Calls, Demos, Workshops or Scrimmages, however we do remind you that the window for Registration applications for Remote League Events is now open and will close on February 28, 2021. The Event Registration Fee must be received before the team is permitted to participate in League Meets.



And as always, please be sure to reference the HOME page for season updates and associated, important LINKS


Please let us know if you should have any questions or concerns.

Thank you and we hope to see you soon.

All the BEST!


Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org


Penn FTC - Robot and Field Inspection & MUCH MORE Info (1/11/2021)

Hello to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

A quick note to remind you that this Wednesday, January 13th we will hold a Robot and Field Inspection Q&A #2 (coaches and students invited) at 7:30PM. Please be sure to attend as we will share information that may be valuable to your team especially given preparation for the upcoming competition season.

SCRIMMAGE WEEK #3 was held last week with 6 teams completing their 6 matches. A link to the results follows below. So far in PA through 3 of 5 Scrimmages we have had 13 teams participate in a total of 18 team results. Three teams have participated in more than 1 Scrimmage taking advantage of the opportunity to play and practice. Remember, you can participate in as many scrimmages as you would like. There are two more Scrimmage Weeks scheduled. Hopefully you will be able and ready to participate:
  • Jan 20-24th, 2021 (Wed-Sun)
  • Feb 3-7th, 2021 (Wed-Sun)

Scrimmage #3 Results:


Besides the Robot and Field Inspection Q&A #2 referenced for this week we have #3 scheduled for Wednesday Feb 17th. In addition, we will be scheduling Remote Judging Practice Sessions in the near future between now and the start of the formal League Meets that commence on February 17th.

Please note that our planning team will be meeting in the near future regarding the PA League districting breakout given the number of teams that have registered for and anticipate will be eligible for PA Remote League. We may have to redefine the Leagues based on the criteria. We will be sure to inform the teams if any changes.

As has been communicated, there is no charge for team participation in our scheduled Kickoffs, Coaches Calls, Demos, Workshops or Scrimmages, however we do remind you that the window for Registration applications for Remote League Events is now open and will close on February 28, 2021. The Event Registration Fee must be received before the team is permitted to participate in League Meets.



And as always, please be sure to reference the HOME page for season updates and associated, important LINKS


Please let us know if you should have any questions or concerns.

Thank you and we hope your New Year brings nothing but POSITIVE changes.

All the BEST!

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org


Scrimmage Week #3, PA FTC - Let 2021 Begin! (1/4/2021)

Hello to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

Happy New Year and boy do we look forward to a better year in 2021. We all hope that you had Safe and HEALTHY Holidays as well!

This email is to remind you all that SCRIMMAGE WEEK #3 will be held this week starting on Wednesday January 6th through Sunday the 10th with an Introduction and Opening Ceremonies on Tuesday the 5th. In the first and second scrimmages held last month we had 7 and 6 teams compete, respectively. The results of Scrimmage #1 and #2 are linked into the “ftc-events/2020-2021 Season” page noted below.

For this new year your team will be able to compete in an “at home” Remote setting for the third of 5 scrimmages this season. These are informal events (they do not count towards any formal advancement) but you will still be able to track your performance in comparison to other teams as we are publishing the results. Each Scrimmage week has been kicked off by a Tuesday evening Introduction and Opening Ceremony to provide the look and feel for the teams that choose to compete (and even those that do not) to address any questions you may have prior to jumping into the Scrimmage. Coaches and Students are invited!

Please be reminded that ALL FIRST registered teams in PA are already signed up for the scrimmages so all you need to do is join in. Please go to our EVENTS 2020-2021 page for links to Remote Scrimmage #3, (Remote Scoring System) as well as RingCentral Opening Ceremonies link. Link follows:


As an added element of fun we welcome teams to provide a link to videos of their choice to proudly share your accomplishments with others. For even more fun you may add a description or make note of special interest in the submission form. We also now offer an option to request a Referee Review of your video should you want feedback with regards to the score and scoring. What a nice opportunity to learn without penalties! Please go the following links to submit a video and check out the accomplishments of others.



Next Wednesday, January 13th we will hold a Robot and Field Inspection Q&A #2 (coaches and students invited) at 7:30PM. Please be sure to attend as we will share information that may be valuable to your team especially given preparation for the upcoming competition season.

As communicated, there is no charge for team participation in our scheduled Kickoffs, Coaches Calls, Demos, Workshops or Scrimmages, however we do remind you that the window for Registration applications for Remote League Events is now open and will close on February 28, 2021. The Event Registration Fee must be received before the team is permitted to participate in League Meets that commence on February 17th 


And as always, please be sure to reference the HOME page for season updates and associated, important LINKS


Please let us know if you should have any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your attention and we very much look forward to “seeing” you over the next weeks at one of our upcoming events.

Happy New Year!

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics 
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org



Scrimmage Week #2, PA FIRST Tech Challenge - Let the good times roll! (12/13/2020)

Hello once again to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

We all wish you Happy, Safe and HEALTHY Holidays!
This email is to remind you all that SCRIMMAGE WEEK #2 will be held this week starting on Wednesday the 16th through Sunday the 20th with an introduction and Opening Ceremonies on Tuesday the 15th

In the first scrimmages held nearly two weeks ago we had 7 teams compete. The results of Scrimmage #1 are linked into the “ftc-events/2020-2021 Season” page noted below.

So once again your team will be able to compete in an “at home” Remote setting for the second of 5 scrimmages this season. These are informal events (they do not count towards any formal advancement) but you will still be able to track your performance in comparison to other teams as we are publishing the results. Each Scrimmage week will be kicked off by a Tuesday evening Introduction and Opening Ceremony to provide the look and feel for the teams that choose to compete (and even those that do not) to address any questions you may have prior to jumping into the Scrimmage. Coaches and Students are invited!

Please be reminded that ALL FIRST registered teams in PA are already signed up for the scrimmages so all you need to do is join in. Please go to our EVENTS 2020-2021 page for links to Remote Scrimmage #2, (Remote Scoring System) as well as RingCentral Opening Ceremonies link. Link follows:


As an added element of fun we welcome teams to provide a link to videos of their choice to proudly share your accomplishments with others. For even more fun you may add a description or make note of special interest in the submission form. We also now offer an option to request a Referee Review of your video should you want feedback with regards to the score and scoring. What a nice opportunity to learn without penalties! Please go to the following links to submit a video and check out the accomplishments of others.



The 5 sessions of the Blocks Programming Webinars was conducted last Sunday the 6th however each session was recorded so if you were not able to join live you can still access this valuable information. Thank you to Jim Rumbaugh, lead FTC Inspector and FTA for PA, for his contribution to these webinars. If you are interested in learning more from Jim he has provided his contact information in the webinar content as well. 

As communicated, there is no charge for team participation in our scheduled Kickoffs, Coaches Calls, Demos, Workshops or Scrimmages, however we do remind you that the window for Registration applications for Remote League Events is now open and will close on February 28, 2021. The Event Registration Fee must be received before the team is permitted to participate in League Meets that commence on February 17th 


And as always, please be sure to reference the HOME page for season updates and associated, important LINKS


Please let us know if you should have any questions or concerns.
Thank you for your attention and we very much look forward to “seeing” you over the next weeks at one of our upcoming events.

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org


This Week in PA FIRST Tech Challenge - EXCITING TIMES! (11/30/2020)

Hello once again to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

We all wish you continued Happy Holidays and that you had a great Thanksgiving, fun with all of the trimmings.  

This email is to remind you all that this is the first of our SCRIMMAGE WEEKs starting on Wednesday the 3rd through Sunday the 6th your team will be able to compete in an “at home” Remote setting for the first time this year. These are informal events (they do not count towards any formal advancement) but you will still be able to track your performance in comparison to other teams as we will track and publish results. We will also be holding an Opening Ceremony tomorrow, Tuesday the 2nd to provide the look and feel for the teams that choose to compete and to address any questions you may have prior to jumping into the Scrimmage.

Please be reminded that ALL FIRST registered teams in PA are already signed up for the scrimmages. Please go to our EVENTS 2020-2021 page for links to Remote Scrimmage #1, (Remote Scoring System) as well as Ring Central Opening Ceremonies link. 

Also, on Wednesday evening, December 3rd we are holding a Robot and Field Inspection Q&A #1 and Coaches as well as Students are invited! Link follows:


Going forward in December we will have another Scrimmage week, Dec 16-20th as well as the last BLOCKS Programming workshops. The link for these are the same as above.

As stated in our last email blast, and considering the spread of Covid-19 the assumption is that we and our FTC teams will need to continue to be vigilant about public health and safety throughout the season. Please again be sure to Please reference the HOME page for season updates and associated, important LINKS.


As always, please let us know if you should have any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your attention and we very much look forward to seeing you tomorrow or at one of our upcoming events.

Warmest Regards,
Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics 
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org


Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge - Remote Event Workshop Tomorrow and MORE! (11/23/2020)

Hello once again to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

Hi all and Happy Holidays! We hope that you are able to have a wonderful but safe, secure and healthy Thanksgiving weekend.  

This email is a quick follow up to the season updates sent earlier this month. We would like to remind you that tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 24th at 7:30PM we will be hosting a Remote Event Workshop (FTC Live Cloud Scoring System). This is open to all teams as a Ring Central Virtual Workshop so no advance registration is necessary. Please attend if you can.

Going forward in December we will start the Remote Scrimmage Schedule as well as continued BLOCKS Programming workshops. Also note that there will be Robot and Field Inspection Q&A #1 (coaches and students invited) on Wednesday, December 2nd.


Remote League Registration: Event Registration for our Remote League Events is now open! There is a single Event Registration Fee for participation in the Remote League events. This is set at $175 per team. This includes competing in up to 5 Meets (or the number of Meets remaining after the Event Registration Fee is received), and for eligible teams (teams who compete in at least two Meets), the League Tournament. This fee is per team and it is separate from team registration fees paid to FIRST.


As stated in our last email blast, and considering the spread of Covid-19 the assumption is that we and our FTC teams will need to continue to be vigilant about public health and safety throughout the season. Please again be sure to Please reference the HOME page for season updates and associated, important LINKS.


As always, please let us know if you should have any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your attention and we very much look forward to seeing you tomorrow or at one of our upcoming events.

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org


Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge - IMPORTANT SEASON UPDATES Nov. 2020 (11/15/2020)

Hello to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

We hope you are all well and staying safe as we unfortunately experience more spikes in the Covid-19 battle.  These are tough times to meet and move forward with the program but what we do know is that FIRST teams, especially in PA are strong, thoughtful and resilient. We know that the ULTIMATE GOAL challenge will go forward and it is this email that will bring you up to speed on our Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics FTC Program. 
 
In the past 2 weeks we have made significant changes to the season layout and EVENT CALENDAR. Some of you may have already noticed these changes on our website. These updates are based on the assumption that we and our FTC teams will need to continue to be vigilant about public health and safety throughout the season as well as the acceptance that the majority of the teams prefer to compete remotely “at home” for the foreseeable future. We additionally have added very cool enhancements for teams to compete in our remote season as well. Please reference the HOME page for these changes and associated, important LINKS.



To summarize:
1.     2020-2021 Season Overview: Based on the current number of teams that have registered to date, there are now 4 leagues instead of 5. This has impacted only a few teams with regards to what League they were originally in. To see which League your team is in, see the 2020-2021 Teams page. Note that this may be revised again in January.

2.     2020-2021 Season Event Calendar: The 2020-2021 Season Event Calendar has been updated with our official Remote Scrimmages and Remote League Events. We have increased the number of Scrimmages and Meets as well as expanded the window for holding the matches for these weeks. 

3.     Remote Scrimmages: There are now 5 Remote Scrimmages - roughly every other week starting in December through early February. Registration for these scrimmages through our website is not necessary! All Pennsylvania FTC Teams who have paid their 2020-2021 season FIRST team registration fee AND who have two YPP screened coaches have been automatically registered for all 5 scrimmages.

4.     Remote League Events: The Pennsylvania FTC Remote League events consist of 5 League Meets and 1 League Tournament. The League Meets start in mid-February and are scheduled for 5 consecutive weeks.

5.     Remote League Registration: Event Registration for our Remote League Events is now open! There is a single Event Registration Fee for participation in the Remote League events. This is set at $175 per team. This includes competing in up to 5 Meets (or the number of Meets remaining after the Event Registration Fee is received), and for eligible teams (teams who compete in at least two Meets), the League Tournament. This fee is per team and it is separate from team registration fees paid to FIRST. http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

6.     Team Robot Videos: Teams - share videos of your robot in action! This can be a video highlighting a cool feature of your robot or a video of one of your complete match plays.

7.     Teams Willing to Share Competition Field resources: As we do not anticipate physically holding PA FIRST “official” League events at this time we do know that there are teams willing and able to share their resources and safely host other teams in their League. As such, here is a new channel #teams-sharing-fields in the Penn FTC Coaches and Mentors Slack Workspace for you let other coaches know your field is available!

8.     Slack Workspace for Coaches and Mentors: Again this season we are using Slack as a messaging platform for our Pennsylvania FTC coaches and mentors. If you are a coach or mentor and do not have access to the Penn FTC Coaches and Mentors Slack Workspace, 

Again, please go to the HOME page for more information and to access the appropriate links to get you and your team prepared for this unique, but fun season. http://www.ftcpenn.org/home

As stated in the second paragraph there are significant changes to the EVENT CALENDAR. In addition to the continuing BLOCKS WEBINARS this month (Sunday evenings at 7:00PM with recordings available) we have also added Remote Event Workshop (FTC Live Cloud Scoring System) on Tuesday, November 24th at 7:30PM. Going forward in December we then start the Remote Scrimmage Schedule. Also note that there will be Robot and Field Inspection Q&A #1 (coaches and students invited) on Wednesday, December 2nd.


As always, please let us know if you should have any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your attention and we very much look forward to seeing you remote and virtually!

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org


Pennsylvania FTC - Upcoming BLOCKS PROGRAMMING and other Workshops (10/28/2020)

Hello to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

I hope your team season planning for ULTIMATE GOAL is going well and you are able to work with your teams this fall. We continue to be excited about this season's game challenge, but especially by the resilience of our coaches, mentors and students to safely and responsibly overcome obstacles given the Coronavirus.

This eblast is to remind you of upcoming Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics virtual events in November and December as well as inquire about an important subject going forward.

First, starting this Sunday, November 1st the first of a 5 part series of BLOCKS PROGRAMMING WEBINARS will commence. This is open to all teams and presents the basics of BLOCKS programming for FTC teams. It is intended for rookie teams, teams with limited programming resources, or team members who want to learn about robot programming. We will also present tips for preparing for competition, information about the new season and game, and other new information that becomes available throughout the fall.

The sessions are led by Jim Rumbaugh, Lead FTA for Pennsylvania.

The 5 sessions are held on Sunday evenings at 7:00PM, hopefully a good, undistracted time for the team to participate. You need only register once for all 5 sessions as well. Come one, come all!

Please go to the following link for the scheduled dates spread between November and December, the topic of each session and to register.

http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2020-2021-season


Second, some of our teams may be attending FIRST HQ, FTC Remote Team Webinars this week. Hopefully they are of great use to you in your preparation. Whether you are attending these or not please be aware that PA FIRST Robotics are holding a REMOTE EVENT WORKSHOP (Remote Hub and FTC Live Cloud Scoring System) on Thursday, November 19th at 7:30PM. This will be more focused with a Pennsylvania program perspective to better prepare you for the Meets and League tournaments we will be holding next spring. We will announce the media format for this session soon.

Third, we are planning Robot and Field Inspection Q&A #1 (coaches and students invited) on December 1st. This will be held with the goal of preparing our teams to understand and follow the Self-Inspection if your robot given the fact the Meets will be held as remote events next spring.

