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FTC Florida News - September 25, 2011

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FTC Florida News - September 25, 2011

Post by Admin on Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:05 am

Hello Teams,

Please share this and all other team email blasts with your team. Unless you have made other arrangements with me, the only people on your team that receive this email are the main and alternate team contacts that are listed in the FIRST Team Information Management System that was used to register your team with FIRST. All of the Florida FTC team email blasts are placed in an email archive on the www.flfirst.org web site.

Topics covered in this email include:

1. Qualification Tournament Registration [Critical, Time Sensitive Topic]
2. Build-it Day at Middleton High School in Tampa
3. Judging
4. Florida FTC Workshop Presentation Downloads
5. FIRST in Florida Blog


Attachments: Tournament Policy, Coaching Guidelines

------------
1. Qualification Tournament Registration [Critical, Time Sensitive Topic]

The first round of registration for Florida Qualifying Tournaments opens Wednesday, September 28th at 8:00 p.m. Detailed instructions for the registration process are in the September 21, 2011 Florida FTC News email blast. Visit the email archive to review this email: www.flfirst.org/Florida_First_Tech_Challenge/Email_Archive.html

Teams may register for a qualifying tournament before paying their $275 team registration fee to FIRST. The registration feel must be paid at least three weeks prior to attending a tournament.

Rookie teams that haven't paid their $275 registration fee to FIRST may use their temporary 7-digit team number (200xxxx) to register for a qualifying tournament.

Teams are encouraged to attend at least two qualifying tournaments. Select tournaments that are at least 3-weeks apart so that there is time between tournaments to upgrade your robot, update the video for judging, improve game strategy, add autonomous options, etc.

Assure your team's participation in two qualifying tournaments by registering during the first two registration rounds. Teams that fail to register for qualifying tournaments during the first two registration rounds are likely to have few or zero options for attending a qualifying tournament in Florida this season.

Quick links to qualifying tournament web pages:
- Qualification tournament registration start page: www.flfirst.org/Florida_First_Tech_Challenge/Qualifying_Tournament_Registration.html
- Qualifying tournament dates and team capacity status: www.flfirst.org/Florida_First_Tech_Challenge/TournamentQuery.php


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2. Build-it Day at Middleton High School in Tampa

Middleton High School will be hosting the 3rd annual Tampa Build-It Day on October 22, 2011 from 9am to 3pm. A full Bowled Over! field will be set-up in the Middleton cafeteria with plenty of tables and workspace for everyone to work on their robots. The Build-It Day event is an opportunity for FTC teams to have access to a practice field, exchange design ideas, help rookie teams with building their first robot, and attend workshops. Some of the workshop topics we are planning to include are: Using PTC Creo to Design Your Robot, Challenges of using Anderson PowerPole Connectors, Introduction to ROBOTC, and Programming Sensors with ROBOTC. Middleton High School is located at 4801 N. 22nd Street, Tampa, FL.

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3. Judging

The judging process and tournament rules are described each year in the FTC Game Manual. The standard judging process includes: a) a private team interview with 2-judges; b) review of the engineering notebook by judges; c) observation of teams during the tournament; and d) informal, discussions between teams and judges in the pit area. For the 2011 season, the Florida region is piloting a slightly different judging process. We will run qualification tournaments and the state championship as specified in the game manual, with one important change. The formal judge interview will not be conducted on tournament day.

We are adding two elements to the judging process for this pilot program. First, teams create videos that provide an overview of the team, their game strategy, robot design, community outreach, etc. The entire judging team will watch all of the team videos prior to tournament day. This enables all of the judges to learn about your team, not just the two judges that normally conduct the team interview on tournament day. Second, judges will use the time that was previously spent hidden away in interview rooms to spend extra time visiting with teams in the pit area. Therefore, it is important that teams keep several members of their team in the pit area at all times up until early afternoon when judging ends. The only time a team's pit area should be empty is when their robot is playing a match on the competition field. Teams should prepare marketing materials (posters, photos, flip charts, etc.) to show judges in the pit area during these informal visits. Don't be shy; show the judges what is special about your team, robot, mentors, etc.

