Monday, June 5, 2017





UPDATE  on Financial Team Support awards for
FIRST Tech Challenge Teams   


    •  TODAY - June 5! FIRST notified the first round of applicants about the FIRST Tech Challenge Grant. If you have not applied, it is the first step in receiving financial support this season.  New notifications will be released every Wednesday until funds are depleted.  This is a FIRST money, not ORTOP money. Click Here for application 
    •   Exciting news! After 16 years, ORTOP is in the process of developing a new WEBSITE. Because of that I am inclined not to spend time updating the old, antiquated website with tons of new team support award information. 
    • The new ORTOP FIRST Tech Challenge Teams Support Award information is via Google Drive.  For information, reference documents, sample worksheet application and the link to the real online application  ...but before you click.... there are a few very important changes you need to know about. Read on.... 
    •  Changes to the team support application process in a nutshell. 
      • Two types of applications: New and Veteran
        • New School/Organization Applications - The School  or organization has never been involved with FIRST Tech Challenge previously or not since Block Party
        • Veteran School/Organization/Team Applications - The school/organization has competed in FIRST Tech Challenge in the last two season; Velocity Vortex and RES-Q
      • Multi-team application for one School/Organization 
        • New School/Organization can apply for one or more rookie teams on one app. 
        • Existing School/Organization Applications can apply for multiple veteran teams or veteran teams and new additional rookie teams on one app. 
      • Length of application
        • New School/Organization application asks for a success plan to determine if the applicant understands the program and the investment of time, energy, funds and support needed. 
        • Existing School/Organization application is shortened from last year. At least 5 narrative questions were eliminated
    • NOW...... CLICK HERE to see the ORTOP Team Support Award information 

    Another Option: BLOCKS PROGRAMMINGFIRST Tech Challenge teams will have a choice between three programming platforms for the 2017-2018 season; Java,  App Inventor, and BLOCKS.  If you are currently using App Inventor you may be interested in switching to BLOCKS. If you team members have struggled with Java, you might consider BLOCKS.

    Bruce Schafer, founder of ORTOP and current ORTOP Board Chair is on special assignment to FIRST creating technical support materials for the newest programming platform for FIRST Tech Challenge. CLICK HERE for Bruce's take on BLOCKS Programming with links to one-page descriptions, training manual, reference manual, FTC SubForum, YouTube Video tutorials and more.


    It's almost summer time! We're throwing you an event!
    Congratulations to all of our FIRST Tech Challenge Seniors who are graduating high school. Your futures are bright. Thank you for all of your contributions to your teams and our community. We are proud of your accomplishments. As you move toward new adventures stay in touch via the ORTOP FIRST Robotics Oregon Alumni Association.  Seniors are encouraged to register attend our first annual SENIOR SEND OFF event on June 25th, 3-5 pm.  For more details - CLICK HERE 

    Online Community for Technical help and other kinds of help - SLACK! We have 56 people who have signed up for SLACK. With 200 teams and about 400 mentors, a number of you are not yet on board. Here is your chance!  Click Here to be added to the OR-FTC-Mentor Slack group.

    SUMMER TIME CAMPS! We keep hearing that teams are conducting FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge summer camps.  Tell us about them so we can help promote them to the greater community and YOU can promote them to your community (if in your area).
    Loridee and I started a submit and listing page today for FIRST LEGO League camps. We'll get one up for FTC next week or so.

    FIRST LEGO League Summer Camps
    Submit your summer camp info/ flyers here 
    See camp listings here! 

    Here is our first camp submission
    Summit HS --FRC Team Chaos Theory: LEGO Robotics Camp,  Bend, Oregon -  4 Sessions in July 

    PS: Cathy Swider will not be in the ORTOP office June 8 - 20th. I'm vacationing on the east coast and attending the FIRST Community Conference. Yes, I will see the Relic Recovery game! shhhhhh!