Lastly, we are asking all of our PA team’s an important question and would appreciate your feedback to help us in our season planning. Specific to the 4 Meet weekends which will start Feb 19-21, 2021, if we were to provide a central location within each of your assigned League regions (as is originally planned) would you

A. Play your Meet matches remotely ‘At home” alone and ONLY at your team location?

B. Play your Meets at a PA First Robotics league identified centric location (hosted by another FTC team) out of necessity especially if your team does not have the resources to conduct and score “at home” matches.

C. Be open to both options.

Please let us know and email to Tom Zawislak at ftc@pennfirst.org . Please be sure to identify yourself as the respondent, provide your team name and number as well as your response (A, B or C) and any additional comments.


Thank you for your attention and we hope to “see” you at the Virtual events identified above.

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner


ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC - COACHES and GAME Q&A Calls THIS WEEK (10/12/2020)

Hello to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

I hope your team season planning is going well and you are somehow able to work with your teams in this early part of the season. We are very excited over the potential of this season game challenge, ULTIMATE GOAL (Presented By Qualcomm)!

This eblast is to inform you that we have one upcoming COACHES CALL (#3) this week, Wednesday, October 14th and 7:30PM. Coaches and mentors only. 

Additionally, we will be conducting a GAME Q&A with PA Head Refs (#2) on Thursday, October 15th at 7:30PM as well. In this meeting coaches, mentors and students are invited. 

We are using RingCentral for both meetings. The COACHES CALL is intended to answer questions about our Remote season implementation, logistics and scheduling. Even if you have attended one of the calls in September you are invited to chime in again.

The GAME Q&A with PA Head Referees is game rule specific. Remember that the frame of reference is Game Manual # 2 for REMOTE events. Please be aware that the latest publication is dated updated 9/29/2020 and is accessible from the FIRST website with all other game materials:


Please attend these sessions as you can. They are not mandatory but are strongly advised. We will do our best to answer all questions directly and at the time of the call but for those we cannot, we will provide guidance in follow up communications.
  

In the meantime you may write us at our usual emails:


We look forward to continuing and conducting a safe and wonderful season where we can continue to educate, grow, learn and have fun together through FIRST Tech Challenge Pennsylvania.

Thank you for all you do!

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925


Pennsylvania FTC - COACHES and GAME Q&A Calls Schedule (9/15/2020)

Hello to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

For those that were able to join our Kick-off Webinar last Saturday the 12th as well as the FIRST TV broadcast of the Game Reveal we hope you found it both informative and enjoyable.

For those who may have missed the Webinar or want to review the material please be informed that the recording and ppt slides are now available to you through the following link. Please go to the bottom of the page for access:


Upcoming are two COACHES CALLS on Wednesday, September 16th (tomorrow) and Wednesday September 23rd (next week) both at 7:30PM. We are using RingCentral for the meeting. These calls are intended to answer questions about our Remote season implementation, logistics and scheduling.

Additionally, we are adding a new informational call for our team members and mentors; GAME Q&A with PA HEAD REFEREES. Again, RingCentral will be our media. This call is game rule specific. Remember that the frame of reference is Game Manual # 2 for REMOTE events. Coaches and Students invited.

Please attend these sessions as you can. They are not mandatory but are strongly advised. We will do our best to answer all questions directly and at the time of the call but for those we cannot, we will provide guidance in follow up communications.  


In the meantime you may write us at our usual emails:


Thank you! We look forward to having a safe and wonderful season where we can continue to educate, grow, learn and have fun together through FIRST Tech Challenge Pennsylvania.

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925


Pennsylvania FTC 2020-2021 Season Kickoff – September 12th (Saturday) (9/8/2020)

Hello to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

As was communicated in our last email blast as well as through our website and FIRST HQ FTC communications the Pennsylvania FTC program and season is moving forward! The planning is somewhat dynamic at this time but there will definitely be a season. We have many challenges but the program is coming together nicely. FIRST Inspires and our PA leadership and volunteers are making this work! 

In order for teams to get the latest and greatest information directly we are announcing our official FIRST Tech Challenge Kick-Off event for this Saturday, September 12th at 11:00AM. ULTIMATE GOAL, presented by QUALCOMM promises to be a great and super fun challenge.

 In this session we will describe the currently planned season details in our state as well as the schedule of events. This is going to be a remote GoTo Webinar event so that we can include as many participants, students, mentors and coaches as possible. Following our PA specific agenda we will then direct participants to the FIRST Inspires FTC Kickoff Celebration and Game Reveal to be accessed on the FIRST TV link and held at 12:00PM. While we sure do miss not having live kickoffs across the state as we have done many times in the past we felt it more conducive to everyone involved in the FTC program to hear and experience the same inspirational message and descriptive game reveal so that the full FTC world is on the same page. 

Both links are on the following  FTC PA Webpage and require registration. Please be sure to Register in advance as both will start promptly at 11:00AM and 12:00 noon respectively.


For PA Program specific follow up we have scheduled coaches calls the following week, September 16th and 17th. Please feel free to join where we can address any issues and concerns that you may have as well as Game/Challenge questions.  Please also note that we have penciled in Workshops and Scrimmages as well as Meets and League Championships. Take special note that these are also subject to change. More details will be announced at the kick-off and subsequent communications.  As you are all aware the COVID-19 situation is very fluid and changes on both a regional and national basis which makes setting events on stone very difficult. 

To reiterate our season in PA and after very careful consideration we have chosen the path summarized below and detailed on our website through the following links:


You may write us at our usual emails:


Thank you! We look forward to having a safe and wonderful season where we can continue to educate, grow, learn and have fun together through FIRST Tech Challenge Pennsylvania.

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics 
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925


Pennsylvania FTC 2020-2021 Season Overview - Blast #2 (7/17/2020)

Hello to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

This email contains an update regarding Game Manual 1 release however If you were not a recipient of the original Pennsylvania FTC 2020-2021 Season Overview sent on Wednesday, July 15th then please be sure to read below. I have expanded the email list to include additional important individuals.

ULTIMATE GOALSM Presented by Qualcomm Game Manual Part 1 Release

Game Manual Part 1 is here! Learn more about changes to the FTC Season  season this year in the Game Manual Announcement blog post .FIRST is releasing two versions of the Game Manual Part 1 this season: Game Manual Part 1 for Traditional Events, and Game Manual Part 1 for Remote Events, which we will focus on in Pennsylvania this season. Please go to the blog and read below for more information.

July 15th, 2020 Communique:

It has been months since we corresponded with you all following last season fun events culminating in our tremendous State Championship.  We were all looking forward to a continuation of the season and the World Championship as well as off-season regional events when the world of FIRST Robotics came to a sudden but necessary halt precipitated by the pandemic which, as we all know continues to consume all of our daily energy and affect our lives in ways no one could ever anticipate. 

Regardless of COVID-19 and other world events we are delighted to announce that there definitely WILL be a Pennsylvania FTC program and season albeit conducted in an incredibly different manner conducive to and in line with assuring the safety, health and wellbeing of all participants; students, mentors, coaches, volunteers and parents. It will be a challenge but with the planning put forth by FIRST Inspires and our PA leadership we will hold to our organizational motto under challenging circumstances. We’ll make it work! 

An overview of the possibilities for the season was communicated to teams and volunteers by FIRST Inspires in an email dated June 18th. Regions around the world were provided the option to hold Traditional (physically live) FIRST Tech Challenge events or Remote events depending on the conditions in their area. After very careful consideration we have chosen the path summarized below and detailed on our website through the following links:


Pennsylvania Season Overview 2020-2021: ULTIMATE GOAL Presented By Qualcomm

This season presents some unique challenges with social distancing rules likely to still be in effect in many areas. We have chosen to hold Remote events which have the root basic concept in allowing teams to compete independently using half-sized fields with no alliance partner or opposing alliance to respect social distancing. See the Remote Event section in the website link above for more details.

In Pennsylvania, all 2020 - 2021 season events leading up to the Pennsylvania FTC Championship will be Remote events. The Pennsylvania FTC Championship is tentatively planned to be a Traditional event with Remote Judging. A final determination will be made in early 2021 whether the Pennsylvania FTC Championship can be a Traditional event or must be a Remote event.

In addition, for this season, we have established a Pennsylvania League format with 5 Leagues in the state. Pennsylvania FTC teams will be assigned to a League based on the county their team is registered in. The initial assignments were based on 2019-2020 registered teams. Slight adjustments to help balance the number of teams per League may be made in the early fall based on 2020-2021 season team registrations. In this format we have pre scheduled dates for Remote Meets and District Tournaments to be held. Please see ftc-event link above. Note that remote events (Meets and League Tournaments) will have the option to be played independently by a team at their home base or on a PA FIRST provided League field under strict Pennsylvania pandemic guidance/regulations. 

Pennsylvania will be closed to participation by only PA FTC teams this year as well. 

All Judging will be conducted this year Remotely, regardless of event, using Web conferencing to facilitate the Judge interviews. This actually affords more technology based and fun options for the teams to impress the judges! More to come.

One additional note, FIRST released Game Manual 1 ULTIMATE GOAL (Presented By Qualcomm) Game & Season Materials yesterday along with other season specific collateral. The GM1 section in Judging is TBD however. Information on judging and award criteria for the 2020-2021 season will be released at a later date. Season Game Information link:


There is a lot of new detail to review and absorb and we are here to answer any questions, concerns or to address comments.  

You may write us at our usual emails:


Thank you! We look forward to having a safe and wonderful season where we can continue to educate, grow, learn and have fun together through FIRST Tech Challenge Pennsylvania.

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics 
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925


Pennsylvania FTC 2020-2021 Season Overview - IMPORTANT Info (7/15/2020)

Hello to our Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Teams and Volunteers,

It has been months since we corresponded with you all following last season fun events culminating in our tremendous State Championship.  We were all looking forward to a continuation of the season and the World Championship as well as off-season regional events when the world of FIRST Robotics came to a sudden but necessary halt precipitated by the pandemic which, as we all know continues to consume all of our daily energy and affect our lives in ways no one could ever anticipate.

Regardless of COVID-19 and other world events we are delighted to announce that there definitely WILL be a Pennsylvania FTC program and season albeit conducted in an incredibly different manner conducive to and in line with assuring the safety, health and wellbeing of all participants; students, mentors, coaches, volunteers and parents. It will be a challenge but with the planning put forth by FIRST Inspires and our PA leadership we will hold to our organizational motto under challenging circumstances. We’ll make it work!

An overview of the possibilities for the season was communicated to teams and volunteers by FIRST Inspires in an email dated June 18th. Regions around the world were provided the option to hold Traditional (physically live) FIRST Tech Challenge events or Remote events depending on the conditions in their area. After very careful consideration we have chosen the path summarized below and detailed on our website through the following links:


Pennsylvania Season Overview 2020-2021: ULTIMATE GOAL Presented By Qualcomm

This season presents some unique challenges with social distancing rules likely to still be in effect in many areas. We have chosen to hold Remote events which have the root basic concept in allowing teams to compete independently using half-sized fields with no alliance partner or opposing alliance to respect social distancing. See the Remote Event section in the website link above for more details.

In Pennsylvania, all 2020 - 2021 season events leading up to the Pennsylvania FTC Championship will be Remote events. The Pennsylvania FTC Championship is tentatively planned to be a Traditional event with Remote Judging. A final determination will be made in early 2021 whether the Pennsylvania FTC Championship can be a Traditional event or must be a Remote event.

In addition, for this season, we have established a Pennsylvania League format with 5 Leagues in the state. Pennsylvania FTC teams will be assigned to a League based on the county their team is registered in. The initial assignments were based on 2019-2020 registered teams. Slight adjustments to help balance the number of teams per League may be made in the early fall based on 2020-2021 season team registrations. In this format we have pre scheduled dates for Remote Meets and District Tournaments to be held. Please see ftc-event link above. Note that remote events (Meets and League Tournaments) will have the option to be played independently by a team at their home base or on a PA FIRST provided League field under strict Pennsylvania pandemic guidance/regulations.

Pennsylvania will be closed to participation by only PA FTC teams this year as well. 

All Judging will be conducted this year Remotely, regardless of event, using Web conferencing to facilitate the Judge interviews. This actually affords more technology based and fun options for the teams to impress the judges! More to come.

One additional note, FIRST released Game Manual 1 ULTIMATE GOAL (Presented By Qualcomm) Game & Season Materials yesterday along with other season specific collateral. The GM1 section in Judging is TBD however. Information on judging and award criteria for the 2020-2021 season will be released at a later date. Season Game Information link:


There is a lot of new detail to review and absorb and we are here to answer any questions, concerns or to address comments.  

You may write us at our usual emails:


Thank you! We look forward to having a safe and wonderful season where we can continue to educate, grow, learn and have fun together through FIRST Tech Challenge Pennsylvania.

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics 
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925




2019-2020 Season

PA FTC Email Blast #8 – QUALIFIER REGISTRATION AND BLOCKS PROGRAMMING (10/27/2019)

Hi to our FIRST Tech Challenge Teams,

Three announcements today:
1.     Qualifier Registrations: This email Blast is a reminder to all teams to be sure to register ASAP for the qualifiers as our 11 PA state Qualifier season starts just weeks from now on December 7th.

As we wrote in an earlier blast WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE TEAMS TO REGISTER FOR THESE EVENTS EARLY AND COMMIT AS SOON AS YOU CAN. Issues we have had in the past were that teams frequently changed or dropped from events. This not only stresses the registration system but also has an impact on team coaches and their team members as well as other teams that are attempting to schedule their events. We always advise teams to commit and then work to their goals and deadlines. That is the true engineering way! Also note that our policies for changing events during the season have changed as well so please read and note these policies.


Per the policy we will start inviting teams to each event 6 weeks prior to the event date. If you are P1 for the event then your registration is assured as long as you have made timely payment. If you are P2 or greater, then invitations go out to fill any remaining slots for that event 6 weeks prior. This weekend we are 6 weeks away from the West Central Pennsylvania Qualifier in Johnstown, PA so invitations have already been sent!

For those teams that request a change necessitating a withdrawal from an event, especially within the 6 week window, please note our revised policy on this as detailed in the Tournament Team Withdrawals section of Event Participation Policy on our website. Link follows:


2.     BLOCKS PROGRAMMING webinar tonight (Sunday) at 7:00PM

This is the third of the series: Debugging Techniques 

The Blocks Programming Webinar is a series of 5 webinars, each covering a different topic. Jim Rumbaugh, Pennsylvania FTC Head FTA, is hosting these webinars. They are designed to help rookie FTC teams get started with using BLOCKS to program the robot. It is also good for members of more experienced teams who want to learn more about robot programming. Each are recorded for future access and learning.

It is not too late to join! Register for this Blocks Programming Webinar series using this link:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from James Rumbaugh containing information unique to you about joining the webinar.

3.     An Additional Workshop has been added to our schedule:
 
Drive It! Pittsburgh – Saturday, November 9th, 2019. This is to be held at the South Fayette Township Library in Morgan, PA.  There are 16 slots open for this workshop. As with all of our workshops this is Team Powered hosted and managed by FTC Team 12593 Yantrik! Thank you for adding an opportunity for teams to work with and collaborate with each other.

Event details and Registration links follow:


We hope you are having a great and productive season so far. See you all in the ear future at one of the events.

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics 
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925


PA FTC Email Blast # 7 – WORKSHOPS THIS WEEKEND – Lancaster and West Chester (10/14/2019)

Hi to our FIRST Tech Challenge Teams.

The following is information that should be of interest to you!

There are two (2) great workshops scheduled for this weekend that have plenty of room for new, or rookie and, of course, our veteran teams.

