FTC PA 2023-24 Season Blast #19 – Volunteering and Dean’s List Reminder

Hello Teams and Volunteers,

Coaches/Mentors – For the most effective communications, please feel free to forward and share this email with your students, their parents, sponsors, coworkers, friends and acquaintances.

This is the nineteenth in the continuing series of Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics emails. Hopefully you received the last email #18 back in January. As always, previous emails can be found on our website in the COMMUNICATION Archives.

Volunteers Needed for Balance of Qualifiers:

This email blast is focused on encouraging our teams, currently committed, and past volunteers to assist us with committing to or alternatively recruiting additional VOLUNTEERs for the Feb 24th Southwestern and Feb. 25th Panther Power Qualifiers at Upper Saint Clair High School.

 We frankly do not have enough volunteers to effectively run these events at this time, which is why this urgent call.



We need more volunteers for next weekend’s Eastern and Red Raider Qualifiers in Coatesville as well. A few more adult and participating team unaffiliated Judges are essential but other roles such as Score Trackers, Queuers etc. can be fulfilled with students.

We are also soliciting for Dean’s List Interviewers. This is a remote activity to be conducted in one weekend, March 2nd and 3rd and only about 4 hours per day. See below for more information on Dean’s List. Note – Nominations by Coaches and Mentors are due to FIRST by Thursday, February 15th, 2024 at 11:59pm at which time the system will not take additional submissions.

The most critical roles we must fill in the Southwester and Panther Power Quals to make this event successful for our 28 teams on the 24th and 25th are cited below. Please know that these roles are fun, rewarding, and not high-pressure so please do not be intimidated by any of them. There may be formal training required by FIRST for a few roles, but most are simply On-The-Job.

 Judges (no direct team affiliation or Conflict of Interest); RefereesScore TrackersFTA and FTAA’sRobot and Field InspectorsQueuersField ResetLoad In/Out and set up crew; Team and Volunteer Check In ftc-volunteer-role-descriptions-

We would love all of you to personally join us and to recruit aggressively and widely to assist us in expanding our reach. Volunteer opportunities abound!  We welcome new volunteers from family, friends, the community and businesses alike. Please recognize that this is a great opportunity for coaches, mentors and parents to get an insider’s perspective of how FTC events are conducted in our State and Region. The perspectives and guidance gained will also translate into helping your own team and students to be successful.

Coaches/Mentors – Please forward and share this email with your parent’s, sponsors, coworkers, friends and acquaintances. You will find that most all those who want to attend would rather be directly engaged in the festivities than gather splinters in the bleachers. Our experience is that people truly do appreciate direct participation in the event and explore contributing in special ways, as well as have fun! Also, not all roles require attendance for all of the competition days of competition, so there may be flexibility that we can manage.

Of course, if you are already registered to volunteer, then thank you, but please continue recruiting.

Please go to the following link on our website for instructions and reach out to your coaches me directly for further information.




Dean’s List Interviews – Saturday March 2nd and Sunday March 3rd, 2024

Nominations by Coaches and Mentors are due to FIRST by Thursday, February 15th, 2024 at 11:59pm at which time the system will not take additional submissions.

As with previous years, the interviews will be virtual and scheduled and executed through the FTC Scoring System or equivalent. Interviews will primarily take place on Saturday and Sunday, Mar 2nd and 3rd, 2024. If other days or times are needed to accommodate Interview Judges and Students, we will schedule accordingly.

Please reference the FTC Dean’s List Nomination Guide for student criteria and instructions for detailed information. You may nominate up to 2 students per team who would then become semi-finalist in PA.


We are also accepting volunteers for Dean’s List Interviewers who ideally would not be related to any of the student candidates or have a team associated with conflict of interest. If interested, please volunteer through your FIRST Inspires login and search for the FIRST Tech Challenge Dean’s List event in Pennsylvania.

Special Note: The nominator must be a mentor or coach of the team who is unrelated to the student being nominated. The official nominations must be submitted by the lead or secondary coach, however another adult mentor called Dean’ List Award Submitter can actually write up the nomination as long as they are attributed by name in essays!


Please contact us at any time if you have any questions.

ftc@pennfirst.org or Tom Zawislak at (302) 383-9925.

Tom and the PFR Team

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