    Thursday, May 18, 2017



    This week in FIRST Tech Challenge!
    BREAKING NEWS!! Grab your Indiana Jones hats! We're going on an adventure. 

    FIRST Tech Challenge 2017-2018 Game is announced!
    FIRST Relic Recovery! Watch the teaser video! 

    Kickoff- September 9th! Oregon Kickoff locations TBA.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    Items I've mentioned before and would like you to keep in mind:

    1. FIRST Tech Challenge national registration grants. Apply NOW, find out May 31st, don't pay for your national registration until you find out if you received the grant.

    2. DO update your national registration team profile for the 2017/2018 season. If you are brand new to FIRST  you'll need to create a profile. Click here for both veteran and rookie teams 

    3. Congratulations to our graduating Seniors! Sign up for the ORTOP FIRST Alumni Association  

    4. Deadline to apply for the Portland Community College Machine Shop Class is May 30th. Details Here 
    5. Signing up for SLACK! We've started a SLACK channel for FIRST Tech Challenge OREGON Mentors with 11 separate topic channels .  At this time we are allowing team members to also join. CLICK HERE . We hope the SLACK application can provide technical and program support to every mentor in our region.

    __________________________________________________________________________

    NEW ITEMS

    1. SuperQuest 2017- Oregon Computer Science Teacher's Association - SuperQuest 2017 is a summer professional development program open to teachers and other adults who are facilitating students learning various aspects of science, technology, engineering and math.  Yes, there are robotics workshops but there is a lot more. I highly recommend looking at these. SuperQuest FAQ

    Here are the SuperQuest 2017 summer locations and workshop choices with registration link:
    * FTC Oregon FTA - Dale Jordan will be teaching FIRST Tech Challenge programming classes at the Wilsonville and Eugene SuperQuests sessions.

    2. JOB OPENINGS AT ORTOP - Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program !!
    Please note our office is located in Beaverton, Oregon.
    3. ORTOP Team Financial Support Award opportunity - I hope to have the ORTOP Team Support Award application posted on www.ortop.org/ftc  by May 26th.

    This is the way ORTOP funding works:
    • ORTOP will post a common application. It is possible some funding opportunities will require different applications, if that occurs, we will let you know. 
    • Teams apply by reading all of the instructions, gathering needed data and submitting the online application. 
    • ORTOP reviews applications 
    • ORTOP will award funds from a variety of sources available to us and create funding packages for teams who qualify for financial support and meet the funding criteria for each funding sponsor.  
    •  Currently, funding from the common application will be potentially be sourced from Rockwell Collins, Google, Qorvo, and MJ Murdock Charitable Trust.   
    • I estimate there is about a 3% chance of seeing any funding directly from ODE. And there will not be any funding from Daimler  this coming season. 

    4. Game News from FIRST HQ! 
    •  FIRST Tech Challenge has worked to keep the cost of the fields at a steady $450 each year. This season, we faced challenges with increased costs of materials. To ensure quality, we had to make the decision to increase the cost of the full field sets from $450 per set to $480 per set." 
    • In preparation for the 2017-2018 season, we would like to advise our Affiliate Partners and Teams that the 2017-2018 game will not be using the beacon that has been used the past two seasons."   GIMME A YAY!!! 

    Thursday, May 11, 2017


    In our blog today!
    • FIRST Tech Challenge national registration 
      • national grant application to cover registration costs
      • Software Release
      • 2017-2018 Pitsco Discount for FTC Teams 
      • FTC Oregon Leagues 2017-2018 
    • Teacher Appreciation Week! <3
    • ORTOP FIRST Robotics Oregon Alumni Association
    • Summer Opportunities: PCC - Machine Shop Class, Air Force Leadership Camp, FTC Invitational in Australia 







    FIRST Tech Challenge national registration  is now open!!
    Cost: $275 per team for national registration

    Application for FIRST Tech Challenge Rookie and Veteran Grant to cover national registration cost.
    Suggestion: Start your registration early and input as much information as you can, apply for the national registration grant - notifications made on May 31st. Then complete your registration.   Information about REV Robotics choices/pricing will be posted later this week. 