As we have emphasized in previous blasts these workshops may be “themed”, but they are intended for ALL TEAMS REGARDESS OF ROBOT BUILD OR TEAM READINESS. A couple of weeks ago we even had a team that held their very first team meeting at a workshop. It accelerated their readiness by at least a month! The main purpose is to engage with other teams and mentors and learn from each other, even (and especially) if you have not even started building or programming. Remember also that these are TEAM POWERED workshops so the teams that have volunteered to conduct these expect and welcome the opportunity to work with you and share their knowledge and skills. That is, after all, why they are doing this for the program. Remember that they are free and open to your learning opportunity.

We cannot stress enough the value of workshops to prepare your team for the season and share YOUR expertise as well. As stated, plenty of room in the two upcoming weekend workshops and always time to register right up to the last minute. They are free to attend, just bring your gear, kids and enthusiasm!

 

Our teams stand ready to assist!

Please feel free to reach out us if you should have any questions. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak, Dave Hackett, Joanne Biltz (Lancaster) and Josh Beauchamp (West Chester)


Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics 
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925


PA FTC Email Blast #6 – BLOCKS PROGRAMMING WEBINAR TONIGHT AT 7:00pm (10/13/2019)

Hi to our FIRST Tech Challenge Teams,

The following is very important information. Tonight at 7:00PM is the first in a 5 part series of BLOCKS PROGRAMMING webinars. 

The subject will be: Introduction to Blocks & Simple Teleop

The Blocks Programming Webinar is a series of 5 webinars, each covering a different topic. Jim Rumbaugh, Pennsylvania FTC Head FTA, is hosting these webinars. They are designed to help rookie FTC teams get started with using BLOCKS to program the robot. It is also good for members of more experienced teams who want to learn more about robot programming. Each webinar will focus on a specific topic.

It is not too late to join! Register for this Blocks Programming Webinar series using this link:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from James Rumbaugh containing information unique to you about joining the webinar.

Please do not miss this unique opportunity to learn in a fun and interactive environment.
 

Sunday
Oct 13

Webinar
Register Now!

Blocks Programming Webinar
#1 - Introduction & Simple Teleop

GoToWebinar



Warmest Regards,

Jim Rumbaugh, Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics 
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925


PA FTC Email Blast #5 – CONESTOGA QUALIFIER DATE CHANGE – Please Read!! (11/13/2019)

Hi to our FIRST Tech Challenge Teams.

The following is very important information affecting the FTC PA Event Calendar so please read thoroughly.

Due to a logistics issue, we have had to change the date for the Conestoga Qualifier in Lancaster, PA, originally scheduled for Sunday, December 1st. The location remains the same, the Lancaster Country Day School, however the new date is now:

Sunday, January 26, 2020

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause your team. You can find details for Conestoga Qualifier on our website at http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2019-2020-season/conestoga-qualifier. Please note that if you registered for the December 1st date then your registration status is currently the same for the January 26th, 2020 date. Now PLEASE read forward.

This date change may and most likely will affect your FTC season Qualifier schedule planning however we have several contingency OPTIONS for you depending on whether you are already registered or on the waitlist for this event. Please see the options below.

Please note as you explore the options that your first Qualifier update request involving a UPDATE (CHANGE) to the Conestoga Qualifier also retains your current registration timestamp. However, this UPDATE (CHANGE) REQUEST must be received by Friday, October 18th 2019. Any subsequent Qualifier update requests following this date will be processed per our standard processes.

REMINDER: To submit a Qualifier update request, browse to http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration select New/Update Event Registration, then Qualifier, choose Update in the New or Update (Qualifier) section, and fill out the rest of the forms as usual.
OPTIONS:

For Teams currently on the Conestoga Qualifier Registered List or Waitlist:
  1. If your team is currently on the Conestoga Qualifier Registered List or Waitlist and you are happy with your choice and would like to remain there, no action is required.
  2. If your team is currently on the Conestoga Qualifier Registered List but you would like to reuse your 1st Preference to register for another event instead, submit a Qualifier Update (change) request on our registration website. We will process the change and send you an updated invoice/receipt.
  3. If your team is already on a Conestoga Qualifier Waitlist and you would like to adjust any of your Preferences that include a change to the Conestoga Qualifier, submit a Qualifier Update (change) request. We will process the change and keep your original registration request timestamp.

For Teams NOT currently on the Conestoga Qualifier Registered or Waitlist and would now like to compete in the Conestoga Qualifier due to the new date:
  1. If your team is already on the Registered List for another Qualifier and would like to reuse your 1st Preference to register for the Conestoga Qualifier instead, submit a Qualifier Update (change) request. We will process the change and send you an updated invoice/receipt.
  2. If your team is currently not on a Waitlist for the Conestoga Qualifier and you would like to adjust your Preferences to include the Conestoga 

Qualifier, submit a Qualifier Update (change) request. You will keep your current registration request timestamp and we will process the change.
Qualifier update requests involving the Conestoga Qualifier received after Friday, October 18, 2019 will be processed per our standard processes and the original timestamps will not be preserved.

Qualifier update requests NOT involving the Conestoga Qualifier, regardless of when they are submitted, will be processed per our standard processes. 

Please let us know if you should have any questions. We will be happy to answer for you. Again, we apologize for this schedule change but hey, change can be good and is a grand part of life!

We hope to greet you all in the near future. On behalf of Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics:

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics 
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #4 2019 – WORKSHOPS (9/24/2019)

Hi to our FIRST Tech Challenge Teams in Pennsylvania,

This is quick reminder to teams that we have plenty of room at our upcoming WORKSHOPS including this weekend and then many in October. Although the workshops are themed they are intended for ALL TEAMS REGARDESS OF ROBOT BUILD OR TEAM READINESS. The main factor is to engage with other teams and mentors and learn from each other, even (and especially) if you have not even started building or programming. Remember also that these are TEAM POWERED workshops so the teams that have volunteered to conduct these expect and welcome the opportunity to work with you and share their knowledge and skills. That is, after all, why they are doing this for the program.

We cannot stress enough the value of workshops to prepare your team for the season and share YOUR expertise as well. As stated, plenty of room in the two upcoming weekend workshops and always time to register right up to the last minute. They are free to attend, just bring your gear and enthusiasm!


 

Season Event Schedule:


Registration Link:

http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

Season and Game Materials and Manuals are available directly off of the FIRST Inspires website. Please follow link to access these essential season related documents:


We look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org . We love hearing from our teams.

Warmest Regards,  

Thomas Zawislak

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics 
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925


Text Box

Hi to our FIRST Tech Challenge Teams in Pennsylvania,

We had 4 amazing Kickoff events last weekend on Saturday the 7th! The season is now officially launched. A copy of the ppt used on Saturday is attached to this mail. 

This year’s game challenge SKYSTONE, is a great one. Feedback has been nothing but positive. 

Registration for the Coaches Webinars (tomorrow and Thursday), Blocks Programming Webinars, Qualifiers, Workshops and Scrimmages are now open and have been since Saturday, so be ready to register early and make your commitments especially for the qualifier season to be held December 2019 through February 2020 this season. WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE TEAMS TO REGISTER FOR THESE EVENTS EARLY AND COMMIT AS SOON AS YOU CAN. Issues we have had in the past were that teams frequently changed or dropped from events. This not only stresses the registration system but also has an impact on team coaches and their team members as well as other teams that are attempting to schedule their events. We always advise teams to commit and then work to their goals and deadlines. That is the true engineering way! Also note that our policies for changing events during the season have changed as well so please read and note these policies.


Season Event Schedule:


Registration Link:


Season and Game Materials and Manuals are available directly off of the FIRST Inspires website. Please follow link to access these essential season related documents:


Also very important is that FIRST Tech Challenge has provided great and essential information for team through regular Email Blasts. Topics are varied and we strongly recommend that teams read and take appropriate actions as necessary to their success (and potential grants). There are already 3 Blasts since open registration:


As always, and throughout the season, please refer to our comprehensive FTC PA website for schedule details as well as event registration policies and sign-ups. Please also note that our PA Event Registration page will open at kick-off


We look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org . We love hearing from our teams.

Warmest Regards, 

Dave Hackett and Tom Zawislak

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics 
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925


Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #2 2019 – KICK OFF Events (9/3/2019)

Hi to our previous season and new FIRST Tech Challenge Teams in Pennsylvania,

We are less than a week away form the season opening KICK-OFF of the FIRST Tech Challenge 2019-2020 season highlighting this year’s game challenge SKYSTONE, presented by Qualcomm. As you now know, this is a collaborative challenge for all FIRST programs under the amazing concept of FIRST® RISESM, powered by Star Wars: Force for Change; setting out to inspire citizens of the galaxy to work together, strengthening and protecting the Force that binds us and creating a place where collaboration and collective wisdom can elevate new ideas and foster growth. This is the second of a series of email blasts that you will receive specific to the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge program. We will continue to send out these mails on a regular basis that essentially augment the email blasts that you already receive directly from FIRST.

So here we go - our Kick-Off events, THIS SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7th. Most of this seasons Workshops and Scrimmages as well as many of the Qualifier locations have been scheduled with great thanks and gratitude to the many FTC Teams that have stepped up and committed their dedicated time and resources to make these essential events  happen! We have posted these EVENTS on our season calendar. Please go to the following link for the calendar and you may drill down to event details within each opportunity:


Live Kick-Off events will be held across the state at:
  • Philadelphia: Temple University
  • East: Penn State Great Valley
  • Central: York Country Day School
  • West: Penn State Greater Allegheny
Details regarding the locations are on the Events Page. The agenda is the same at all four locations as we will have a webcast introducing our hosts as well as the program:

10:00 - Check In
10:15 - Philadelphia Season Discussion (Philadelphia location only)
10:30 - All Site Welcome and Opening Remarks; Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Season Updates 
12:00 - Game Reveal / Rules / Q&A
12:30 - Lunch
  1:30 - Event Complete

Registration for the Kick-Offs (4) and Coaches Calls (2) and many Workshops to be held in September is already open! Please do register if not done so already.

Registration for the Qualifiers and additional Workshops and Scrimmages will open on Kick-Off day, Saturday September 7th. Qualifiers and locations are now established, so be ready to register early and make your commitments for the qualifier season to be held December 2019 through February 2020 this season. 

Registration link follows:


For posted Events the dates are firm but for some of the workshops and scrimmages the exact details of locations and agenda may still be open but will be completed before our kick-offs.

The FIRST Inspires website continues to be AWESOME! If you have not visited it in a while please go the following link for up to date team and season information:


Also very important is that FIRST Tech Challenge has provided great and essential information for team through regular Email Blasts. Topics are varied and we strongly recommend that teams read and take appropriate actions as necessary to their success (and potential grants). There are already 3 Blasts since open registration:


As always, and throughout the season, please refer to our comprehensive FTC PA website for schedule details as well as event registration policies and sign-ups. Please also note that our PA Event Registration page will open at kick-off


We look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org. We love hearing from our teams.

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics 
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925


Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #1 2019 – Welcome to a new Season of Exciting Challenges (8/7/2019)

Hi to our previous season and new FIRST Tech Challenge Teams in Pennsylvania, 

We are quickly getting closer to the opening KICK-OFF of the FIRST Tech Challenge 2019-2020 season highlighting this year’s game challenge SKYSTONE, presented by Qualcomm. This is a collaborative challenge for all FIRST programs under the amazing concept of FIRST® RISESM, powered by Star Wars: Force for Change; setting out to inspire citizens of the galaxy to work together, strengthening and protecting the Force that binds us and creating a place where collaboration and collective wisdom can elevate new ideas and foster growth. As such, this is the first of a series of email blasts that you will receive specific to the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge program. We will continue to send out these mails on a regular basis that essentially augment the email blasts that you already receive directly from FIRST. Remember, there is a teaser video related to the SKYSTONE game as well, but the full game details will not be released until kick-off on September 7th  2019.   

Teaser Video (as well as Branding Guidelines, Assets, and Downloadable Content):


So here we go - our Kick-Off events, most of this seasons Workshops and Scrimmages as well as many of the Qualifier locations have been scheduled with great thanks and gratitude to the many FTC Teams that have stepped up and committed their dedicated time and resources to make these essential events  happen! We have posted these EVENTS on our season calendar. Please go to the following link for the calendar and you may drill down to event details within each opportunity:


Registration for the Kick-Offs (4) and Coaches Calls (2) and Workshops to be held in September is already open!

Registration for the Qualifiers and additional Workshops and Scrimmages will open on Kick-Off day, Saturday September 7th. Qualifiers will be held December 2019 through February 2020 this season. Please have a look and note that we have retained the same number of Qaulifiers but will have location changes TBD soon.

Registration link follows:


For posted Events the dates are firm but for some of the workshops and scrimmages the exact details of locations and agenda may still be open but will be completed before our kick-offs.

The FIRST Inspires website continues to be AWESOME! If you have not visited it in a while please go the following link for up to date team and season information:


Also very important is that FIRST Tech Challenge has provided great and essential information for team through regular Email Blasts. Topics are varied and we strongly recommend that teams read and take appropriate actions as necessary to their success (and potential grants). There are already 3 Blasts since open registration:


As always, and throughout the season, please refer to our comprehensive FTC PA website for schedule details as well as event registration policies and sign-ups. Please also note that our PA Event Registration page will open at kick-off


We look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org . We love hearing from our teams.

Warmest Regards,  

Dave Hackett and Tom Zawislak

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics 
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner
 
ph: (302) 383-9925



2018-2019 Season

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #7 2018 – Important Reminders (10/27/2018)

Hi to all of our FIRST Tech Challenge Teams in Pennsylvania,

Four (4) items for you today:

1. REMINDER: Blocks Programming Webinars Session 2 of 5 continues tomorrow, Sunday Oct 28th at 7:00 PM
Session 1 was held last Sunday and was very well attended. The subject last week was: Introduction & Simple Teleop. Tomorrow session will be: Autonomous Programming.

The sessions are being recorded so if you missed last week please go to the following link, Event Information and simply click on the link next to the session’s date named “Recording
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2018-2019-season/blocks-programming-webinar

Whether you think you are a Block Programming expert or novice, these essential WEBINARS are great. Thanks to Jim Rumbaugh, head FTA in PA for conducting them. They will be presented every consecutive Sunday through November 28th, same time, same link to access. Please go to the following link for detailed Blocks Programming Topics and Register through the GoToWebinar link at the bottom of the page from the link above.

2. In November we will commence or SCRIMMAGE Schedule starting with the traditional Ramp Riot Scrimmage on November 3rd at Wissahickon High School. This is held in collaboration with the off-season FRC tournament of the same name, so an incredible day of robotics. This may actually be the 9th year of collaboration. Love FRC Team Miss Daisy!

Come one, come all. As usual, free and open to the public. Whether you are registered to participate in the scrimmages or nit we highly encourage you to come. It is a great opportunity to learn from others, design, strategies, new ideas, etc.

3. If not done so already Register for any number of the upcoming State Qualification Tournaments. See email Blast 5 and 6 with regards to Wait List advancements and critical dates.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/email-archive

4. VOLUNTEERS: As always, and in conjunction with the upcoming competition season we reach out for all important volunteers who are the ones that make our events successful. Family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues…or anyone else you know who may enjoy the experience please invite them to access our website for more information and to become part of the world class Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics volunteer team!! Please reach out to our volunteer coordinator Bob Debes if you should have any questions or require assistance: ftc.volunteers@pennfirst.org
http://www.ftcpenn.org/volunteer

We continue to look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org or Tom Zawislak at (302) 383-9925. We love hearing from our teams.

