Hello Teams and Volunteers,
Welcome to Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics third email blast of the 2023-2024 Season!
Great and exciting news! Our FTC PA specific Website has been updated to accommodate and post the new season events and team list. Additionally, all of the pertinent, detail results data from last season’s Power Play challenge has also been populated (scores and Judged Awards plus scripts). We want to thank PFR co-founder and past PDP co-lead as well as Webmaster Dave Hackett for stepping back in to not only update, but improve the functionality and enhance maintainability of our very cool and informative website. Please have a look and thank you Dave for your ongoing contributions. To teams and volunteers, thank you for your patience and, for some of you, your willingness to help out.
Now for even better news, this season’s Pennsylvania FTC Event Schedule FIRST® in SHOWSM presented by Qualcomm and FTC specific challenge CENTERSTAGE SM presented by RTX, is coming together very quickly thanks to some willing and able FTC Team event partners who have already made commitments to move the region forward. As such, you will find that we already have 10 Qualification Tournaments on the schedule to be held over 6 weekends starting in Mid-December and stretching through February. We have not yet scheduled the State Championship date or secured a location however we will likely hold it the second weekend in March, one week later than traditionally held. Please check it out and prepare your teams for what will be to come.
Event Registration will NOT open until on or after the Season Kick-Off on September 9th, 2023, so stay tuned. As of today, we have just 20 teams registered with FIRST FTC in the Pennsylvania Region, but we expect as many as 150. We will therefore wait to open Event registration until we are at, near, or exceed the predicted threshold. Please register your team with FIRST as quickly as feasible so we can roll out the registration process on time. Links follow:
For Team management Resources such as Registration Guidelines, Mentor Training and Resources, Marketing and Team Info, Robot Build resources, etc. please reference the following FIRST Inspires site:
SEASON KICKOFF – We will hold a Virtual Season Kickoff again this year but are also partnering with teams to bring you a live field and in person experience at various locations across the state. Please look out for these additions to our Event page and we will also inform you once populated. Date: Sat Sep 9, 2023, 11:15 am – Virtual through Web conferencing. Also note that we will be holding Coaches Calls on two consecutive Wednesday’s Sep 13th and 20th, 2023.
TEAM REGISTRATION with FIRST Inspires is open for the season! Go to the following link for more information on new registration costs and what the team registration includes. This page will give you access to:
- Dashboard Login
- Youth Team Member Registration
- Grant Opportunities (Rookie Grants Available)
- Team Management Resources
- Payment Terms
GRANT OPPORTUNITIES: Rookie Grants are now available so please spread the word or take advantage if you are planning on expanding your organizations involvement in FTC.
Please do reference our email dated July 16th, 2023 for much more information on Grants available for PA FTC Teams.
You do not need to search for this email in your account, past emails are available on our website in the Email Archive page:
We expect at least one more grant opportunity that would benefit many PA teams to come to fruition yet this season. We will keep you informed in subsequent blasts but frequently check the following link for grants described above and those that may come available in the future.
WORKSHOPS AND SCRIMMAGES – We would love for teams to run what we call “Team Powered” workshop, scrimmages and practices again this season. ‘Team Powered” means that the teams that volunteer to hold the event will be principally responsible for identifying, securing and scheduling the venue, field assets and volunteers in order to run the event. Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics will support the event as required to assure quality and consistency including publicizing on our website and handling team registrations if necessary. We will also be sure to provide training and training materials as well as field assets to augment the event only.
If interested, please write to email@example.com with the subject “Team Powered Event Interest” and let us know what you have in mind.
TAG TEAMS – Lastly, we continue to reach out to Veterans or any other team that may want to become an official PA Tag Team member. What is a Tag Team, you may ask? It is a team or group that has the desire, resources, energy, skills, ability and Gracious Professionalism to assist and support other teams in their endeavor to be the best they can be throughout this coming season. There are many conceptual ways that an FTC Tag Team can be productive and essential to our community of teams inside or outside the region, such as:
- Be a specific Rookie team mentor
- Host workshops (ex. Design It!, Build It!, Program It! Drive It!)
- Travel to other teams for hands on assistance
- Schedule regular, weekly (or otherwise) Office Hours – on line call times to make your team available to others to answer specific questions or provide guidance.
- Publish Newsletters or other media to share experiences
I am sure there are many other ideas and concepts that many teams have employed and can share. If interested in becoming a Tag Team member please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Tag Team Member Interest” and share your idea with us. We will be sure to communicate your offering with the rest of the community.
As you know, we are excited about the upcoming season and, again, team involvement will be a huge part of our success and fun. Thank you for your attention and there will be more to come.
Tom Zawislak and the FTC PA Team
Pennsylvania FIRST® Robotics
FIRST Tech Challenge® Program Delivery Partner
phone: (302) 383-9925