    SOFTWARE RELEASE 
    The FIRST Tech Challenge Technology Team is released version 3.1 of the FIRST Tech Challenge software on 5/9/17.  Currently, this release is available for Android Studio (Java) users and for FIRST Tech Challenge Blocks Development Tool users.  Version 3.1 of the MIT App Inventor will be available soon.

    The version 3.1 software introduces support for the recently approved REV Expansion Hub electronic module.  Version 3.1 also includes enhancements to the USB communication layer to improve system resiliency.  Version 3.1 also includes improvements for the Blocks development tool, including support for pose-related functions (Vuforia) and simplified Vuforia blocks (which offer optimized performance for commonly used Vuforia tasks).


    Users who update to v3.1 should remember to update the FIRST Tech Challenge Driver Station app in addition to updating the FIRST Tech Challenge Robot Controller software.  Details on the release can be found on the release tab of the GitHub repository and on the README file for the repository:


    https://github.com/ftctechnh/ftc_app/blob/master/README.md

    Pitsco promo code and spare parts discount:
    Pitsco has increased their discount to 25 % off of spare parts for FIRST Tech Challenge. To receive your FIRST Tech Challenge team discount, you will need to input a valid current season team number after entering this year’s promo code on our storefront. This year’s promo code will be sent to teams via a team email. You can access the FIRST Tech Challenge storefront through your team’s dashboard.

    FIRST Tech Challenge Oregon Leagues 2017-2018
    At this time ORTOP is establishing the status of our league sites and managers. I can report that most leagues will continue as they have in the past. There will be some changes both in locations,  team league hosts, and league managers.  Anyone that might be interested in hosting a league should hang tight and wait for my next post to see the changes. I will be posting a application for consideration of  league management. 


    _________________________________
    TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK! 
    Please join ORTOP in celebrating and honoring our awesome teachers who lead so many FIRST Tech Challenge students to be inspired by and recognize science and technology as part of their lives and their future. Happy Teacher's Week 2017 and always!


    _____________________________________




    ORTOP FIRST Robotics Oregon Alumni Association



    Be a #pipelinepioneer and sign up to be part of the ORTOP (Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Program) alumni association!  Get updates from alumni in industry and academia, connect/re-connect with alumni in different parts of the robotics pipeline, learn about opportunities to volunteer and mentor, get access to resources and more! 
    Eligibility: 
    - Must be age 18+ or a graduating senior in high school
    - Must have participated in any FIRST program for at least one season
    - Must have EITHER lived in Oregon when participating in FIRST programs OR you lived elsewhere when doing FIRST programs but you currently live, work, or study in Oregon
    Mentors - Please encourage your graduating Seniors to JOIN the  ORTOP FIRST Robotics Oregon Alumni Association - Sign-up form click here 

    __________________________________

    SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES

    Portland Community College Summer Machine Shop Class for FIRST Tech Challenge Oregon and FIRST Robotics Competition Oregon team members 


    • Our thanks to Pat Kraft at PCC - Sylvania Campus for running these classes. 
    • There will be two  multiple-day classes to learn how to use machine shop tools. One in late June and one in early August. This is an amazing opportunity. 
    • Applications are due by May 30th. 
    • Please forward this information to your team members. 
    • Individual team member application process. This is not a team application. 
    • Take the time to read all of the information prior to applying.  For detailed information/applications - click here 


     http://firstinspires.org/programs/air-force-leadership-training-program6th Annual U.S. Air Force / FIRST® Leadership Experience for FIRST Teachers & Mentors: The U.S. Air Force develops leaders of great character and vision. For the 6th year, the U.S. Air Force is offering a unique three-day leadership program providing FIRST mentors with hands on leadership training taught by Air Force personnel. This year’s event will take place from July 23 to July 27 in Colorado Springs, CO.