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak, Dave Hackett and Bob Debes

--
Thomas Zawislak
Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner


ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #6 2018 – TOMORROW Blocks Programming Webinars (10/20/2018)

Hi to all of our FIRST Tech Challenge Teams in Pennsylvania,

REMINDER: Blocks Programming Webinars begin tomorrow, Sunday Oct 21st at 7:00 PM
Whether you think you are a Block Programming expert or novice, these essential WEBINARS will commence on Sunday, October 21st at 7:00 PM for your convenience. They will be presented every consecutive Sunday through November 28th, same time, same link to access. Please go to the following link for detailed Blocks Programming Topics and Register through the GoToMeeting link at the bottom of the page.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2018-2019-season/blocks-programming-webinar

So VERY IMPORTANT is your team’s Registration for any number of the upcoming State Qualification Tournaments. If you have already made your decisions and registered then great. However we note that in PA we have a full 45% of our FIRST Registered teams who have yet to sign up for and schedule a qualifier. Why is registration important? Well per the Qualifier Registration Details: “For each Qualifier there is a Registered List and several Priority Wait Lists. Teams are added to the Registered list or a specific Priority Wait List in registration submission timestamp order. Wait Lists are initially processed 6 weeks before the Qualifier. Teams are offered an opportunity to participate in that Qualifier in priority order (Priority Wait List 1 is processed first, then Priority Wait List 2, etc.) until all open slots are filled. If a team is offered an opportunity to participate in a Qualifier, the coaches have 3 business days to respond to the offer. If there is no response with allotted time, the offer is rescinded and the team will be removed from the Wait List for that Qualifier”. 

We provide the calendar below to be sure you all know the exact date when processing will commence for each Qualifier. 

Qualifier

Event Date

6 weeks prior to event date

Hat Tricks Qualifier (Horsham)

12/1/2018

10/20/2018

West Central PA Qualifier (Johnstown)

12/8/2018

10/27/2018

Eastern PA Qualifier (Ambler)

12/15/2018

11/3/2018

Southeastern PA Qualifier (Oxford)

1/5/2019

11/24/2018

Maroon and White Qualifier (Oxford)

1/6/2019

11/25/2018

Philadelphia Qualifier (Philadelphia)

1/12/2019

12/1/2018

Southwestern PA Qualifier (Upper St. Clair)

1/19/2019

12/8/2018

South Central PA Qualifier (York)

2/2/2019

12/22/2018

Blue and White Qualifier (York)

2/3/2019

12/23/2018

Lehigh Valley Qualifier (Emmaus)

2/16/2019

1/5/2019

Green and Gold Qualifier (Emmaus)

2/17/2019

1/6/2019


As usual, EVENT REGISTRATION as well as registration and eligibility and policies can be accessed at the following link:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

VOLUNTEERS:
As always, and in conjunction with the upcoming competition season we reach out for all important volunteers who are the ones that make our events successful. Family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues…or anyone else you know who may enjoy the experience please invite them to access our website for more information and to become part of the world class Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics volunteer team!! Please reach out to our volunteer coordinator Bob Debes if you should have any questions or require assistance: ftc.volunteers@pennfirst.org
http://www.ftcpenn.org/volunteer

Communiques:
If you have missed any of our past informational Email Blasts, especially those addressing special and exceptional resources available to teams please go to our website again where the full texts of those mails is available in the email archive:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/email-archive

We continue to look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org or Tom Zawislak at (302) 383-9925. We love hearing from our teams.

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak, Dave Hackett and Bob Debes

--
Thomas Zawislak
Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner


ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #5 2018 – EVENT REGISTRATION ALERT (10/6/2018)

Hi to all of our FIRST Tech Challenge Teams in Pennsylvania,

Happy October! We are one month away from the Rover Ruckus “FIRST Launch 2019 Season Kick-off and half way through our PA Workshop season. November will start our Scrimmages and in December, quickly approaching, our Qualification Tournaments get underway.

So a few reasons for this REGISTRATION ALERT:

1. There is still room and opportunities in the Team Powered Workshops. For those of you that have attended I am positive that you have enjoyed the benefits of these learnings for you and your teams. They are organized by the PA teams to not only be instructive but to be great networking and fun activities as well.

2. Blocks Programming Webinars – Whether you think you are a Block Programming expert or novice, these essential WEBINARS will commence on Sunday, October 21st at 7:00 PM for your convenience. They will be presented every consecutive Sunday through November 28th, same time, same link to access. Please go to the following link for detailed Blocks Programming Topics and Register through the GoToMeeting link at the bottom of the page.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2018-2019-season/blocks-programming-webinar

3. So VERY IMPORTANT is your team’s Registration for any number of the upcoming State Qualification Tournaments. If you have already made your decisions and registered then great. However we note that in PA we have a full 45% of our FIRST Registered teams who have yet to sign up for and schedule a qualifier. Why is registration important? Well per the Qualifier Registration Details: “For each Qualifier there is a Registered List and several Priority Wait Lists. Teams are added to the Registered list or a specific Priority Wait List in registration submission timestamp order. Wait Lists are initially processed 6 weeks before the Qualifier. Teams are offered an opportunity to participate in that Qualifier in priority order (Priority Wait List 1 is processed first, then Priority Wait List 2, etc.) until all open slots are filled. If a team is offered an opportunity to participate in a Qualifier, the coaches have 3 business days to respond to the offer. If there is no response with allotted time, the offer is rescinded and the team will be removed from the Wait List for that Qualifier”. 

So, for example, the first Qualifier, Hat Tricks on December 1st is not so far away considering this 6 week processing window. To provide full visibility to our teams, especially those that want their first or second preference, we provide the calendar below to be sure you all know the exact date when processing will commence for each Qualifier. 

Qualifier

Event Date

6 weeks prior to event date

Hat Tricks Qualifier (Horsham)

12/1/2018

10/20/2018

West Central PA Qualifier (Johnstown)

12/8/2018

10/27/2018

Eastern PA Qualifier (Ambler)

12/15/2018

11/3/2018

Southeastern PA Qualifier (Oxford)

1/5/2019

11/24/2018

Maroon and White Qualifier (Oxford)

1/6/2019

11/25/2018

Philadelphia Qualifier (Philadelphia)

1/12/2019

12/1/2018

Southwestern PA Qualifier (Upper St. Clair)

1/19/2019

12/8/2018

South Central PA Qualifier (York)

2/2/2019

12/22/2018

Blue and White Qualifier (York)

2/3/2019

12/23/2018

Lehigh Valley Qualifier (Emmaus)

2/16/2019

1/5/2019

Green and Gold Qualifier (Emmaus)

2/17/2019

1/6/2019


EVENT REGISTRATION as well as eligibility and payment policies, can be accessed at the following link:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

VOLUNTEERS:
As always, and in conjunction with the upcoming competition season we reach out for all important volunteers who are the ones that make our events successful. Family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues…or anyone else you know who may enjoy the experience please invite them to access our website for more information and to become part of the world class Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics volunteer team!! Please reach out to our volunteer coordinator Bob Debes if you should have any questions or require assistance: ftc.volunteers@pennfirst.org
http://www.ftcpenn.org/volunteer

Communiques:
If you have missed any of our past informational Email Blasts, especially those addressing special and exceptional resources available to teams please go to our website again where the full texts of those mails is available in the email archive:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/email-archive

We continue to look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org or Tom Zawislak at (302) 383-9925. We love hearing from our teams.

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak, Dave Hackett and Bob Debes

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner


ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #4 2018 – TEAM RESOURCES (9/17/2018)

Hi to our previous season and new FIRST Tech Challenge Teams in Pennsylvania,

We, we have launched an the FIRST Tech Challenge Rover Ruckus “FIRST Launch 2019 – All System Go” Challenge is well underway! This is the fourth of a series of email blasts that you will receive specific to the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge program, however we especially want to point teams to important FIRST Tech Challenge RESOURCES that are available to you to ensure success in the program this season and beyond. We will continue to send out these mails on a regular basis that essentially augment the email blasts that you already receive directly from FIRST.

The season was launched on September 8th with 4 kick-offs across the state. If your team was able to participate we hope it was a worthwhile and fun event for your students. As stated in earlier mails we are not into our workshop portion of the season with great thanks and gratitude to the many FTC Teams that have stepped up and committed their dedicated time and resources to make these essential events happen! We have posted these EVENTS on our season calendar. Please go to the following link for the calendar and you may drill down to event details within each opportunity. Registration for the PA Qualifier events are also now open for all registered teams across the state and region. EVENT calendar and registration links follow:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2018-2019-season
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration


RESOURCES:

Game Manual part 2 was released on the kick-off date, September 8th. Please be aware that GAME MANUAL 1 was also released and published on September 13th. The information contained in this manual is as if not more important than the Game Rules listed in GM2.

Why is that? Because it details the Tournament types, Robot Rules (what is and is not allowed), Robot Inspection Criteria as associated with the competitions but mostly ENGINEERING NOTEBOOK, JUDGED AWARDS as well as ADVANCEMENT CRITERIA. These elements of competing in FIRST Tech Challenge are as important to your teams experience as the field competition itself. Remember that half of the advancement criteria and opportunity at the Qualifier and State Championship level for your teams could be based on how well your teams perform in judging. Be aware that participating in the Judging process at tournaments includes creating, maintaining and presenting an Engineering Notebook at each competition. A significant requirement for your team’s success!

You can access Game Manual 1 as well as GM 2 and other game and team materials at the following link. Please, please, please make understanding knowing and following the details of Game manual 1 a priority for your team early and, best, now.
https://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/ftc/game-and-season-info

There are also fantastic guides for teams to augment aspects of your experience. They are provided at a link called Team Management Resources. This includes the ENGINEERING NOTEBOOK GUIDELINES, a valuable resource that clarify the expectations for this most important document. Use it! There is also a MENTOR MANUAL available on this site. Other resources are: Programming Resources, Legal and Illegal Parts List, guidelines for Preparing for Competition and Robot Building Resources among others. Go to the following link:
https://www.firstinspires.org/node/5226

The FTC Rover Ruckus Game Specific Q&A forum will open very soon. This is YOUR resource for questioning and getting answers to rules questions. The link to the general FTC FORUM follows. Again, USE IT!
FTC Forum and Q-A

That’s’ about it for now. We look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org . We love hearing from our teams.

Warmest Regards,

--

Thomas Zawislak
Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #3 2018 – Kickoff Reminder this weekend Sept. 8th (9/3/2018)

Hi to our previous season and new FIRST Tech Challenge Teams in Pennsylvania,

We are quickly getting closer to the opening kick-off of the FIRST Tech Challenge Rover Rucus “FIRST Launch 2019 – All System Go” Challenge. As such, this is the third of a series of email blasts that you will receive specific to the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge program. It is a reminder that the full game kickoff is happening this Saturday, September 8th where details of this year’s challenge will be revealed! There is a Teaser Video as well but if you want to see the real deal live and in person than please attend one of our 4 PA kickoff events.

Teaser Video:
https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc/game-and-season

Our Kick-Off events are being held at 4 locations. See below. Most of this seasons Workshops and Scrimmages as well as all of the Qualifier locations have been scheduled with great thanks and gratitude to the many FTC Teams that have stepped up and committed their dedicated time and resources to make these essential events happen! We have posted these EVENTS on our season calendar. Please go to the following link for the calendar and you may drill down to event details within each opportunity:

Kickoffs – go to link for exact locations:
Philadelphia: Temple University
East: Penn State Great Valley
Central: York Country Day School
West: North Catholic High School

http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2018-2019-season

 

Agenda (all locations):

10:00

 Check In

 10:30

  Welcome and Opening Remarks

 

  Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge 2018-2019 Season 

 12:00

  Game Reveal / Rules / Q&A

 12:30

  Lunch

1:30

  Event Complete

 

Registration for the Kick-Offs (4), Coaches Calls, Workshops, and Scrimmages to be held September through November is open as of Saturday, August 18th.

Registration for the Qualifiers will open on Kick-Off day, Saturday September 8th. Qualifiers will be held December 2018 through February 2019 this season. Please have a look and note that we have actually added more qualifiers and over 40 more slots to our events with the addition of 3 Sunday dates!

Registration link follows:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

For all Events the dates are firm but for some of the workshops and scrimmages the exact details of locations and agenda may still be open but will be completed before our kick-offs.

The FIRST Inspires website continues to be AWESOME! If you have not visited it in a while please go the following link for up to date team and season information:
https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc

Also very important is that FIRST Tech Challenge has provided great and essential information for team through regular Email Blasts. Topics are varied and we strongly recommend that teams read and take appropriate actions as necessary to their success (and potential grants). There are already 9 Blasts since open registration:
http://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/ftc/team-email-blasts

As always, and throughout the season, please refer to our comprehensive FTC PA website for schedule details as well as event registration policies and sign-ups. Please also note that our PA Event Registration page will open at kick-off
http://www.ftcpenn.org/

We look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org . We love hearing from our teams.


Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner


ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #2 2018 – Kick-Off Sep 8th and Season Schedule (8/17/2018)

Hi to our previous season and new FIRST Tech Challenge Teams in Pennsylvania,

We are quickly getting closer to the opening kick-off of the FIRST Tech Challenge Rover Rucus “FIRST Launch 2019 – All System Go” Challenge. As such, this is the second of a series of email blasts that you will receive specific to the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge program. We will continue to send out these mails on a regular basis that essentially augment the email blasts that you already receive directly from FIRST. Remember, there is a teaser video related to the Rover Rucus game as well, but the full game details will not be released until kick-off on September 8th 2018.

Teaser Video:
https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc/game-and-season

So here we go - our Kick-Off events, most of this seasons Workshops and Scrimmages as well as all of the Qualifier locations have been scheduled with great thanks and gratitude to the many FTC Teams that have stepped up and committed their dedicated time and resources to make these essential events happen! We have posted these EVENTS on our season calendar. Please go to the following link for the calendar and you may drill down to event details within each opportunity:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2018-2019-season

Registration for the Kick-Offs (4), Coaches Calls, Workshops, and Scrimmages to be held September through November will open this Saturday, August 18th.

Registration for the Qualifiers will open on Kick-Off day, Saturday September 8th. Qualifiers will be held December 2018 through February 2019 this season. Please have a look and note that we have actually added more qualifiers and over 40 more slots to our events with the addition of 3 Sunday dates! 

Registration link follows:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

For all Events the dates are firm but for some of the workshops and scrimmages the exact details of locations and agenda may still be open but will be completed before our kick-offs.

The FIRST Inspires website continues to be AWESOME! If you have not visited it in a while please go the following link for up to date team and season information:
https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc


Also very important is that FIRST Tech Challenge has provided great and essential information for team through regular Email Blasts. Topics are varied and we strongly recommend that teams read and take appropriate actions as necessary to their success (and potential grants). There are already 9 Blasts since open registration:
http://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/ftc/team-email-blasts

As always, and throughout the season, please refer to our comprehensive FTC PA website for schedule details as well as event registration policies and sign-ups. Please also note that our PA Event Registration page will open at kick-off.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/

We look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org . We love hearing from our teams.

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner


ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #1 2018 – Welcome to a new Season of Exciting Challenges (7/27/2018)

Hi to our previous season and new FIRST Tech Challenge Teams in Pennsylvania,

We hope that all is well with you and that the last season with the FIRST Tech Challenge program was challenging, rewarding but most of all, fun! We and all the volunteers have nothing but the best memories from the entire 2017 – 2018 Relic Recovery season as well as all going back over 10 years as the program has grown in PA.

This is the first of a series of 2018-2019 season email blasts that you will receive specific to the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge program. We will be sending out these mails on a regular basis that essentially augment the email blasts that you already receive directly from FIRST.

For the second year, FIRST has released the name of this seasons challenge: Rover Rucus. This is a space themed challenge that follows with the other three programs in what is being presented as “FIRST Launch 2019 – All System Go”. For 30 years, FIRST® has inspired millions of young people to reach for the stars. These challenges reflect that inspirational thought. There is a teaser video related to the Rover Rucus game as well, but the full game details will not be released until kick-off on September 8th 2018. More on “live” kick-off events in your region of PA will follow in subsequent emails.

