Archive for August 2010
Here are more details about the Maryland FIRST Tech Challenge Kickoff event to be held on September 11 at Capitol College in Laurel from 9:30am – 1pm. The event is free and open to the public if you want to learn more about FTC and this season’s game — but please let us know if you plan to come.
Please RSVP to Jeff Tjiputra or use our Contact Form and indicate you plan to attend the FTC Kickoff. Why? Teams that attend will go home with a game component, and we want to make sure we have enough breakfast goodies.
Location: Capitol College, 11301 Springfield Road, Laurel, MD 20708 (Enter at the Auditorium entrance) View Larger Map
- 9:30-10:00: Light breakfast (donuts, coffee, etc)
- 10:00-10:30: Session 1: - The Essentials of Scouting and Judging - I Just Registered for FTC, Now What?
- 10:30-11:00: Session 2: - Quick Lessons on Tetrix and RobotC - Lesson Learned from the 2009 FTC World Champion
- 11:00-11:30: Session 3: - Samantha Who? (For those not familiar with Samantha, it is the new Wifi module for Tetrix)
- 11:30-1:00: Game unveiling
The Team Information Management System (TIMS) for FIRST Robotics Competition teams opens for the 2011 season at noon today. Teams use this system to register for the new season and identify key contacts.
If you are interested in starting a team but do not yet have all the information together, you can still start the registration process. There is no cost to register, and it helps FIRST keep track of potential teams. Actual registration for events begins on October 1 — see the full season calendar here.
TIMS is also the place to invite mentors to participate with the team and get officially recognized by FIRST later in the year. So when you register your team, be sure to invite mentors and other adult volunteers as well.
Carroll County’s Liberty High School RoboLions FIRST Robotics Competition team 2199 got some great press in their local Sykesville paper. The article is a recap of the past season and includes preparation for the Battle O’ Baltimore. See the full article with photos online.
Congratulations to the RoboLions for a their PR work! It’s part of what it takes to run a successful team year after year.
Team registration is OPEN! Season kickoff happens on September 3rd via the usfirst.org website!
The FLL Team Resources page gives the schedule for the National Call In / support sessions for FLL Robotics team coaches. Check back often, as more calls are added during the season! If you miss a call, they will be recorded and posted on the Team Resources page.
- Wednesday, August 25, 2010, 7pm ET: Coach 101 – Coach Orientation
- Wednesday, September 1, 2010, 7pm ET: Coach 102 – How to Manage a Team
- Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 7pm ET: The Robot Game
- Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 7pm ET: Judging – A Perspective for The Coach
Click here for info on HOW TO Dial In/Log In to the FLL Coaches call in sessions.
If you are registering a FLL Robotics Team this year, you may want to call into these sessions – especially if you are a new coach!
Note: These sessions are hosted by the NATIONAL FLL organization. They will not cover Maryland specific information, like tournament dates…that will come later.
The American Express Members Project initiative is coming to a close for this round on August 22. Log in and vote for FIRST in the Education category. We are currently the leader in our category but need to maintain the lead through the 22nd.
If we end up the leader, FIRST receives a $200,000 grant from American Express and will be featured in an extensive TV and print ad campaign worth much more.
Please help us out and encourage everyone you know to vote — you can vote once per week per email address. Thank you very much!
Maryland FIRST, in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab and the Baltimore section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, is holding an Information Night on September 8 from 6-8pm. This event is free and open to the public.
We will feature representatives from all four programs of FIRST — FRC, FTC, FLL and Jr.FLL — so you can find out about programs for students from K-12. This is a great place to learn about starting or mentoring a team, or volunteering for a FIRST event in Maryland.
Find out more, including directions, by clicking here.
The 2010 FLL Body Forward Challenge won’t be officially released until September 3, but the game pieces have already started shipping to registered teams. One of our Maryland teams did this 2-minute video showing how the pieces go together (thank you TechBrick!). Have a look.
You still may not know what the game pieces all for when you’re done, but you’ll be that much closer to being ready when the Challenge is unveiled.
There was an excellent series of articles, videos and slideshows recently posted about the Phoenix, Arizona FRC team from Carl Hayden Community High School. The articles have no special connection to Maryland FIRST, but they are a great overview of an FRC season and the difference a dedicated teacher/coach can make in the lives of his students. Take a look at the extra videos and slideshows, particularly if you want to familiarize someone with what FIRST is all about. Our congratulations to Coach Fredi Lajvardi, his team, and community.
The fourth annual Battle O’ Baltimore was held August 7 at Boys’ Latin School in Baltimore. The off-season FIRST Robotics Competition event is hosted by the Baltimore Area Alliance of FRC teams. A total of 19 teams from Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania competed in this friendly all-day event.
The Battle O’ Baltimore was based on the 2010 “Breakaway” soccer-like game, but with a few local variations, including two special purple soccer balls worth extra points when they scored.
Congratulations to the winning alliance of teams from Upper Darby High School (Upper Darby, PA), Battlefield High School (Hayfield, VA) and Hammond and Wilde Lake High Schools (Columbia, MD). Other award winners included:
- Mike Wade Engineering Excellence Award: Team 2377, C-Company (Chesapeake High School, Pasadena, MD)
- TIME Center Judges’ Award for Bytes and Bolts: Team 1629, Ga-Co (Garrett County High School, Oakland, MD)
- We Really Like You Award: Team 888, The Robotiators (Glenelg High School, Glenelg, MD)
- TIME Center Judges’ Award “WOW” for Technical Design: Team 449. Blair Robot Project (Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, MD)
Very special thanks to the leadership of the Baltimore Area Alliance, our sponsors, including the TIME Center and NASA-Goddard , and to the many volunteers, parents and mentors that made it a successful day.
See a video clip that appeared on the WBAL-TV morning show in anticipation of the event: Teams prepare for the Battle O’ Baltimore (WBAL-TV)
Get ready for the start of Maryland’s FIRST Tech Challenge 2010 season by attending the Kickoff event at Capitol College on September 11 from 10am – 1pm. The event will include workshops for new and existing teams, followed by unveiling of this season’s game.
The FIRST Tech Challenge is designed for high school students who want to participate on a FIRST team (and gain access to millions of dollars of college scholarships) but don’t have access to a full-scale FRC team. FTC teams, robots, playing fields, and expense are all smaller than FRC, but the experience can be just as intense and beneficial. Learn more at our Maryland FTC site and the national FTC page.
Capitol College is located at 11301 Springfield Road, Laurel, MD 20708. If you are interested in attending, please Contact Us and note your interest in the FTC Kickoff.