    The event consists of lectures, team building exercises and tours of the Air Force Academy and a local Air Force Base. The Air Force will select a group of 24 mentors who are teachers from FIRST® Tech Challenge and FIRST® Robotics Competition teams who live within the continental United States and are helping inspire today’s youth to become the technical leaders of tomorrow.


    For additional information about this opportunity, please visit: http://firstinspires.org/programs/air-force-leadership-training-program  or Scott Legasse at slegasse@firstinspires.org.  Applications must be submitted by Friday, May 19th. Applicants, if selected, will be notified by June 1.  


    Asia Pacific FTC Invitational 
    FIRST® Australia is pleased to invite teams to apply to compete at the Asia Pacific FTC Invitational (API) from the 14th – 16th of July in Sydney, Australia. 

    Application/Payment Due 5/31/2017 - If interested, contact Cathy Swider for additional details.

    Friday, May 5, 2017


    FIRST Tech Challenge NEWS for the 2017- 2018 season

    In this newsletter:
    • National FIRST Registration 
    • Oregon Department of Education: FIRST Robotics Grant 
    • Team Support Awards and Tournament Fees  for 2017 - 2018 
    • FIRST Tech Challenge Oregon Virtual Help Desk for Mentors - SLACK  

    FIRST Tech Challenge National Team Registration will open on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 9:00 am Pacific Daylight Time.

    New things you need to know about the NEW streamlined national registration website:
    • Simplified dashboard provides clear reminders for outstanding team tasks 
    • No more Youth Protection Program registration delays! Two Youth Protection Plan (YPP) screened Lead Coaches/Mentors are still required; however, now Lead Coaches/Mentors and administrators can create teams, submit payment, and order products while screening process is completed. 
    • A team  must to pay the national registration fee or have the FIRST Rookie or Veteran  Grant applied to their account prior to purchasing product from the FIRST Storefront. 
    • The National FIRST Rookie or Veteran Team Grant Application will be available on May 11th and applicants will be notified on  May 31st. 
      • Rookie Teams receive $275 as a national registration credit  and $475 in credit to purchase product in the FIRST Storefront applied to their team profile.
      • Veteran Teams receive $275 in national registration credit applied to their team profile
      • Teams applying for this FIRST Grant should begin the registration process but stop just short of paying. Teams must wait until notification on May 31st to see if the funds were applied to the team profile. FIRST does not reimburse teams for grants. 
    • When does national FIRST registration close? In April 2018. However..... 
      • League teams who want to compete in FIRST Tech Challenge Oregon leagues and league qualifying tournaments  must be nationally paid and registered by October 15, 2017 and have the Oregon League signup form completed. 
      • Non-League teams who want to compete in FIRST Tech Challenge Oregon non-league qualifying tournament  must be nationally paid and registered by November 1, 2017 and have the Oregon Non-League Qualifying signup form completed. 
      • Teams can expect the tournament minimum fees to be adjusted down this coming season. 
    Oregon Department of Education: FIRST Robotics Grant
    A message from David Perry, ORTOP Executive Director 
    As your team prepares for the upcoming fundraising season, keep in mind that this year may be more challenging than last.  One of our largest sponsors shifted their funding priorities for the upcoming season, and the Oregon Department of Education FIRST grant for schools is in jeopardy as well. Due to significant revenue shortfalls, early budget frameworks indicate this program is one of many that will be cut. Many of you relied on these state and sponsor dollars to help with the sustainability of your team. ORTOP is doing it's best to approach sponsors, both continuing and new. However, we do not expect to have the same level of team support funding as in the 2016-17 season. It is more important than ever to get out into your community to ask for support. ORTOP will continue to prioritize team support for those with the greatest need, and those that have made an individual effort but are still a little short will rise to the top. Please communicate with the Program Leads about your team’s situation so we can help ensure all are able to participate again in the upcoming season. 
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Last season 95 FIRST Tech Challenge teams received a total of $131,500 in ODE Funding. The loss of this funding is significant. Most teams received $1000 grants. We encourage teams to start fundraising earlier. We will be providing tips and strategies for fundraising (see SLACK post below).