Teaser Video:
https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc/game-and-season

FTC registration for all FTC teams in the World opened in mid-May. We are super excited this season as FTC has refined and continues to expand and improve on the Control System introduced 3 seasons ago with improved hardware and more robust and refined software to go with a very special game challenge that we know all teams will enjoy. The newly introduced game protocols also provided for more match action in fast paced flow that added a new dynamics to the tournaments overall. If you have not yet done so, team Basics and Registration can be found at the following site:
https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc/team-basics

The FIRST Inspires website continues to be AWESOME! If you have not visited it in a while please go the following link for up to date team and season information:
https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc

Also very important is that FIRST Tech Challenge has provided great and essential information for team through regular Email Blasts. Topics are varied and we strongly recommend that teams read and take appropriate actions as necessary to their success (and potential grants). There are already 9 Blasts since open registration:
http://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/ftc/team-email-blasts

Now for Pennsylvania; we are currently working on our detailed event schedule for this season as we secure dates and venues. These are not yet posted however we will be adding workshops, practices, scrimmages as well as qualifiers over the next few weeks. We do plan on adding more qualifiers than the past two season including Sunday events!

As always, and throughout the season, please refer to our comprehensive FTC PA website for schedule details as well as event registration policies and sign-ups. Please also note that our PA Event Registration page will open by kick-off in September.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/

We look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org . We love hearing from our teams.

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

2017 - 2018 Season

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #4 – FTC EVENT UPDATE (10/7/2017)

Hi to FIRST Tech Challenge Teams in Pennsylvania,

The subject of this blast is to remind you that registration continues to be open for ALL Pennsylvania FTC Regional competitions and to inform you that we have had two changes in the past week. Also remember that the remaining workshops and scrimmages are free to teams and open to the public. Please go to our website to register ASAP.

The CHANGES are that we have now increased the number of team slots for two of the Qualifiers this year:

  • Eastern Pennsylvania Regional Qualifying Tournament – Nov. 18th, 2017
Location change: from Montgomery County Community College to Wissahickon Middle School, where we held the event the last two seasons. We have also increased the capacity for this event from 24 to 36 teams
  • Hat Tricks Qualifying Tournament – Dec 2nd, 2017
Location remains the same (the High School) however we have increased this event from a 24 to 30 Team event (2 field, single division). 

The Season Event Calendar and Registration webpage links follow:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2017-2018-season
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

As stated earlier, there is a registration fee of $125, unchanged from last year with an option for e-payment! If you have already registered and received an invoice please be aware of and follow this season’s PAYMENT POLICY:
  • The Event Registration Fee is due either three (3) weeks after the event registration confirmation email date or two (2) weeks before the Tournament date, whichever is earlier. 
  • If a team is added to the Registered List within two (2) weeks of the Tournament date, the Event Registration Fee is due no later than three (3) days before the Tournament date. 
  • If the Event Registration Fee is not received by the Due Date, the team will be removed from the Registered list and the open slot will then be offered to the next eligible team. 
  • Payments will not be accepted at the event. 
Please be sure to contact us should there be any difficulties adhering to this policy to protect your choices.

We look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org . We love hearing from our teams.

VOLUNTEERS: If someone on your team or an associate, friend, acquaintance, team parent, sponsor, etc would like to volunteer at any of our events they are certainly welcome. We have many volunteer roles we would love to fill. Volunteering so much more fun that sitting in the stands and watching! We welcome and encourage you and yours to participate. Volunteer registration, roles and information can be found on our website at:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/volunteer

Please feel free to reach out to us at any time with questions or issues as they arise. We are here to enhance your FTC PA experience and to especially HAVE FUN!


Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett


Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner


ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #3 – FTC EVENT REGISTRATION IS OPEN (9/22/2017)

Hi to FIRST Tech Challenge Teams in Pennsylvania,

The subject of this blast is to inform and remind you that registration is now open for ALL Pennsylvania FTC Regional Please go to our website to register ASAP. Remaining workshops and scrimmages are free to teams and open to the public. For the official FTC Qualification Tournaments there is a registration fee of $125, unchanged from last year with an option for e-payment! In addition, if you were not able to attend one of our 4 live lick-off events simultaneously held on Saturday, September 9th or the Coaches Calls we are attaching a copy of the ppt presentation from that day. Please review and should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2017-2018-season

Registration for all season events can be accessed at:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

Please remember that the FIRST Inspires website is available as well and is a fantastic resource for teams.
https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc

Also a reminder that FIRST Inspires Email Blasts with various topics for teams can be found at the following link.
http://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/ftc/team-email-blasts

We look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org . We love hearing from our teams.


Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge - VOLUNTEER INVITATION (9/22/2017)

Hello to honored past and present FTC PA Volunteers and Teams,

We hope that you have had a great summer and fall and are geared up and ready for the 2017-2018 FIRST Tech Challenge Pennsylvania Competition Season! This season we have an exciting game challenge in the form of Relic Recovery. A one page game description is attached and the game video can be found at the following link.
https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc/game-and-season

To date we have held multiple kick-offs, workshops, and scrimmages throughout the state with more workshops and scrimmages planned throughout the season. Our schedule, including the Qualifiers and State Championship is complete! As a volunteer or tea member you can access our FTC EVENTS on our webpage and attached to this mail.

So now the fun part, VOLUNTEERING. We welcome back all of our awesome volunteers who participated with us in past years and especially welcome new volunteers from family, friends, the community and businesses alike. As you consider your volunteer choices please also feel free to recruit to assist us in expanding our reach. Volunteer opportunities abound, and our schedule of events can be found on our website and on the attachment “2017-18 FTC Season Schedule”. We also welcome volunteers to attend our workshops as well as participate in the all-important scrimmages, both of which occupy every weekend throughout the fall at various locations across the state. Volunteer roles are defined in the link provided below in the VOLUNTEER REGISTER paragraph.. We welcome volunteers in all capacities but especially in key roles such as Judging, Referees and Inspectors.

Note please that we will continue to abide by the Title 23 Child Services laws in PA. For those of you that went through the process the last 2 seasons this year is much simpler for you. Please read, find your volunteer role and determine your status and then simply follow the instructions. Remember, this is for the protection of our youth and student participants, a very, very good thing.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/volunteer/youth-protection

Next step, SELECT the EVENTS you want to volunteer for from our season Event Calendar. Opening each event provides much more detail for your information:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2017-2018-season

Now VOLUNTEER REGISTER. For details on the Volunteer Roles and registration on VIMS, please go to the following link on our website: Please be cognizant of your Youth Protection Program Requirements and assure that you go completely through the process, especially necessary for new volunteers. As in past years WE WILL ONLY ACCEPT VOLUNTEERS AT EVENTS THAT HAVE CLEARED THE SCREENING PROCESS. Please do so at least one week before the event to allow for screening to be completed.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/volunteer

We look forward to working and playing with you all over the next season. It takes hundreds of dedicated volunteers to make our program, but more importantly our students successful. We cannot thank our volunteers enough. Of course, there is always the cool T-Shirt and lunch provided at all of our events for our vols. Please let us know if you should have any questions. 


All the best,

Tom Zawislak, Dave Hackett and Bob Debes

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #2 – Kick-off, Workshop and Scrimmage Registrations (8/25/2017)

Hi to FIRST Tech Challenge Teams in Pennsylvania,

The subject of this blast is to inform you that registration is now open for Pennsylvania FTC Regional Kick-Off events (September 9th) as well as our fall workshops and scrimmages. Please go to our website to register ASAP. These events are free to teams and now open so please take advantage of amazing opportunities to meet, work with, collaborate and learn from each other and our leadership teams and volunteers.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2017-2018-season

We are also offering Coaches Calls again this year. These are a venue for new or veteran coaches and mentors to ask questions about the season, events, the game… basically any topic that will facilitate your season and enhance your experience in these essential roles.

Registration for all fall events can be accessed at:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

Please note that registration for the Qualifiers is not yet open. We will offer open registration after Kick-off on September 9th, 2017.

Please remember that the FIRST Inspires website is available as well and is a fantastic resource for teams.
https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc

Also a reminder that FIRST Inspires Email Blasts with various topics for teams can be found at the following link.
http://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/ftc/team-email-blasts

As always please be sure to check or website for location updates and more detailed site information as we continue to build our schedule.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2016-2017-season

We look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org . We love hearing from our teams.


Warmest Regards,
Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett 

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #1 – Welcome to a new Season of Exciting Challenges (8/14/2017)

Hi to our previous season and new FIRST Tech Challenge Teams in Pennsylvania,

We hope that all is well with you and that the last season with the FIRST Tech Challenge program was challenging, rewarding but most of all, fun! We and all the volunteers have nothing but the best memories from the entire season, especially with the incredible performance of PA teams at the World competition where our teams did spectacularly in both Judging and field competition.

This is the first of a series of 2017-2018 season email blasts that you will receive specific to the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge program. We will be sending out these mails on a regular basis that essentially augment the email blasts that you already receive directly from FIRST.

A first at FIRST this season is the release of the name of this seasons challenge FIRST RELIC RECOVERY. There is a teaser video related to this game as well, but the full game details will not be released until kick-off on September 9th. More on “live” kick-off events in your region of PA follows.

FTC registration for all FTC teams in the World opened in mid-May. We are super excited this season as FTC has refined and continues to expand and improve on the Control System introduced 2 seasons ago with improved hardware and more robust and refined software to go with a very special game challenge that we know all teams will enjoy.

The FIRST Inspires website continues to improve as well. If you have not visited it in a while please go the following link for up to date team and season information:
https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc

Also very important is that FIRST Tech Challenge has provided great and essential information for team through regular Email Blasts. Topics are varied and we strongly recommend that teams read and take appropriate actions as necessary to their success (and potential grants). There are already 9 Blasts since open registration:
http://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/ftc/team-email-blasts

Now for Pennsylvania; we are currently working on our detailed event schedule for this season as we secure dates and venues. We will be adding more workshops, practices, scrimmages as well as qualifiers over the next two weeks. We already have many workshops posted though out the state thanks to our leadership teams. As always, and throughout the season, please refer to our comprehensive FTC PA website for schedule details as well as event registration policies and sign-ups. Our event registration page will open shortly; we will let you know when available.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

Live Kick-Off events:
We have scheduled 4 simultaneous live and webcast Kick-Off events around the state on Saturday September 9th, 2017. We would love for our teams to come, engage with other teams in the community and get to see, touch and feel the new game challenge. At each event we will also have an official FTC Referee there to explain the game rules and answers questions. Registration will open for these free kick-off events to be held from 10:00 to 2:00PM at each of the following locations:
  • Philadelphia – Temple University – Engineering Building, Philadelphia, PA 
  • East – Penn State Great Valley Campus, Malvern, PA 
  • Central – York Country Day School, York, PA. 
  • West – Penn State New Kensington Campus, New Kensington, PA 
Please be sure to check or website for location updates and more detailed site information.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2016-2017-season

We look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org . We love hearing from our teams.


Warmest Regards,
Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett 

Thomas Zawislak
Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

2016 - 2017 Season

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #3 – New Season Updates and Live Kick-off Event (9/6/2016)

Hi to our FTC Teams and Volunteers in Pennsylvania,

This is one of a continuing series of 2016-2017 season email blasts that you will receive specific to the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge program. We will be sending out these mails on a regular basis that essentially augment the email blasts that you already receive directly from FIRST with Pennsylvania program information and guidance.

Live Kick-Off events scheduled for this weekend!
We have scheduled 4 simultaneous live and webcast Kick-Off events around the state on Saturday September 10th 2016. We would love for our teams to come, engage with other teams in the community and get to see, touch and feel the actual, physical new game challenge. Please note that your team may attend even if your FIRST Tech Challenge registration process is not yet complete. 

At each event we will also have an official FTC Referee there to explain the game rules and answers questions. Registration is open for these free kick-off events to be held from 10:30 to 2:00PM at each of the following locations. Since the last blast we have finalized the locations and they are also listed on our website where you may click on the locations for a link to the maps. Just select the location of your choice and register.

Philadelphia:
Auditorium

East:
Conference Center Bldg, Auditorium

Central:
Ann B. Barshinger Center for the Arts and the Brougher Center for Innovation and Technology

West:
Gymnasium

Please be sure to check or website for location details and site information including the agenda. We ask that you please also register for the Kick-Off Events so that we may plan accordingly.

You may find the exact location for these events with agenda at:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2016-2017-season

And register your team to attend using the on-line registration form at:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

As stated in our Email Blast #2 we continue to refine the event schedule for this season as we secure dates and venues for workshops and scrimmages. We have added a few since the last writing in collaboration with many of the PA State teams. This schedule is dynamic and growing as we gain commitments so please be sure to check back often. Subsequent Email Blasts will also keep you informed of significant additions or changes. Also, please be sure to register for the workshops and Scrimmages as well. Note that registration will open for Qualifiers after the kick-off this Saturday. Please be sure to read the registration policy and use the same Registration form link as cited above. Participant check-in is at 10:30AM with the formal presentation starting at 11:00AM. The live Game Reveal is scheduled for noon and we will be completed by 2:00PM. Our website Event page is located at:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2016-2017-season

VOLUNTEERS: We welcome you to start registering for events a well. Volunteer registration and information can be found on our website at:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/volunteer

Reminder that FIRST Tech Challenge has provided great and essential information for team through regular Email Blasts. Topics are varied and we strongly recommend that teams read and take appropriate actions as necessary to their success. There have been at least 9 informative Email Blasts since May. If you have not received or read these, please be sure to do so:
http://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/ftc/team-email-blasts

As always, and throughout the season, please refer to our comprehensive FTC PA website for schedule details as well as event registration policies and sign-ups. Our event registration page will open shortly.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/home

Four 4 more days to get the season party started!

Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org . We love hearing from our teams.

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett and the FTC-PA Volunteer staff

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics 
Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics FTC®Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #2 – New Season Updates and Live Kick-off Events (8/22/2016)

Hi to our FTC Teams and Volunteers in Pennsylvania,

This is one of a continuing series of 2016-2017 season email blasts that you will receive specific to the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge program. We will be sending out these mails on a regular basis that essentially augment the email blasts that you already receive directly from FIRST with Pennsylvania program information and guidance.

As written in the last email, FIRST has introduced a new and exciting website over the last season that is more informative and functional. If you have not visited it in a while please go the following link for season information and schedule. This website is comprehensive in providing links for details to the season, team information TIMS, STIMS, Team Registration, Calendars and other great resources for both new and existing teams.
http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/team-resources

Live Kick-Off events:

We have scheduled 4 simultaneous live and webcast Kick-Off events around the state on Saturday September 10th 2016. We would love for our teams to come, engage with other teams in the community and get to see, touch and feel the new game challenge. At each event we will also have an official FTC Referee there to explain the game rules and answers questions. Registration is open for these free kick-off events to be held from 10:30 to 2:00PM at each of the following locations:
  • Philadelphia – Northeast High School, Philadelphia PA (Preliminary)* 
  • East – Penn State Great Valley Campus, Malvern, PA 
  • Central – Camp Curtin Middle School, Harrisburg, PA (Preliminary)* 
  • West – Penn State New Kensington Campus, New Kensington, PA (Preliminary)* 
Please be sure to check or website for location updates and more detailed site information as we secure the locations cited above. We ask that you please also register for the Kick-Off Events so that we may plan accordingly.