Technical details for creating and submitting videos will be provided in a subsequent team email blast.

Teams should start planning and collecting media for their judging video early in the season so that there is sufficient video and photo content available to create a video that will wow the judges.

The following guidance for team videos was written by Steve Willingham, Judge Advisor (Head Judge) for the Florida Championship. Please share this valuable information with your team.

> Since the team videos are an integral part of the judges understanding of team dynamics and considered carefully in the judges scoring process, it is in the best interest of the teams to understand the context in which the judges will be viewing their videos.
>
> Each of the judged awards (Inspire, Innovate, Design, Connect, Motivate, Think) are considered based on the various criteria for each award as described in the game manual. The judges have four basic ways to learn about the teams, their challenges, achievements, approaches to solving problems, and overall dynamics. The four ways, or “channels”, are the Team Notebook, Discussions with team members, Observations, and the Team Video.
>
> The Team Video is the team’s opportunity to create an impressive message to the judges about team challenges, achievements, approaches to solving problems, and overall dynamics that they feel might otherwise not be apparent in the notebook, discussions, or casual observations.
>
> Since the video content is considered in each of the award scores (except the Think Award), a good strategy (but certainly not the only strategy) is for a team to demonstrate in the video how they achieve or excel in the merits of the awards. Below are some ideas about what a team might consider when producing their video. Since videos are limited to 3 minutes, its obvious that everything cannot be included, so teams need to think carefully about their approach and produce a video that corresponds with their goals and objectives.
>
> VIDEO IDEAS
>
> INNOVATE AWARD
> - Show how the robot, or a sub-assembly of the robot, is elegant or unique in its design.
> - Show how stable, maneuverable, or controllable the robot is.
>
> DESIGN AWARD
> - Show the judges how the robot differentiates itself from other robots.
> - Show how the design gives the robot clean look, maybe even decorative in nature.
> - Show how the robot expresses the creativity of the team.
>
> CONNECT AWARD
> - Show the judges how the team has reached out to the community.
> - Show how the team has a relationship with the scientific or engineering community.
> - Show the judges how the team plans to achieve it’s fund raising goals.
>
> MOTIVATE AWARD
> - Show the judges your team spirit extends beyond the tournaments and competitions.
> - Demonstrate enthusiasm within the team and within the community!
> - Show how well the members work together as a team.
>
> THINK AWARD
> - Think Award is focused on the Engineering Notebook and thus the team video is not considered a component of the Think Award score.
>
> INSPIRE AWARD
> - Provide candid scenes that demonstrate Gracious Professionalism.
> - Show the judges how the team has reached out to the community.
> - Demonstrate good communication and presentation skills
> - Show how your robot effectively approaches the challenges of the game.
> - Show how the team has provided help and inspired other teams by sharing their experiences, lessons learned and knowledge


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4. Florida FTC Workshop Presentation Downloads

The workshop presentations from the Florida Kickoff and Tempest N Tampa events are available for download from the helpful links page on the Florida FTC web site: www.flfirst.org/Florida_First_Tech_Challenge/Helpful_Links.html


------------
5. FIRST in Florida Blog

Check out the new FIRST in Florida blog for news about FTC, FRC, FLL, Jr. FLL and related topics: firstinflorida.wordpress.com

Here are a few quick links to online FTC resources managed by FIRST:

- FTC Home Page – www.usfirst.org/ftc
- FTC Team Information Management System – https://my.usfirst.org/ftc/tims/
- Start a Team – http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/start-a-team
- Game Info– http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/2011-2012-game-info
- Team info/RSS – http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/emailblastarchive.aspx
- 2011-2012 FTC Kit of Parts: http://usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/2011-2012-ftc-kit-of-parts
- Ken’s Blog: http://firsttechchallenge.blogspot.com/

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