    Team Support Awards for 2017 - 2018 / Funding your FTC Team
    We know that this will be a financially challenging year for most of our teams since 75% of our teams received some level of support from ODE or ORTOP.  We do not want anyone to throw in the towel and fold their team. Please talk to ORTOP before making any quick decision about next season. ORTOP can't make any promises but we are committed help teams find solutions to continue. Working with David Perry, our new executive director, we have taken two initial steps toward helping teams. 
    1.   ORTOP Team Support Awards will primarily focus on helping existing teams stay in FTC over providing funding for new teams.
    2.   Our program costs have not changed and the full costs of the program is the same or more than last year, but we are lowering the tournament sliding scale ranges to assist teams. We will seek other avenues to make up the difference. 



    FIRST Tech Challenge Tournament Sliding Scale Fee Structure 2017-2018
    Minimum
    Maximum
    All League Meets & League Tournament (one fee for all events)
    $200
    $400
    Non-League Qualifying Tournament
    $150
    $300
    Super-Qualifier
    $150
    $300
    Championship
    $200
    $400

    Finally,  Rockwell Collins, Google and Intel provides funds for ORTOP Team Support Awards. Each has requested that teams do not contact them directly for funding and prefer that they submit applications to ORTOP for support.

    FIRST Tech Challenge Oregon Virtual Help Desk for Mentors - SLACK 
    We are going to pilot a virtual help desk for FIRST Tech Challenge Oregon Mentors. The purpose is to create a shared space for a gracious exchange of information and help in mentoring FIRST Tech Challenge teams. Although this can't replace in-person workshops we hope it will prove helpful.

    **This is not a replacement or even similar to the official FIRST Tech Challenge Forum run by FIRST.** The FIRST Tech Challenge Forum is always the definitive official final word on game rulings.

    OR-FTC-Mentors using the SLACK application is meant as a virtual world to ask and receive help on a variety of topics (channels). As the conversation grows the admins will add and delete channels.  We are starting with the following topics.
    #build , #control-system, #gamestrategy (careful on this one), #mechanical, #programming, #sensors, #team-management, #fundraising, #general, #random
    My intention is for adult mentors to join OR-FTC-Mentors - all channels and initially restrict team members to the #general channel.

    We extend our thanks to Krishnan Duraiswami, 2017 FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship Compass Award Winner for establishing the OR-FTC-Mentors Slack Group. We can see he is already making good use of his time now that Batteries in Black has retired. 

    Are you ready to join the conversation??  
    You can use the link below to join OR-FTC-Mentors SLACK team — it only takes a minute to send us your preferred email address so that we can issue an invitation to join. 

    Wednesday, April 26, 2017

    Greetings FIRST Tech Challenge Oregon Teams:
    A few items for you.

    Photos - Some of you are requesting photos for year end projects - Recently ORTOP set up a easy to use photo sharing site. This should help our abilities to allow you to contribute photos from events and see/download photos from events.  We have folders for FTC Super-Qualifiers and FTC State Championship. For next season will set up folders for each league and tournaments.
    Here is what we have so far. If you have photos to ADD to the folders, please do so.

    Directions for adding photos to the folder

    • Click on link for the folder link
    • Click the  + Add More Photos button in the upper right corner
    • Create an account if requested - Name, email, password
    • Upload photos from your computer clicking the +Click here to choose photos OR drag photos onto the page.
    • Note: it does not work to drag from Google Photos (the cloud) to the page. It seems to work to drag photos saved on computer.  You can select all and drag all photos to the Yogile page and upload.
    FIRST Tech Challenge - Evolution in Control System - REV ROBOTICS
    While I was in Houston, I spent time at the REV Robotics vendor booth and the FIRST Tech Challenge Rev Robotics info booth staffed by FTC Staff.
    I think almost all of our FTC World Championship Mentors went to the booths and asked lots of questions.  I am gathering their technical reactions to the product.  We all know I'm not the most technical person in the organization. That's why I rely on our mentors to help.
    Here are some photos I took at the booths
    What I do know:

