Mississippi FTC

FIRST Tech Challenge

2015-16 Email Blast #01 – Kickoff Information

Posted on: March 1st, 2015 by Mannie Lowe

** Are You Ready?   ** FTC is about to Kickoff!!!

Welcome to the 2015-2016 Mississippi FIRST Tech Challenge season! I hope everyone is excited about another exciting FTC season in Mississippi. The FTC season will kick-off on September 12, 2015 with the announcement of the new game and rules. This will be very exciting season with significant changes – every team will feel like a rookie. “Why,” do you ask? Last February, FIRST announced that the FTC program will be switching to an Android-based control system this season. More details about the new system are available at this link (http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/technology) .

** FTC Kickoff Details

On Saturday, September 12, the FIRST Tech Challenge will Kickoff their 10th full season with the release of …. Nope, can’t even give you the name yet. For Mississippi teams, you are all invited to come south to Wesson and the campus of Copiah-Lincoln Community College. The agenda is below and will include the popular Guess the Game Element drawing, Q&A about the game, walk around the field, and a couple of 45-60 minute breakout sessions to get you started on the right foot for the season.

Our hosts for the Kickoff are the award-winning CoLin Seawolves Underwater Robotics Engineering (http://www.colin.edu/94-news/667-seawolves-capture-fourth-in-international-competition) team. They will provide demos of their ROV as well as sell burgers, chips, and drinks for lunch ($7.00). We appreciate all their support and congratulate them on their great showing at the
14th Annual Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) International Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition. Please support their team by purchasing your lunch at the Kickoff.

 Start   End   What
  8:30  9:30   Team Check-in / Mix-n-Mingle
  9:30 10:15   Kickoff Presentation
 10:15 10:45   Game Reveal / Tour of the Playing Field
 10:45 11:30   Q&A
 11:30 12:30   Lunch - Presented by CoLin Seawolves ($7.00)
 12:30  1:30   Breakout Session One
  1:30  2:30   Breakout Session Two
  2:30  2:45   Wrap-up and Close
  3:30  7:00   Team Social in McComb - Presented by Blue Crew teams

Campus map located at this link.  
Lunch Menu – Flat cost $7.00 – Choice of Hamburger or Hot Dog – Chips, Drink, and Cookie. (Drinks, chips, coffee and candy will be sold throughout the day). Proceeds benefit the Copiah-Lincoln S.U.R.E. Team.

On the Kickoff Registration form, you will have the opportunity to sign your team members up to each of the following sessions. For example, if you bring 8 members, you can send 2 to each session.

Breakout Session Classes
Session One (12:30 – 1:30)
* Drive Train Design – led by Techno Warriors Advanced
* Setting up your ZTE Speed Phones – led by Blue Crew
* Android Studio Setup – led by Dr. Kevin McKone
* Git, GitHub, and Version Control – led by Jacob Mason

Session Two (1:30 – 2:30)
* Robot Build Brainstorming – led by Blue Crew, Too – everyone participates
* How to Build with Extruded Aluminum (e.g. 80/20, Rev) – led by Techno Warriors Advanced
* Java Programming using the FTC SDK – led by Mannie Lowe, Kevin McKone, and Jacob Mason
* Other Jobs to be done on a Team – led by Wait For It

We are asking ALL teams to register (whether they are attending or not) so we can get a sense of how much food to provide and how many will be going to each Breakout Session. Please fill out the form located here: http://ftc.umcmse.com/kickoff-registration-form/.
After we are finished at CoLin, all teams are invited by FTC Teams #7398 (Blue Crew) and #8609 (Blue Crew, Too) to their location in McComb for food, fun, drinks, socializing, and volleyball. Come tour their facility and enjoy the camaraderie. Directions will be available at the Kickoff, but it’s staight south on I-55 to McComb.

** Important Reminder!

Please register your FTC Team as soon as possible. Right now, we only have 10 teams registered. We have five qualifiers (and perhaps a sixth) booked on the calendar. We need all our teams and several new teams to get going so we can max out the QTs. Register your team at https://my.usfirst.org/ftc/tims/site.lasso today!

That is all for this email blast. There will be more shortly discussing the Calendar of Qualifiers along with when you can register, a possible training schedule with the new platform, and other events and news that you should be aware of.  If you have any questions, please send them my way. I hope the school year has started on the right foot. The FTC Season is going to be a great one!

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