You may find the exact location for these events with agenda at:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2016-2017-season

And register your team to attend using the on-line registration form at:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

As stated in our Email Blast #1 we are working on our detailed event schedule for this season as we secure dates and venues. We have scheduled many, but will also be adding more State-wide workshops, practices, scrimmages in collaboration with many of the PA State teams. This schedule is dynamic and growing as we gain commitments so please be sure to check back often. Subsequent Email Blasts will also keep you informed of significant additions or changes. Also, please be sure to register for the workshops and Scrimmages as well. Note that registration for Qualifiers will come at a later date. Use the same Registration form link as cited above. Our website Event page is located at:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2016-2017-season

VOLUNTEERS: We welcome you to start registering for events a well. Volunteer registration and information can be found on our website at;
http://www.ftcpenn.org/volunteer

FIRST Tech Challenge has provided great and essential information for team through regular Email Blasts. Topics are varied and we strongly recommend that teams read and take appropriate actions as necessary to their success. As an example there is information for retuning team regarding updating your Core , Control Modules to the latest firmware. This was in 6/22 and 7/1/2016 Blasts. The most recent 8/18 Blast covered topics such as FIRST Tech Challenge Curriculum, tips on Registering your FIRST Tech Challenge Team, and Kit of Parts and Ordering Instructions. They are all accessible for review through the following link. There have been at least 7 informative Email Blasts since May. If you have not received or read these, please be sure to do so:
http://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/ftc/team-email-blasts

As always, and throughout the season, please refer to our comprehensive FTC PA website for schedule details as well as event registration policies and sign-ups. Our event registration page will open shortly.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/home

We look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org . We love hearing from our teams.

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge®Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

FIRST Tech Challenge - 2016-17 Season Welcome! (6/19/2016)

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #1 – Welcome to a new Season of Exciting Challenges

Hi to our last season and new FTC Teams in Pennsylvania,

We hope that all is well with you and that the last season with the FIRST Tech Challenge program was challenging, rewarding but most of all, fun!

This is the first of a series of 2016-2017 season email blasts that you will receive specific to the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge program. We will be sending out these mails on a regular basis that essentially augment the email blasts that you already receive directly from FIRST.

FTC registration for all FTC teams in the World opened on May 18, 2016. We are very excited this season as FTC has refined and continues to expand and improve on the Control System introduced last season.

FIRST has introduced a new and exciting website over the last season that is more informative and functional. If you have not visited it in a while please go the following link for season information and schedule.

This website is comprehensive in providing links for details to the season, team information TIMS, STIMS, Team Registration, Calendars and other great resources for both new and existing teams.
http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/team-resources

We are currently working on our detailed event schedule for this season as we secure dates and venues. We will be adding more workshops, practices, scrimmages in collaboration with many of the states teams. We will also be adding additional qualifiers! The new game Kick-off/Game Reveal is scheduled for September 10th, 2016. We will be LIVE in 4 locations across the state. More to follow. 

As always, and throughout the season, please refer to our comprehensive FTC PA website for schedule details as well as event registration policies and sign-ups. Our event registration page will open shortly.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/home

We look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org. We love hearing from our teams.


Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics FTC®Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org



2015 - 2016 Season

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #5 - Program It! Eastern PA Workshop (9/24/2015)

Hi to our Eastern Pennsylvania and Northern Delaware Teams,

Last year we introduced a series of workshops in the Philadelphia League called Build It! and Drive It! These were developed with two of our partner teams to allow participating teams to gather together to network, brainstorm, collaborate and have fun building bots and learning to drive on the actual competition field. This year we are expanding this concept across the state and adding a key workshop named Program IT!, especially in light of the new control platform and program challenges.

We are excited to be working with our hosts Penn State Great Valley on the first Program It! Eastern PA Workshop.

In addition to our FTC workshop, you will learn about Penn State Great Valley engineering opportunities plus tour their new $2.5 million Engineering Suite, which includes high-tech classrooms, a fully equipped circuits lab, robotics center and a fabrication and design facility outfitted with the latest engineering technologies. This state-of-the-art facility gives students hands-on experience using professional engineering equipment and software, such as multiple 3D printers, machining centers, a laser engraver, and other shop tools.

There are two hands on workshops available plus a practice field with the FIRST RES-Q game elements. Choose the option that works best for you:

New Technology Introduction Workshop - New or just getting started with the FTC New Technology components? This workshop is for you. Topics include New Tech Review and Demo, Anderson Powerpoles, Driver Station, Robot Controller, Driving the Robot, Introduction to Development Tools and the FTC Software Development Kit (SDK), Creating a New OpMode, Interacting with sensors, motors and servos, and Troubleshooting the system. This workshop will be led by lead FTA Jim Rumbaugh

New Technology Advanced Workshop - Feeling comfortable with the basics and ready to dive in? In this workshop we are going to dive head first into the programming challenge with the new technology platform. This will be largely a hands on lab so you will be writing code and building the robot controller application just as you will need to do for this year's challenge. We are going to learn about Java, Object Oriented Programming, Syntax and Structure, How to Navigate Java Doc (specific to our new platform), how to create and develop our own OpModes, and how to manage the OpMode registry. We will learn how to use the On Board Sensors of the Android device in our OpMode for navigational controls as well as interacting with our new and legacy controllers and devices. Instructor, the amazing Brian Hildebrand

For more information including what you need to bring to the workshop as well as the agenda please go to our website link:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2015-2016-season/program-it-eastern-pa

Please register your team on our Registration Page as soon as possible. We need to plan early for the number of teams attending.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

Thank you and we look forward to meeting you all and launching a strong season for our area teams. 


Tom Zawislak, Dave Hackett, Jim Rumbaugh, Brian Hildebrand and our host and friends at Penn State Great Valley

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics FTC®Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #4 – Coaches Meetings (9/15/2015)

Reminder for all Registered and Prospective FTC Teams

Hi all,

Well we have the new game challenge ahead of us in FIRST ResQ as well as the challenges of developing, managing and coaching/mentoring your teams. This is a reminder that we are hosting Coaches Calls tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday Evenings this week. Please be sure to register and attend.

What the Call is about:

The Coaches Calls are an opportunity to learn more about the upcoming Pennsylvania FTC Season, and most importantly give us the opportunity to hear what is on your mind. So bring your questions, comments, and thoughts on how to improve the Pennsylvania FTC program!

The calls are divided up regionally as there will be some region specific topics discussed. This will also be an opportunity to virtually meet other coaches in your area. If you cannot attend the call for your region, please feel free to join one of the other calls.

We have 4 Calls scheduled for next week, two each on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, September 16 and 17th.

Please go to the following link for more information, registration and to access the call-in/access information. All calls will be managed through GoTo Meetings and we will be presenting through a live feed that you may access from your computers.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2015-2016-season/coaches-call

We look forward to hearing from each and every one of you!

Thank you and good luck with this seasons launch of your teams!


Tom and Dave

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics FTC®Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #3 – Season Kick-Off Events and Coaches Meetings (9/9/2015)

Reminder for all Registered and Prospective FTC Teams

Live Kick-Off events:

We have scheduled 4 simultaneous live and webcast Kick-Off events around the state on Saturday the 12th. We would love for our teams to come, engage with other teams in the community and get to see, touch and feel the new game challenge. At each event we will also have an official FTC Referee there to explain the game rules and answers questions. Registration is open for these free kick-off events to be held from 10:45 to 2:00PM at each of the following locations:

Philadelphia – Temple University - College of Engineering Building
East – Technical College High School Brandywine Campus, Downingtown, PA
Central – Millersville University Osburn Hall, Millersville, PA
West - Carnegie Mellon / National Robotics Engineering Center, Pittsburg, PA 


You may find the exact location for these events with agenda at:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2015-2016-season/pennsylvania-ftc-season-kick-off
And register your team to attend using the on-line registration form at:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

For our developing season schedule visit our website Event page at:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2015-2016-season


Coaches Calls – Pennsylvania FTC

The Coaches Calls are an opportunity to learn more about the upcoming Pennsylvania FTC Season, and most importantly give us the opportunity to hear what is on your mind. So bring your questions, comments, and thoughts on how to improve the Pennsylvania FTC program!

The calls are divided up regionally as there will be some region specific topics discussed. This will also be an opportunity to virtually meet other coaches in your area. If you cannot attend the call for your region, please feel free to join one of the other calls.

We have 4 Calls scheduled for next week, two each on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, September 16 and 17th.

Please go to the following link for more information, registration and to access the call-in/access information. All calls will be managed through GoTo Meetings and we will be presenting through a live feed that you may access from your computers.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2015-2016-season/coaches-call

We look forward to hearing from each and every one of you!

Thank you and good luck with this seasons launch of your teams!


Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics FTC®Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #2 – New Season Updates and Live Kick-off Events (8/28/2015)

Hi to our FTC Teams in Pennsylvania,

This is one of a continuing series of 2015-2016 season email blasts that you will receive specific to the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge program. We will be sending out these mails on a regular basis that essentially augment the email blasts that you already receive directly from FIRST.

FTC registration for all FTC teams in the World opened on May 13, 2015. We currently have 55 registered teams, with 21 of them Rookies! Welcome to our new teams. With schools coming back in session we expect many more teams to join back in the fun.

As written in the last email, we are very excited this season as FTC has introduced, and we are implementing, an all new control system and platform based on Android technology and Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors. As such, we are planning more workshops and scrimmages in the state than ever to so that teams may gather and work together to master this new technology as well s build and drive their robot creations. If you are a team that has the resources and would like to host a workshop please let us know. Just write to us at ftc@pennfirst.org.

FTC New Tech Overview
FTC Engineer, Thomas Eng will be hosting a Google Hangout next Tuesday, Sept 9th going over all of the FTC New Tech kit components. This will be a high level overview for all of our teams interested in learning a little more about the FTC New Tech! Tune in at 5pm EST to learn more!
https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cksv26q1q9m693ajrpgve47ij5s

Live Kick-Off events:
We have scheduled 4 simultaneous live and webcast Kick-Off events around the state on Saturday the 12th. We would love for our teams to come, engage with other teams in the community and get to see, touch and feel the new game challenge. At each event we will also have an official FTC Referee there to explain the game rules and answers questions. Registration is open for these free kick-off events to be held from 10:45 to 2:00PM at each of the following locations:

Philadelphia – Temple University - College of Engineering Building
East – Technical College High School Brandywine Campus, Downingtown, PA
Central – Millersville University Osburn Hall, Millersville, PA
West - Carnegie Mellon / National Robotics Engineering Center, Pittsburgh, PA

You may find the exact location for these events with agenda at:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2015-2016-season/pennsylvania-ftc-season-kick-off

And register your team to attend using the on-line registration form at:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

For or developing season schedule visit our website Event page at:
http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2015-2016-season

As usual, there is a lot of information already provided and accessible to teams regarding the new platform, available grants as well as general guidance to FTC program enhancements this season. These have been provided through the aforementioned emails blasts from FIRST. They are all accessible for review through the following link. There have been 8 informative Email Blasts since June. If you have not received or read these, please be sure to do so: 
http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/emailblastarchive.aspx

Another great and necessary link that teams should access is the Team Resources page on the FIRST website. This has been highly augmented with incredible resources to get both veteran and new teams rolling with Android and Inteletik training resources, push-bot build instructions, Notebook guides and much more. Please visit this page, pick your needs and visit often.
http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/team-resources

We look forward to meeting you all during the season, and hopefully at one of our kick-off events. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org. We love hearing from our teams.


Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett
Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics FTC®Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #1 – Welcome to a new Season of Exciting Challenges (6/14/2015)

Hi to our prior season and new FTC Teams in Pennsylvania,

This is the first of a series of 2015-2016 season email blasts that you will receive specific to the Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge program. We will be sending out these mails on a regular basis that essentially augment the email blasts that you already receive directly from FIRST.

FTC registration for all FTC teams in the World opened on May 13, 2015. We are very excited this season as FTC has introduced, and we are implementing, an all new control system and platform based on Android technology and Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors. The new platform eliminates the Samantha Module, the NXT processor and the central field WiFi system. It enables total control of the robot at the competition level to you, the driver! Also gone Is RobotC programming language. The extensive world of Java programming and more open source capabilities will be in your hands, in the form of a cell phone. If you were not aware of this innovative and progressive robotics platform please go to the following link for the press release:
http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/technology

There is a lot of information already provided and accessible to teams regarding the new platform, available grants as well as general guidance to FTC program enhancements this season. These have been provided through the aforementioned emails blasts from FIRST. They are all accessible for review through the following link:
http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/emailblastarchive.aspx

Another great improvement is in the team registration and kit ordering process. Ordering the kits and necessary components for the new control system as well as traditional Matrix and Tetrix build parts can be accomplished on one website site in a multi-step process. The outline and instructions for the new ordering process can be found in the’ Team Resources’ section of the FIRST FTC website. We highly recommend reading through the instructions before registering your team for the 2015-2016 seasons.
http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/team-resources

Registration access and costs can also be accessed through the following link. Please be aware that there are grant opportunities for registering teams. Please be sure to take full advantage of these grants. One word of caution however is that if you do apply for an optional grant that you MUST wait until you are notified that the grant will be applied to your registration (through independent mail) BEFORE you actually initiate and pay for team registration with FIRST and CONFIRM that the grant is actually applied once in the system.
http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/registration

Finally, we are currently working on our detailed event schedule for this season as we secure dates and venues. We will be adding more workshops, especially to assist teams with implementing the new platform (this summer), practices, scrimmages and expanded qualifiers. The new game Kick-off/Game Reveal is scheduled for September 12th, 2015. In general, the months of September through November will be dedicated to workshops, practices and scrimmages. This is intended to allow teams more time to prepare and accommodate the learning curve for the new control system. The official PA Competition season will commence in December and end in February culminating in the State Championship. As always, and throughout the season, please refer to our comprehensive FTC PA website for schedule details as well as event registration policies and sign-ups. Our event registration page will open shortly.
http://www.ftcpenn.org/home

We look forward to an amazing and fun season and hope to have you all join in. Please always feel free to contact us any time with questions or request at ftc@pennfirst.org. We love hearing from our teams.


Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FTC®Affiliate Partner


ph: (302) 383-9925
email: ftc@pennfirst.org
Website: www.FTCPenn.org



2014 - 2015 Season

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #6 - REGISTRATION OPEN and MORE! (9/29/2014)

Hi all,

The FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics season has started and we are in full swing. We are excited for the educational engagement and fun that we will have throughout this year. We hope you are all as energized as we are!

Since our last email blast we had a very successful and well attended 2014-2015 SEASON KICK_OFF AND GAME REVEAL. We had over 42 teams, including representatives of FLL, and well over 400 participants and volunteers state-wide. What a great turnout for the reveal of the CASCADE EFFECT game challenge. At this time we are at 72 registered teams in the state and continue to grow the program.

A Few important items for our esteemed teams today:
  • EVENT REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN IN PENNSYLVANIA 
As always, a reminder to check in with our website to keep up to speed on the development of our 2014-2015 Season Schedule. Please note our new Tournament Policy in particular, as it has changed this year. Teams are asked to submit their top three preferences. Slots in those tournaments will be assigned based on Policy guidelines. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.

http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2014-2015-season

http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration
  • CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS 
Volunteers are what make our and all FIRST events successful. We welcome anyone who wants to participate, contribute but mostly HAVE FUN! This year we are using FIRST Volunteer Information and Matching System (VIMS) exclusively to sign up, track and assign volunteers. It is no longer necessary to register on our website as well. One-stop shopping! VIMS also include volunteer screening in accordance with the FIRST Youth Protection Policy, so we will be assured that our student competitors have a safe and special experience. Volunteer roles may be found on our FTC PA website as well as the link to VIMS. Our events are already listed in the VIMS system

http://www.ftcpenn.org/volunteer
  • FLL to FTC PROGRESSION OF PROGRAMS 
One of our missions this year is to proactively encourage and promote the progression of programs within the FIRST community. As such, we plan on having FTC presence at every FLL and FRC tournament held in Pennsylvania this season. If your team is interested in contributing to this initiative through a demo, workshop or training venue please contact me at ftc@pennfirst.org and we will match you up with one of these tournaments.
  • PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR TEAM PROFILE IS COMPLETE IN FTC TIMS! 
Our season is now underway, but before you can order your kit of parts or register for an event, all fields of the Team Profile must be completed in FTC TIMS.