    • Switching to REV Robotics HUB is completely voluntary. Teams can continue to use all Modern Robotics modules in 2017-2018 as they did in previous season. 
    • the REV Robotics Expansion HUB will cost $130 each and the Cable Conversion Kit will be $20 for attaching AndyMark Motors, your batteries, etc .
    • Teams will be limited to purchasing one expansion HUB through the FIRST Storefront when it opens in early May after paying your 2017-2018 FTC National Registration fee.
    • Additional REV Robotics Expansion HUBs can be purchased through Rev Robotics and they are going to set up a code for FTC so that you can purchase it at the same price as the storefront. 
    What I like about it:

    • is the reduction in USB ports. It seems the cables will fit into the REV Robotics ports snug and tight reducing the probability of disconnecting.
    • the smaller size allows more room inside the robot for more stuff
    • the price
    • the REV Robotics people. Gregg Needel, CEO is a straight forward guy who is willing to stand behind his product and understand what good customer service is about. He also has personally mentored FTC Teams. A long time FIRST friend of mine has given me her highest recommendation for him.
    What I don't know, kinda know:

    •   It appears that for a competitive FTC robot it will be necessary to have two REV Robotics Expansion HUBs linked together (photos I took at the booths). Some smaller less sophisticated robots might be able to use only one hub. FTC HQ gave two units to #6220 a FTC West team that did not advance to World and asked them to use the REV Robotics Hubs. They needed two HUBS to make their robot work. The team members told me they liked the way it worked.
    Finally, a good time was had by all who competed, volunteered or attended the FIRST World Championship -HOUSTON - click link for photos.
    Briefly, a list of Championship awards.

    • Compass Award for excellence in coaching/mentoring: Krishnan Duraiswami;  nominated by Team 4855, Batteries In Black, from Portland.
    • Division Finalists Alliance – Jemison Division: Team 7013 - Hot Wired, Portland; Team 8045 - Gromit's Grommets, Pleasant Hill; and Team 5220 - RoboKnights, Fremont, California.
    • Control Award Winner - Team 8045 - Gromit's Grommets, Pleasant Hill.
    • Motivate Award Finalist - Team 8176 - Steelhead, Hood River. 
    • Rockwell Collins Innovate Finalists - Team 7013, Hot Wired, Portland, and Team 10060 - Klamath Coyotes, Klamath Falls.
    • Competing Teams
      • 3525 - Dynamite Robotics - Banks
      • 4885 - Batteries in Black - Portland
      • 7013 - Hot Wired Robotics - Portland
      • 750 - Gears in Motion - Tigard
      • 7750 - Mechanical Maniacs - Sutherlin
      • 8045 - Gromit's Grommets - Pleasant Hill
      • 8176 - Steelhead - Hood River
      • 9769 - Total Chaos - Portland
      • 10060 - Klamath Coyotes - Klamath Falls
    • FIRST Dean’s List Winner - Gokul Kolady, Team 7013 - Hot Wired, Portland.
    • FIRST Dean’s List Finalists 
      • Elizabeth Bailey, from Team 8176 - Steelhead, Hood River.
      • Margaux Quady, of Team 8372 - TNT, Medford.
        • Margaux also introduced the FIRST Tech Challenge program and its Director Ken Johnson during the Saturday evening Finale at Minute Maid Field
      • Tyler Walker, of Team 4097 - PacBots, Tigard.

