2015 FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff on 1/3/15

Working on a FIRST botThe 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition season kicks off on January 3, 2015.  You can join us in Maryland at Capitol Technology University (formerly Capitol College, 11301 Springfield Road, Laurel, MD 20708) at 10:00am.  You can also watch the Kickoff online courtesy of Comcast starting at 10:30am.

High school FRC teams receive their 2015 Kit of Parts and see this year’s game for the first time at the Kickoff.  Then they have 6 weeks to design, build and test their robot before coming to competitions including the 2015 Chesapeake Regional at the University of Maryland Xfinity Center on April 2-4.

Come and be part of the excitement!

FRC Education Day, Oct. 25, 2014

The Batlimore Area Alliance of FRC teams will host an FRC Education Day on Saturday, October 25th at the JHU Applied Physics Lab in Laurel.  The Education Day offers both engineering and non-engineering training workshops for students and mentors to help prepare them for the upcoming FRC season.  Rookies and veterans alike from all Maryland and DC FRC teams are invited to attend.  A sample of workshop topics includes:

  • Electricity And Wiring 101 With 2015 Control System
  • Pneumatics 101
  • Motors 101
  • Drive Train /Chassis 101
  • Manipulators /Sensors 101
  • Java
  • LabView
  • Design Principles
  • Autodesk
  • Youth Protection Program
  • Team Sustainability
  • Use of 3?D Printer Parts in FRC Robots
  • Team Image and Branding
  • Fundraising
  • Scouting
  • Inspection

Event details and registration information follows: BAA Education Day (Training workshops) Who: MD and DC FIRST FRC Teams What: Engineering and non-engineering workshops to prepare mentors and students for the upcoming FIRST FRC season When: Saturday, October 25, 2014 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM Location: Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, Kossiakoff Center 11100 Johns Hopkins Rd, Laurel, MD 20723 Why: Learn best practices from FRC veterans for having a fun and successful FIRST FRC team!

Register online NOW at https://2014baaeducationday.eventbrite.com Fee: $5.00 (pay at the door; includes lunch)

Schedule of Events (Subject to change, updated September 20th, 2014)

Questions? contact us at baltimoreareaalliance@gmail.com

Maryland FIRST Listservs

Maryland FIRST operates three listservs through our partners at UMBC.  These are used to communicate anonymously with Maryland FLL Coaches, Maryland Jr.FLL Coaches, and a Maryland FLL Interest group for those interested in FLL but not yet a coach.

To UNSUBSCRIBE from any of these lists, choose the appropriate link above, then click ‘Unsubscribe’ from the left hand menu. You will be asked to provide an email address, and if you are a member of the list the system will send you a confirmation email.  When you click on the link in the confirmation e-mail, you will be immediately removed from the List Serv.  Note that we cannot directly remove you from the List Serv; you have to complete the process via the confirmation email.

FLL All-Coaches Meeting Oct. 4, 2014

FLL_WorldClassRGBThe Maryland FIRST LEGO League All-Coaches Meeting is set for October 4, 2014 at UMBC (1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore), starting in the ground floor lecture hall 104 of the Information Technology Engineering building at 9am.

This meeting provides an overview of the FLL World Class season in Maryland, including announcement of our Maryland Qualifier dates and a detailed review of the World Class challenge missions.  The meeting will also feature breakout sessions from 10:30 – 12:30 covering operating an FLL team, the World Class research project, what to expect at a judging session, and team branding and fundraising.  The All-Coaches meeting is free and no registration is required for the morning sessions.

In the afternoon from 1:15 – 3:30pm we will hold NXT and EV3 programming workshops.  Due to limited seating, registration will be required for these programming workshops.  Please register here.

We recognize not all coaches will be able to attend this meeting.  Presentations from the meeting will be posted on the MarylandFIRST.org website after the meeting.

FIRST at Silver Spring Maker Faire on Sep. 14

Siver Spring Maker FaireFIRST will exhibit at the Silver Spring Maker Faire on Sep. 14, 2014 from noon – 5pm in the Silver Spring Civic Building.  Stop by to drive robots and talk to us about getting involved in FIRST.  Now is the time to start new teams, consider mentoring an existing team, or volunteering for our events.  Plus there are tons of other great exhibits and activities at this free Maker Faire.  See you there!  See flyer for more details: Maker Faire SS flyer

FIRST approved for Combined Federal Campaign

CFC logoFIRST recently became an approved charity within the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). This means federal employees may designate FIRST as a preferred charity to receive funds from payroll deductions.  FIRST’s CFC number is 73876.

