Email Archive

Pennsylvania FTC Team and Volunteer Emails




Looking for email messages sent to Pennsylvania FTC teams and volunteers?  Here they are.
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2017 - 2018 Season


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