    Wednesday, January 4, 2017

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!It's FIRST Tech Challenge  Oregon Qualifying Tournament Month

    Let's get ready! 
    1) Pre-Tournament Information Form2) Being STIMS Ready!3) Short list for Tournament Prep 4) Timeline for a Qualifying Tournament 

    #1 - 64 of 201 teams have completed the pre-tournament form. This form is needed for the Velocity Vortex commemorative team pin order and information for grants. REQUIRED PRE-TOURNAMENT INFORMATION FORM - DUE JANUARY 9
    In the ORTOP office we are gearing up and preparing tournament materials.
    Before we can do that, we need information from EVERY TEAM's MENTOR.  COMPLETE ON ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE BY JANUARY 9! to receive your pins.    This is a hard and fast deadline.

    Two easy steps to completion 
    1) Preview the questions on the worksheet for your own use.Worksheet here -  Do not fill out the worksheet and send it to me. I need the data from the ONLINE FORM. 
    2) Enter your information into the ONLINE FORM and click Submit.  
    ______________________________________________________________________

    #2 - Be STIMS ready! Student Team Information Management 
    What is this? For League Teams, this is the same thing you've been doing all season. For Non-League Teams, please read carefully. 

    • STIMS is the electronic team member registration option. 
    • The team mentor must present at Tournament Team Check-in the printed STIMS roster along with any paper Youth Team Member Application forms stapled to the back. This is required for each and every event. 
    • Parents/Guardians have the option of completing an online registration/FIRST Consent and Release Form with the information appearing on the STIMS roster or turning in a paper form if they do not have access to a computer or prefer the paper form. Paper forms must be stapled to the back
    • Paperwork and Consent Form - Spanish version
    • ORTOP does not have access to any of the online STIMS information. If you don't bring your STIMS roster we can't allow you to participate in the tournament.  Issues with printing? Contact Cathy Swider.
      _____________________________________________________________________________
    #3 -  Work on being ready for the tournament - See Dec 22 Blog for detailed list of resources and judge session advice 
    Here is my top recommended activities for preparing for the Qualifying Tournament
    1. Review the Engineering Notebook against the requirements; spiff it up if needed. 
    2.  With a critical eye, inspect the robot with the Robot Inspection and Field Inspection Sheets going line by line.
    3. Review the Game Manuals so that you know the Game Rules and the Tournament Guidelines for being Gracious Professionals. 
    4. Practice driving the robot.
    5.  Have a plan for scouting other teams 
    6. Make checklists so that you don't forget stuff; equipment lists and standard operating procedures.
      ________________________________________________________________________________

    #4  Schedule of ALL Qualifying Tournaments - Dates/Locations for Qualifying Tournaments 
    • 7:45 am - 8:15 am - Team Check in 
    • 8:20 - 8:30 am - Announcements to Teams 
    • 8:30 - ~11:15 am - Panel Judge Session and Inspections/ Practice Field Open 
    • 11:15 - 11:45 am - Lunch Break
    • 11:45 - noon - Drivers' Meeting 
    • 12:00 - 12:15 pm - Opening Ceremonies
    • 12:15 - 2:45 pm  - Qualifying Matches (each team plays 5 matches of 2.5 minutes) 
    • 3:00 - 3:15 pm - Alliance Selection Ceremony 
    • 3:15 - 4:15 pm - Elimination Rounds
    • 4:30 pm - Awards Ceremony 
    • 5:00 pm Load Out 

    Thursday, December 22, 2016



    Season's Greetings FIRST Tech Challenge Oregon teams!

    We hope all of you are enjoy a relaxing winter holiday.

    FTC Oregon Qualifying Tournament Season 

    We are days away from an exciting qualifying events season. FIRST Tech Challenge Oregon has 7 League Qualifying Tournaments and 3 Non-League Qualifying Tournaments scheduled to take place. 

    REQUIRED PRE-TOURNAMENT INFORMATION FORM - DUE JANUARY 9
    In the ORTOP office we are gearing up and preparing tournament materials. Before we can do that, we need information from EVERY TEAM's MENTOR.  PLEASE COMPLETE ON ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE BY JANUARY 9!   This is a hard and fast deadline. 