Screening Requirement for Lead Mentors in the United States and Canada: Your team’s Main and Alternate Contacts must complete the YPP screening before your team can register for competition events! The screening process can take up to 36 hours to complete. We therefore urge your team’s Main (Lead Mentor 1) and Alternate (Lead Mentor 2) Contacts to get screened now.

If you have already completed the Team Profile and YPP screening for both Lead Mentors, we thank you! This message was sent to all teams as a reminder.

If you have any questions, please contact Team Support by email at FTCTeams@USFIRST.org
  • The 2015 FIRST Scholarship Program Website is live! 
Learn more about FIRST Scholarship resources here:

http://usfirst.org/about/scholarships/scholarship-opportunities!

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Reminders for those who may not have gotten the mails in the past; FIRST FTC out of Manchester, NH sends out team Email Blasts on a regular and frequent basis. These are archived and available on the FIRST site, link provided. The last few email blasts are very significant and provide overviews of pertinent information for the success of your team and season. PLEASE MAKE THE TIME TO REVIEW THESE SUBJECTS. 

Please reference these mails for links to these valuable resources.

http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/emailblastarchive.aspx

Please feel free to write should you have any questions or require additional information. We look forward to seeing you all in the coming season.

Sincerely,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

--
Thomas Zawislak
Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics FTC®Affiliate Partner


ph: (302) 383-9925
email: penn.ftc@gmail.com
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #5 - SEASON KICK OFF AND MORE! (8/29/2014)

Hi all,

Here we go! The new 2014-2015 FIRST Tech Challenge Season Kick-off is just a week away.

There are several items in the email blast:

2014-2015 SEASON KICK_OFF AND GAME REVEAL:

This is a reminder that we will have live kick-off and game reveal events at 4 locations in the state. If you have not yet registered please do so. See links below. Agenda’s somewhat differ at each locations as well dependent on whether our hosts are making provisions for additional presentations, so please see the agenda for the location of your choice. The live games reveal on the actual competition fields and rules will be at 12:00 noon sharp. A pizza lunch will also be provided.

Locations (links to google maps embedded in the names)
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

Our 4 host locations this year are:

Philadelphia:
Temple University
College of Engineering Building
Room 126 Lecture Hall
1947 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA

East:
Technical College High School – Brandywine Campus
Entrance D
455 Boot Road, Downingtown PA

Central:
Millersville University

Osburn Hall (Campus Map #47)
40 E Frederick St, Millersville, PA

West:
Carnegie Mellon / National Robotics Engineering Center

Ten 40th Street, Pittsburgh, PA

We hope to see and meet with you at one of our live events. If you cannot make it, no worries, the Game will be posted on the FIRST FTC site as usual, but not until after noon on the 6th. We promise you that it will be an awesome, challenging and fun game again this year!

http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/game

TEAM GRANTS ARE AVAILABLE:

There are three grant opportunities:
  • FTC Rookie Grant 
  • FTC Team Grants from PTC 
  • FLL to FTC Graduation Grants 
Information and Applications can be found at the following FIRST link
http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/grow

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Reminders for those who may not have gotten the mails in the past; FIRST FTC out of Manchester, NH sends out team Email Blasts on a regular and frequent basis. These are archived and available on the FIRST site, link provided. The last few email blasts are very significant and provide overviews of pertinent information for the success of your team and season. PLEASE MAKE THE TIME TO REVIEW THESE SUBJECTS. These include:
  • New Parent and Volunteer Resources on our FTC Webpage! 
  • FIRST Scholarships! 
  • FTC Forum (very important) registration 
  • Availability of a new TIIMS user guide 
  • Updates to the Super-Regional webpage! 
  • Lab VIEW Coming Soon! 
  • PTC Team Grants Available! 
  • AndyMark Will Now be the Source for New FTC Fields and Game Elements! 
Please reference these mails for links to these valuable resources.

http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/emailblastarchive.aspx

As always, a reminder to check in with our website to keep up to speed on the development of our 2014-2015 Season Schedule. Except for the Kick-Off event registration for the PA events does not open until September 6th and we are working on a new Tournament Policy to accommodate as many teams as possible in our competitions. More to come!

http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2014-2015-season

We are excited to get together with the fantastic FIRST family for another incredible FTC season!

Sincerely,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

--

Thomas Zawislak
Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics FTC®Affiliate Partner


ph: (302) 383-9925
email: penn.ftc@gmail.com
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FTC Email Blast #4 - Season Kick-Off and Game Reveal September 6, 2014 (8/11/2014)

Hi all,

I hope that you all have had a happy fun and safe summer. Unfortunately it is almost over but that is also great news as the FTC Season is about to begin! We are less than one month away from the kick-off and we are pleased to announce the locations and schedule for live and in-person events in PA. Following the FIRST schedule the 2014-2015 Game reveal is at 12:00noon on September 6th however we have introductory comments and even tours at our host facilities that you would be interested in as well. After the official reveal Pennsylvania. We will have a full field official field with all field elements at each location so you will be able to touch and feel your way into launching you robot design process.

Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics will provide a pizza lunch at 12:30 at each location and will remain open allowing time for teams to collaborate and brainstorm until 2:00PM. Please go to the specific link for the location where you would like to attend to see the specific schedule for that location. Please go to the following webpage for specifics and to register for attending a kick-off, please go to the second link. We ask that you please register for planning purposes and thank you very much.

Locations (links to google maps embedded in the names)
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

Our 4 host locations this year are:

Philadelphia:
Temple University
College of Engineering Building
Room 126 Lecture Hall
1947 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA

East:
Technical College High School – Brandywine Campus
Entrance D
455 Boot Road, Downingtown PA

Central:
Millersville University
Osburn Hall (Campus Map #47)
40 E Frederick St, Millersville, PA

West:
Carnegie Mellon / National Robotics Engineering Center
Ten 40th Street, Pittsburgh, PA

We hope to see and meet with you at one of our live events. If you cannot make it, no worries, the Game will be posted on the FIRST FTC site as usual, but not until after noon on the 6th. We promise you that it will be an awesome, challenging and fun game again this year!

http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/game

One additional reminder and for those who may not have gotten the mails in the past, FIRST FTC out of Manchester, NH sends out team Email Blasts on a regular and frequent basis. These are archived and available on the FIRST site, link provided. The last few email blasts have provided overviews of very pertinent information for the success of your team and season. These include:

Rookie Team Grants 
  • FIRST Scholarship information 
  • FTC Forum (very important) registration 
  • Availability of a new TIIMS user guide 
  • New Parent and Volunteer Resources on the FTC Webpage! 
  • And many other subjects 

  • PLEASE REFERENCE THESE MAILS AND ASSOCIATED LINKS FOR ADDITIONAL PERTINENT INFORMATION 
http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/emailblastarchive.aspx

A always, a reminder to check in with our website to keep up to speed on the development of our 2014-2015 Season Schedule. Except for the Kick-Off event registration for the PA events does not open until September 6th and we are working on a new Tournament Policy to accommodate as many teams as possible in our competitions. More to come!

http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2014-2015-season

We are excited to get together with the fantastic FIRST family for another incredible FTC season!

Sincerely,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics FTC®Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: FTC@PENNFIRST.ORG
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

FTC Pennsylvania Email Blast #3 - Rookie Grants Available (6/23/2014)

Hi all,

Summer is now here and there is great news from FIRST!

Before launching into the news I wanted to remind you all to check in with our website to keep up to speed on the development of our 2014-2015 Season Schedule. Registration for the PA events does not open until September 6th and we are working on a new Tournament Policy to accommodate as many teams as possible in our competitions. More to come!

http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2014-2015-season

This email is to reinforce the announcement of 2014 ROOKIE GRANTS that became available as of June 19th. Summary description regarding eligibility:

“FIRST® is excited to announce a funding opportunity for 2014 FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC) Rookie teams participating in the 2014 FTC Season! All Rookie (1st year) teams that have paid for their 2014 FTC registration via credit card or check before June 19th are still eligible to apply for the Rookie Grant. As there are no refunds for the FTC program, teams that registered before the June 19th announcement, and that meet all other criteria will instead be eligible to receive a credit for their 2015 FTC registration. Please note, teams may receive exactly one registration grant per season. Teams that received another grant to cover registration will not be eligible to apply for the 2014 FTC Rookie Grant”.

The Rookie Grant link is: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/grow

Be sure to check the full eligibility requirements. Links are also provided to Register a Team as well as Apply for the grant.

Again, we will be posting an updated Tournament Registration Policy in the next week as well so please check back by early next week for details.

Have a safe and fun beginning to your summer!

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett


Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics FTC®Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: penn.ftc@gmail.com
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

FTC Pennsylvania Email Blast #2 - June Updates (6/5/2014)

Good afternoon teams and volunteers,

I hope you are all having a marvelous spring, winding down from school and associated activities and gearing up for summer time. Time is going by quickly and we are only 3 months away from FTC season Kick-Off which is scheduled for September 6th with official game reveal at 12:00 Noon! A few items for your information and planning purposes:

This year we plan on holding four (4) kick-off events across the state. East, Central, West (Pittsburgh) and for the Philadelphia league. As we get our locations for these and our competition sites scheduled we will be posting them to our website which has been updated by Dave Hackett to accommodate the coming 2014-2015 season. Please go to the following link for updates. Our goal is to have a complete competitions schedule prior to kick-off and then open registration at that time.

http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2014-2015-season

Through the generosity of the Alcoa Foundation team grants for both rookie and veteran teams are available again this coming season. These are for teams that are located within 20 miles of an Alcoa facility. I am attaching a copy of the facilities list which includes 5 locations in PA. Many of you were grant teams last year so we encourage you to apply again and spread the word to any entities that may be considering starting a team that meets the geographic criteria. There are a limited number of grants available so please apply early. The application is also attached to this mail. We will continue to update you with regards to any additional grant opportunities that come available.

FIRST FTC has and will continue to send out email blasts to teams with important information and content. If you have not received these mails please let us know. Otherwise, no worry, the mails are archived on the FIRST FTC site. A link is provided to this site. The latest blast went out on May 29th.

http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/emailblastarchive.aspx

Finally, as you are aware, Team Registration opened on May 14th. As you register your team a requirement is for the primary mentors/coaches is to also register themselves. This is in accordance with the FIRST Youth Protection Program. Your must watch the video and provide personal information. Please be aware that not all information will be mandatory if you are uncomfortable with sharing details so PLEASE read the instructions carefully for the opening page through the entire registration process.

We are looking forward to another great season. Last season we ended with 97 registered and paid teams. Of those, 94 participated in at least one competition! This year we look to grow the number of teams in the state and provide the means for 100% participation.

Thank you, be safe and as always, please feel free to call or write should you have any questions.

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett


Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics FTC®Affiliate Partner

ph: (302) 383-9925
email: penn.ftc@gmail.com
Website: www.FTCPenn.org



2013 - 2014 Season

FTC Pennsylvania Mid-Season Email Blast (11/25/2013)

Hello FTC Pennsylvania Teams and Volunteers!

Here is hoping that you are all successfully working on your robots, strategies and award presentations since the start of our amazing season of Block Party!

Our competition season is in full swing and it has been too long since we have written to you all. We have been diligently laying out and executing our various activities and events. So far there has been 5 live season kick-offs throughout the state, a demo, 3 workshop/scrimmages, our first qualification tournament at Oxford High and our first of Meet Week with the Philadelphia FTC teams with new host, Temple University Engineering Dept.

As always, for the full schedule of upcoming competitions and events, please go to the following links on the Pennsylvania FTC website. Also following is our event Registration page. Please note the general Tournament Registration Policy as well as special qualifications to participate in upcoming events, as applicable. 

http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2013-2014-season
http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

We would like to highlight the addition of a few new qualifiers and a modification of our after school Meet program.

January 11, 2014 – All Rookies Qualification Tournament - We have had unprecedented growth in the program this year. As of yesterday we had 94 Teams registered in the state, 42 of which are newly registered as rookies. As such, we have added this all-rookie event to give provide a special opportunity to these teams that are ready and registered to not only compete, but learn from one another. This event will be held at Owen J. Roberts High School in Pottstown, PA and hosted by Friends of 401, better known as the MASH team organization.

January 18, 2014 – Southwest Regional Qualifier - New host Shady Side Academy Senior School (Pittsburgh, PA) who have graciously agreed to this challenge and are excited to host this 30 team event. This event is already full and has an extensive wait list.

February 8, 2014 – Philadelphia Final Meet – Last year we conducted 3 Meet Weeks fully as an after school program for the Philadelphia City Schools. This year we will hold Meets 3 and 4 on January 15 and 16 (again after school) and the Final Meet day will be Saturday, Feb. 8th as an all-day Qualifier-like celebration. The difference will be that qualification matches will be compiled and averaged with the results of Meets 1 through 4 with no semi-final or finals played, but we anticipate 6 – 8 matches per team.

February 15, 2014 – Lehigh Valley Regional Qualification Tournament – New event and host Emmaus High School and team 118 Steel Hornets who have been an FTC Team since 2007! We thank them for their offer to hold this 30 team tournament in a unique venue. Highest Priority for registration in this event will be for PA teams who have not yet registered for or had an opportunity to compete in another PA Qualifier of Meet, important given the unanticipated growth of FTC in the state.

Of course our State Championship will once again be at the incredible venue and hosted by Millersville University on March 1, 2014. We are also in planning stages for the East Super Regional competition of 72 teams which currently is scheduled for April 3 – 5. More to come regarding the venue, with whom we are finalizing a contract.

We are also proud of the number of teams in our state that were able to take advantage of numerous grants such as the FIRST Rookie grants, FLL to FTC Graduation Grants, Alcoa Foundation and Ujala Foundation (Delaware County) Grants and PTC Registration Grants. Congratulations to those teams!

So please check the schedule for upcoming events. They are either all at capacity with Wait Lists or are near capacity.

Finally a note to existing and potential VOLUNTEERS; Thank You! We have plenty of opportunities left to volunteer at any number of our events and welcome you all sharing your skills and passion in order to make the events successful and enrich the experience for the teams.

We welcome and encourage you to register for an event by simply going to our website link, reviewing the volunteer descriptions the registering on the same page. We need volunteers and the more the merrier! Thanks in advance for your participation.

http://www.ftcpenn.org/volunteer

Team facebook or website?
Tell us about your social media site. We would be happy to post a link on our website at http://www.ftcpenn.org/teams/2013-2014-teams

Team Photos
Please send up a link to your team photos. We would love to share them with the rest of the Robotics world. Show your pride!

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you all real soon for another exciting FTC season! It is rounding out to be the best ever!

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

--

Thomas Zawislak
Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics FTC®Affiliate Partner


ph: (302) 383-9925
email: penn.ftc@gmail.com
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge 2013-2104 Season Blast (8/20/2013)

Hello FTC Pennsylvania Teams and Volunteers! 

I hope you have all have had a safe and wonderful summer, are rested up and are raring to go for another exciting year of FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics in PA and surrounding states. To get the juices flowing we are sending out our first email blast to our amazing Teams and Volunteers past and present.This will also help bring the new rookie teams up to speed. Thank you all for your participation, enthusiasm and energy for this fantastic program.

The new FTC Season officially kicks off on Saturday, September 7th with the release of the game theme and video at 3:00PM. This year we have three special locations planned around that momentous occasion – Live Kick Offs, field reveal and workshops that you can attend on that day. We will Simulcast between the locations.

·  Venues

East:
TCHS Brandywine
455 Boot Road, Downingtown PA

Central:
Millersville University 
Osburn Hall (Campus Map #47) 
1 South George Street, Millersville, PA 

West:
Carnegie Mellon / National Robotics Engineering Center 
Ten 40th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 

Please follow the attached link to our website page where the schedule, additional site information and for on-line registration for attendance at the location of your choice.

http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2013-2014-season/pennsylvania-ftc-season-kick-off

On Saturday, September 28th we plan on a special Kick-Off event for the Philadelphia City League teams only as we enter our second year of conducting after school FTC Meets. PHL Teams are welcome to attend the TCHS Kick-Off as well. Location and times for the PHL Kick-Off TBD.