So, if you’re a federal employee or you know someone who is, please consider contributing to FIRST via the Combined Federal Campaign.

FLL Intro Meeting in Rockville on Aug. 26

On Tuesday, August 26, 2014, the Rockville Science Center (RSC) will host a planning meeting for the 2014/2015 FIRST LEGO League (FLL) program. RSC wants to support, maintain and expand FLL in Montgomery County. The focus of this meeting will be finding and helping adults to take on the role of coach, and getting teams started as soon as possible.

The meeting will take place in the Johns Hopkins University, Academic and Research Building, at 9601 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850. It will start at 7pm in classroom 103.  Here is a map for location and parking information. JHU-AR_Building

Before attending, please review the FLL web site at http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/fll . FLL is a robotics engineering program for students in grades 4-8 (ages 9-14). There are hundreds of teams in Maryland and many thousands of children participating. The RSC’s objective is to develop teams and support them with the right mix of children, parents, mentors, and resources.

The meeting will review the FLL program and how the Rockville Science Center will support teams. If you are interested in being a coach, looking for support from RSC, or have a child who is looking for a team, please complete this survey form.  RSC FLL2014Survey

For further information, contact the Rockville Science Center at info@RockvilleScienceCenter.org.  Our big thanks to the RSC for hosting this meeting and for all their support for FIRST.

FLL World Class “Meet the Experts” Expo on Sep. 13

2014 Meet the Experts ExpoBooz Allen Hamilton is hosting a festival celebrating the FLL WORLD CLASSSM Challenge!  It’s Saturday, September 13th at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Alexandria, VA.  Two sessions offered: 9:30-11:30 AM and  1:00-3:00 PM

All FIRST LEGO League participants, along with their coaches and family members, are invited to “meet the experts.” Experts will share what they do and know through demonstrations, hands-on materials, literature, and conversation. This is a free event, but attendees should register in advance.  For more information and to register, go to http://fllworldclass.eventbrite.com (password: Learn).

More information: FLL World Class Expo, Participant Invitation

Maryland/DC 2014 FTC Kickoff, Sep. 6

FTC LogoStart the 2014 Maryland/DC FIRST Tech Challenge season with us at our Kickoff event and workshops on Sep. 6 at Capitol College (11301 Springfield Road, Laurel, MD).

Workshop and seminar sessions start at 9am.  The new game reveal and overview of the Maryland/DC FTC season begins at 11:30am.  More workshops, seminars and game discussions continue in the afternoon. Full agenda is posted here: Kick-Off Plans Version 8a

Rookie FTC teams and older teams that want a refresher on robot building are welcome to bring their robot kit and a PC with programming software to build a simple ranger bot and have it working by the end of the day.  Experienced teams and coaches will offer assistance and advice.

The entire event is free and open to the public, but please register so we have a good idea of headcounts for the workshops and lunch.

FIRST Information Night at JHU APL on Sep. 3, 2014

IMG_1462Intended AUDIENCE:  Educators, Parents and Mentors who are new to FIRST Robotics or considering forming a team — covers Jr.FLL, FLL, FTC and FRC programs WHEN:  Wednesday, September 3, 6 PM – 8 PM WHERE:  John’s Hopkins Applied Physics Lab – 11100 Johns Hopkins Rd  Laurel, MD 20723, Building 1 Cafeteria

JHU/APL, ASME and FIRST invite you to an evening of discussion and demonstration of robotics. If you are interested in starting a FIRST team for your elementary, middle school, or high school age child, or being a mentor or sponsor, you will not want to miss this session.  Local teams from all four FIRST programs (Jr.FLL, FLL, FTC and FRC) will be on hand.

For kids ages 9 to 14, FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is an exciting and fun international robotics program that ignites an enthusiasm for discovery, science, and technology. Each year FLL teams embark on an adventurous challenge based on current, real-world issues and then build and compete with robots made from Legos and Lego Mindstorm controller kits.  For kids ages 6-9, Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL) gives a taste of Lego building, teamwork and fun research.

The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) are designed for high-school-aged students to discover how interesting and rewarding the life of engineers and scientists can be. It challenges teams of students to design, build and operate robots in an exciting sports-like game.

Cost: Free! See flyer for more info: 2014 FIRST Information Night at APL Register here by Sep. 2.