    Two easy steps to completion 
    1) Preview the questions on the worksheet for your own use.Click here -  Do not fill out the worksheet and send it to me. I need the data from the ONLINE FORM 
    2) Enter your information into the ONLINE FORM and click Submit  


    WHY ? 

    • TEAM NAMES: Make sure team names and other info is correct in the printed tournament programs/scoring system.  If you sent me an email  about a name change - doesn't count, fill out the online form.
    • HOW MANY TEAM MEMBERS: We need to have a correct count of team members so that each team member receives a commemorative Velocity Vortex collector pin. 
    • GRANT REPORTING: Additional demographic and other information for our grant reports. It goes without saying we need the support of sponsors and grants to make this possible. 
    • Remember this? Every mentor agreed to this when applying for a League or Non-League tournament. "Yes, I acknowledge that instead of collecting demographic information this early in the season, my team will complete brief questionnaire in December to confirm the number of students on the team (for Velocity Vortex pin ordering), and statistics necessary for grant reports. Complying by answering the December questionnaire will hold our slot in our assigned league or  non-league qualifying tournament."


    Rescheduled FTC Oregon League Meets 
    Before we can hold the Qualifiers, we need to finish up the League Meet season. Due to inclement weather, we were forced to postpone five league events.
    NEW DATES:

    • Central Oregon League- Summit HS - Thursday, Jan 12
    • Mid-Columbia League - WAAAM - Thursday, Jan 12
    • Portland League - Madison HS - Friday, Jan 6
    • Capitol League - Sprague HS - Saturday, Jan 7 
    • Beaverton League - Conestoga Park & Rec - Saturday, Jan 7
    • Hillsboro League - Hillsboro HS - Saturday, Jan 7 (double league meet #2 & #3) 

    TIPS for Preparing for your Qualifying Tournament 

    • Review Game Manuals, the Forum and other resource reference materials
    • Robot Building Resources  
    • Specifically  - Go through the Inspection Checklists - line by line by line. 
    • Programming Resources 
    • Engineering Notebook and Preparing for Competition 
    • FIRST Tech Challenge  YouTube Channel - Resources, Tutorials, Help videos 
    • Oregon reigning FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship Inspire Award Winner - Hot Wired Robotics - 7013 has excellent practical help videos on their YouTube Channel. 
    • YouTube - Southern Oregon Area Robotics Summer Workshop Videos 
    • If you think it would be beneficial to understand how Judges, Referees and Inspectors are trained? You can! All FTC Volunteer Manuals are public. These are a great resource for preparing to be successful. 
    • Finally, food for thought about your Judging Session. Over the years, experienced FIRST Tech Challenge teams have evolved how they handle their 10-minute judging session. 
      • Successful teams walk into the room prepared to speak about how their team has best met the FIRST Tech Challenge awards criteria by adopting a presentation style for their judging session. There is nothing in the Game Manual that prohibits this. 
      • This means the team walks in, introduces themselves and begins to tell the judges about their design, build, programming, accomplishments and challenges of their robot season. 
      • Highlights what should be of most interest to the judges in their Engineering Notebook.
      • Talks about their team experiences in connecting with their mentors and others in their community and how they motivated themselves and others. 
      • The team should be prepared to pause and allow the judges to ask questions if interrupted. This differs from the FIRST LEGO League judging presentation experiences.  
      • Your prepared material not take up the full 10 minutes. It is important to allow time for the judges to ask their questions. 
      • This style of judging session helps the judges to make the most of the session and ask probing questions specific to your team. 
      • Helpful hints: All team members should vocally participate in the presentation in someway. It is ok to have boards and other media to support your interview. 
      • Teams should practice what they want to communicate and practice answering possible questions prior to the event.  
      • Remember, this is your most important shot at gaining the attention of the judges. 
    FINALLY! - Some holiday cheer! Let's ring in the New Year with #7187 - Team Axis