Of significance for your reference and action:

· Team Registration Opened on May 15th so if you have not yet registered, please do so at your earliest convenience. Teams must re-register every new season. Of course you get to keep you team name and number from previous years. If there are changes in your contact info (mentor name, address, phone numbers, etc.) please make those changes when you register. If you have any issues with registering or team resources please let me know and I will assist in any way I can. Visit TIMS to register. 

https://my.usfirst.org/ftc/tims/site.lasso

· FTC Rookie Team Grants
As a result of generous contributions from several FIRST supporters, FIRST is able to announce an exciting new FTC Rookie Team Grant program for the 2013/2014 FTC Season. All new North American teams are now able to receive a $500 grant to ease their entry into the program. This grant will be applied to offset registration fees and to reduce the cost of purchasing the reusable robot kits used to compete. Go to http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/registration to get started 

· All volunteers for PA events will be required to register with the Volunteer Information and Matching System (VIMS). This was optional last year but this season we have decided to employ this tool. This will allow prospective volunteers to open a volunteer account and register for the region or event that you are interested in supporting. This will also enable you to cite your preferences for tasks and jobs that you want to perform for the program. There is a screening process associated with VIMS as well. If you have any issues or concerns regarding VIMS please let me know. 

https://my.usfirst.org/vims/

· Scheduling Qualifiers and State Championship sites. We do have three Qualifiers locked in as well as State Championship location (Millersville University). Please go to the following link for locations and dates.

Also with regards to registration please note the practices and scrimmages we have scheduled for this season as well as the new Collaborative Robotics Series, This is called collaborative as we want to collaborate with FTC Teams and Volunteers to carry out the agenda proposed below. In essence we are looking towards teams who want an opportunity for out-reach, to network with other teams and engender a leadership role in conducting these events on behalf of Penn FTC and our robotics community. If you or your team are interested please let Dave Hackett and I know ASAP. It could be a blast for your teams!

o Week 1: Workshops / Design / Build
o Week 2: Design / Build / Test 
o Week 3: Build / Test / Practice 
o Week 4: Scrimmage 

http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2013-2014-season

· Team Registration Policy
Due the popularity of our Penn FTC events the last two season and our increase in the number of teams attending our events (36 team, single division qualifiers) we have instituted a new Tournament Registration Policy. This establishes a time-based acceptance criteria and hierarchy for teams that register for our events and may be wait-listed. Please go to the following link to review this policy and PLEASE let us know if you should have any questions or require clarification. We are open to any improvements. 

http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration/tournament-participation-policy

TEAM Register for Penn FTC events at

http://www.ftcpenn.org/event-registration

And VOLUNTEER Registration is open as well! Pick your event and preferred assignment. Be the first on your block.

http://www.ftcpenn.org/volunteer

· FTC Eastern US Super-Regional
Beginning in the 2013-2014 season, FTC teams in the United States will advance from state or regional-level Championship Tournaments to one of four Super-Regional Tournaments, before advancing to the FTC World Championship. The introduction of a new advancement tier allows FTC to maintain a sustainable event structure, continue offering merit-based advancement and increase the level of competition. The four Super-Regional tournaments will be hosted in Northern California (West Super-Regional), Texas (South Super-Regional), Iowa (North Super-Regional) and Pennsylvania (East Super-Regional). Super-Regionals are FIRST-endorsed events and are expected to expand outside of the U.S. in the future. For more details, please visit http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/super-regionals

We are still identifying a location and date for the East Super Regional which will be held in Pennsylvania.

· Team facebook or website?
Tell us about your social media site. We would be happy to post a link on our website at 

http://www.ftcpenn.org/teams/2013-2014-teams

So that’s about it for now.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you all and another exciting FTC season! We promise that it will be better than ever.

Warmest Regards,

Tom Zawislak and Dave Hackett

--
Thomas Zawislak
Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics FTC®Affiliate Partner


ph: (302) 383-9925
email: penn.ftc@gmail.com
Website: www.FTCPenn.org



2012 - 2013 Season

FTC Pennsylvania E-Mail Blast - Season Updates (10/29/2012)

Good afternoon Team and Volunteers,

I hope that you are all doing well and besides your usual challenges are well into the FIRST Tech Challenge Ring It Up! build part of the season. I wish you all the best of success.

It has been a while since I wrote to our team in this rapidly growing program so wanted to reach out to assure that all were up to date and as informed as possible. We have had many activities since our kick-off and have many more events in the coming months. Of special note:

  • We have launched our new and expansive website thanks to Dave Hackett. There is much information on this site with links to the FIRST site. We now have on-line event registration for teams, volunteer registration and for each event you can now view the other teams that have already registered for specific events. Lots of cool pics from our activities as well. Please be sure to visit frequently for continued updates http://www.ftcpenn.org/ 
  • Last season we had 53 registered teams with 51 competing. This year we have grown to 77 teams throughout the state and are working hard to support this growth.
  • On September 8th we held simultaneous kick-off events in Phoenixville High and City Charter in Pittsburgh. We held workshops that were webcast between the two sites, a very successful event and learning for the participating teams. 
  • We also held a special and exclusive kick-off event for our Philadelphia City Teams on September on September 29th.  Special as we launch the new afternoon meet concept within the City school system. More information on the Meet pilot can be found on our website. Thanks to West Philadelphia High for hosting. 
  • There were other kick-off events throughout the state held by many teams who are supporting the growth of our program as well. Thanks to those teams for their proactive support. 
  • Last Saturday, we held workshops and a practice for the Philadelphia Teams at Central High. The growth of the program in the City is phenomenal thanks in large party to the PHL School District STEM coordinators Kendrick Davis and Harold Edwards. We went from 2 teams the season before last, to 17 teams last year and this season there are 28 teams! FTC is certainly catching on and we hope to continue this growth as we establish a Philadelphia City FTC League in the future. 
MANY THANKS TO OUR AWESOME VOLUNTEERS WHO ASSURED THE SUCCESS OF THESE EVENTS.

Many of you have already received the E-Mail blasts from FIRST HQ but I am attaching them for your reference and actions as appropriate. Please review them as there is essential information provided to help manage your teams and season.

Again, please reference the http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2012-2013-season section of the website for coming events. I would especially like to highlight those coming up in November so that teams may take full advantage of these scrimmage and workshop opportunities.
  • This is an FRC Off-Season event where we also have the opportunity to hold an early scrimmage. We currently have ten (10) teams registered and have room for more. If you think you may be even partially ready, this is a fun and competitive free event. We will focus on field competition and teams helping other teams becoming successful.

11/10/2012

Scrimmage

Ramp Riot Scrimmage

Ramp Riot - FRC Off-Season Competition (Miss Daisy web site)

Wissahickon High School

Ambler, PA

  • Regionally convenient for our Central to Western PA Teams we have scheduled an FTC Team and Professional Development Event. This will be a combination of workshops, team robot build and practices. Thanks to our new host and collaborator Cal U of PA we are able to offer this very cool opportunity for the first time. We have plenty of room for many more teams so please spread the word. All from the state and outside are welcome to register. More detail of the workshops will be offered in the next week dependent on the reediness of our participants.

11/17/2012

Workshop / Scrimmage

South Western Pennsylvania FTC Team and Professional Development Event

California University of Pennsylvania

California, PA

Regarding the rest of the season, we will be establishing a date and location for the State Championship very soon and well as the Phoenixville High School Qualifier. The option to add another qualifier is also open pending establishment of the State Championship which will be either the weekend of February 23rd, March 2nd or March 9th. Again, check the website frequently for updates and yoi will see more frequent email updates from me as well.

We have reached our 24 team goal for the Eastern and South Central Tournaments but can expand to 30 team with PA teams gaining first preference over out-of state teams.

There is still plenty of room in the Southwest Regional to be held February 9th again at Robert Morris University but we are ahead of last year’s registration at this time. We encourage all teams to take advantage of this cool multi-state regional qualifier.

Again, we hope to have a definitive date for Phoenixville soon to assist with and encourage your event participation and planning.

Enough for now. More fun to come! Thank you all for your participation in Pennsylvania FIRST FTC! Our organization, Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics is having a BLAST working and playing with you all and I am personally very excited to meet and see you all at our future events. The energy we share is phenomenal.

Please be sure to write if you should have any questions or require additional information. 

Warmest Regards,

Tom

Thomas Zawislak
Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST FTC® Affiliate Partner 

ph: (302) 383-9925 
email: penn.ftc@gmail.com 
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

FIRST Tech Challenge Kick-Off - This Saturday, September 29th (9/25/2012

Hello Philadelphia School FIRST Tech Challange Teams and Volunteers.

A reminder that this Saturday, September 29th we will have a live kick off of this years game - Ring It Up!

Please see the link below for details of the game, game manual and other information you can use to prepare.


The significance of this event is that we will:
1. Discuss the general FTC program as an introductory for new teams, coaches and mentors and also introduce our new website
2. We will describe this years after school Meet concept and format exclusive to Philadelphia Schools
3. Review the Awards and Judging process
4. See the new game, live and in person with a discussion and Q&A of this years rules.

Location:
West Philadelphia High School
4901 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139

Time: 9:00AM - Team and Mentor Check-in

The first three items on the agenda above will be covered in the auditorium. We will then have a full field set up so that all will get a chance to touch and get a feel for the challenges in designing this year's robot to play Ring It Up!.

We will likely be finished by 2:00 PM at the latest.

Please RSVP with attendees at your earliest convenience.
 
Also, please note for the FTC Kick-off at West Philadelphia H.S. on 9.29.2012. I would suggest the students bring $5-7$ and each school/team order some pizza for lunch, or have students bring lunch. Below is the contact information for nearby restaurants. They are as follows:
  • Accu Pizza-4802 Spruce Street Philadelphia, PA 19139 -  Phone:  (215) 474-7150
  • Pete's -5158 Haverford Ave, Philadelphia 19139(Btwn 52nd & Creighton St) - Phone: (215) 747-5555
Both places deliver to West Philly High, please make sure you order well in advance so you can have the food by lunch time. If you have any question please let me know.
 
Thank you,
Tom 

Thomas Zawislak
Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics FTC® Affiliate Partner
ph: (302) 383-9925
email: penn.ftc@gmail.com
Website: www.FTCPenn.org

FIRST® Senior Mentor Newsletter - September 2012 (9/13/2012)

Hello all FTC teams,  

Follow the link below to view the September 2012 FSM Newsletter.  This is the first newsletter I've written for NJ, E. PA, and DE.  Please enjoy and let me know if you have any questions.  


Enjoy,
Nate Knauss

Nathan Knauss
FIRST® Senior Mentor - E. PA, DE, NJ
P:  609.351.6039 | E:  nknauss@usfirst.org

Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Season 2012-2013 Kick-Off - Saturday 9/8/2012 (9/2/2012)

Hello again Pennsylvania FTC Teams and Volunteers,

Well, summer has unofficially ended and we are back to school (or maybe almost), work and gearing up for another great FIRST Tech Challenge season.

This is a reminder that we are holding season kick off events at Phoenixville High School, Phoenixville, PA and City Charter High School, Pittsburgh, PA. Please go to the following site for details. There is no charge to attend. If you have not yet done so, please let me know by email or call if you will be attending at either location. You may come for the entire event or anytime during the day that is convenient. We plan on pre-ordering lunches as well. More details to follow.

http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2012-2013-season/2012-2013-pennsylvania-ftc-season-kick-off

FLL and FRC Teams are also welcome to our kick-offs if you know of any that are interested. To our FLL and FRC partners, please feel free to forward this email to any or all interested teams in your regions.

And, if you did not notice from the link above, our website: www.FTCPenn.org is up and running and while we will continue to populate and improve. the content it is now up to date, especially the event schedule and Event Registration information.

http://www.ftcpenn.org/ftc-events/2012-2013-season

I hope to see you all on Saturday. Have a great week.

Tom

Thomas Zawislak
Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST FTC® Affiliate Partner
Ph: 302-383-9925
Email: penn.ftc@gmail.com
www.FTCPenn.org

Pennsylvania FIRST Tech Challenge Season 2012-2013 Kick-Off (8/23/2012)

Hello FTC Pennsylvania Teams and Volunteers!

I hope you have all have had a safe and wonderful summer, are rested up and are raring to go for another exciting year of FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics in PA and surrounding states. To get the juices flowing I have attached to this mail the many FTC Email Blasts sent by FIRST since our tournament season ended earlier this year. This will also help bring the new teams up to speed.

The new FTC Season officially kicks off on Saturday, September 8th with the release of the game theme and video at 3:00PM. This year we have two special events planned around that momentous occasion – Live Kick Offs and workshops that you can attend on that day.

One will be located at:

Phoenixville High School, 1200 Gay Street, Phoenixville, PA

and on the western side of the state at

City Charter High School, 201 Stanwix Street, Pittsburgh, PA

On Saturday, September 29th we plan on a special Kick-Off event for the Philadelphia City teams only as we will be piloting a new event concept for the city schools. PHL Teams are welcome to attend the Phoenixville Kick-Off as well. Location and times TBD.

A preliminary agenda is attached for your reference. We are planning for a great panel of experts and will be simulcasting the workshops between the two venues. The we will have a live field reveal with review of the rules for this seasons competition. Sorry, I cannot share the competition name or details with anyone until that day, so do not try to pry it out of me J. PLEASE LET ME KNOW OF YOUR INTEREST IN ATTENDING AT EITHER LOCATION SO WE MAY PLAN ACCORDINGLY.

Of significance for your reference and action:

  • Team Registration Opened on May 8th so if you have not yet registered, please do so at your earliest convenience. Teams must re-register every new season. Of course you get to keep you team name and number from previous years. If there are changes in your contact info (mentor name, address, phone numbers, etc.) please make those changes when you register. If you have any issues with registering or team resources please let me know and I will assist in any way I can. Visit TIMS to register.

https://my.usfirst.org/ftc/tims/site.lasso

  • There are Graduation Grants available to FLL teams who want to move into FTC this season. If you know of any FLL Teams ready to progress into our program please have them contact me. The Grant is the equivalent of the FTC FIRST Team Registration ($275.00)
  • All volunteers for PA events will be required to register with the Volunteer Information and Matching System (VIMS). This was optional last year but this season we have decided to employ this tool. This will allow prospective volunteers to open a volunteer account and register for the region or event that you are interested in supporting. This will also enable you to cite your preferences for tasks and jobs that you want to perform for the program. There is a screening process associated with VIMS as well. If you have any issues or concerns regarding VIMS please let me know.

https://my.usfirst.org/vims/

  • We are in the process of scheduling our Qualifiers and State Championship sites. We do have two Qualifiers locked in and one in early stages. We will update both the FIRST site as well as our own website by the end of this week. The Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics and FTC site will have a new look this year as well with much more information and links provided to our teams and volunteers. It is under construction but will be open by this weekend as well.

www.FTCPenn.org https://my.usfirst.org/whatsgoingon

Of the 4 planned Qualifiers scheduled and confirmed are:

  • Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell, PA – December 8, 2012
  • Penn State York Campus, York, PA – January 19, 2013

We are considering adding a 5th Qualifier as well.

Again, please get you teams registered as soon as you are able so we can assure that we coordinate and communicate our season information most effectively and let us know if you would like to attend either of the workshops.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you all and another exciting FTC season! We promise that it will be better than ever.

Ps. Please note our new email address.


Thomas Zawislak

Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST FTC® Affiliate Partner
Ph: 302-383-9925
Email: penn.ftc@gmail.com
www.FTCPenn.org