STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO TEAM REGISTRATION AND GRANTS
Follow the instructions in this doc to learn:
NOTE: THE MATCH REQUIRED IN THE STATE GRANT CAN BE ALL IN-KIND. (LIKE PROVIDING A ROOM FOR THE TEAM TO BUILD IN) SEE 3.7 BELOW.
Any publicly funded school district may apply for the State MDE grant. This includes public schools, charters, public academies and ISD's (with some stipulations on ISD offerings). Home school teams, private school teams, religious school teams are not eligible.
High School FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) :
Middle School FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC):
Late Elementary FIRST Lego League
Early Elementary FIRST Lego League Jr (Grades K-3)
(This is the overview, details for each item are below)
Step 1: Register your team(s) with FIRST to get a team number to use on the grant.
Step 2: Find the person in your district who has access to MEGS+, which is the online system for MDE grant applications.
This person is called the LEVEL 5 employee usually found in the administration office for the district.
Step 3: Fill out the application and remember to attach a cumulative in-kind Spending Plan for the required in-kind match
➢ Download the spending plan template here: www.techplan.org/rdi.
➢ Input areas are highlighted in YELLOW. Input your school district name/number at top.
➢ Input the NUMBER (0, 1, 2, etc.) of district wide FIRST teams at each program level.
➢ A spending plan for your district will be generated in the 2nd tab of the spreadsheet.
➢ See in-kind match requirements below.
➢ SAMPLE SPENDING PLANS found here: www.techplan.org/rdi
Start and Manage a Team: https://my.firstinspires.org/Dashboard/. TIP! Bookmark this page as you will come back to it to manage your team over and over throughout the season. Navigating the FIRST registration site can be cumbersome. Refer to the FIRST New Team Registration Examples doc for screenshots.
Registration deadline: To be eligible for the state grant all teams, whether new or returning, teams MUST be registered by Nov 7, 2016 to be included on the team list FIRST in Michigan provides to the MDE.
You can find an FRC season calendar here: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/calendar/.
Before registering your team you must create/login to your FIRST account. The individual who will be registering a visits the FIRST national website http://www.firstinspires.org/ and, on the top right side of the screen, chooses “Sign Up” to create a new FIRST account or “Login” to access their previously established account. Note that “Sign Up” is a one-time activity. Multiple teams across programs can be created/managed via a FIRST account, if the individual is Coach 1/Coach 2 of the team. Note that this is not the team registration itself, this is just setting up or logging into your FIRST account.
New users will be sent an automatic confirmation email from email@example.com (check SPAM, if you don’t receive this email) asking you to activate your account. Follow the link to activate. This will then direct you to Login with your brand new FIRST Account! New users will be directed to a screen to complete their Personal Profile before being directed to their Dashboard.
Once logged into your FIRST Account, you will be directed to your Dashboard (it will say this on the top left of the page). To register a NEW (never existed before) team, select "Create a Team". You will only make this selections once in the team’s lifetime. In the future, to get back into your team information, scroll down on the dashboard to "Teams I can administer as a lead coach" and click “team summary”
You will asked the role you will be filling for the team: Team Admin or Coach/Mentor 1.
➢ Can pay for the team’s registration
➢ Can invite Coach/Mentor 1 & 2
➢ Can be Coach/Mentor 1 & 2
➢ Can invite other contacts
Coach/Mentor 1 (for adults who coach the team)
➢ Full rights to administer the team
➢ Subject to YPP
➢ Can invite Coach/Mentor 2 and Team Admin
➢ Can also be Team Admin
Choose Program: After choosing a role, you will be directed to choose the FIRST Program where you are starting the new team. Note that the FIRST in Michigan progression of programs is different than what’s listed on the FIRST national site. MI teams must be aligned correctly in order to be eligible for FIRST in Michigan grants and to participate in the FIRST in Michigan program events. Michigan’s is:
High School FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) exclusively
Middle School FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) exclusively
Late Elementary FIRST LEGO League (FLL) exclusively (Grades 4 and up)
Early Elementary FIRST LEGO League Jr. (FLL Jr.) exclusively (Grades K-3)
Team Information: Input your new team’s name (this can be changed later), country, zip code. Press “Next”.
School Organization: Input your School/Organization Type. Depending on your choice, another drop down will appear to choose your particular affiliation. Example: Selecting “School”, will then trigger a prompt to dropdown of school names in a 50 mile radius. If your school name isn’t found, choose “Our school is not on this list” found at the end of the dropdown list. After selection, press “Next”.
Invite Primary Contacts: Invite a Coach/Mentor 1 and/or 2 for your team. If you choose to invite a Coach/Mentor 1 and/or 2 at a later time, click “I will do this at a later time” link at the bottom of the page. Later, you can do this by selecting “Manage and Invite Team Contacts” from your dashboard.
➢ Note that the team will not be able to order product or register for an event until the team coaches have accepted their invitation and have completed their Youth Protection screening. It’s best to call them and tell them to accept their invite right away. If you have not identified a real Coach/Mentor 2 for your team yet, just call Gail Alpert at 248 425-4148.
➢ If your team contacts change later, just go to “Manage and Invite Team Contacts” from your dashboard to invite a replacement. FIRST and FIRST in Michigan sends out important info to the lead contacts all season long so be sure the contacts are always up to date.
After the above steps are completed, the next screen will show the team’s temporary team number.
Via their Dashboard, Coach/Mentor 1 & 2 for a team can electronically sign their FIRST Consent/Release form (with a redirection to the District version) and apply for their screening in the Youth Protection Program (YPP), required of both Coach/Mentor 1 and 2. FRC teams cannot register for an event (which gets the team a permanent number) until both coaches pass and have check marks. These tasks will be listed under the “Outstanding Tasks” heading on their respective Dashboards. It should take just a few hours to pass the screening.If YPP asks you to pay, do not. Payment is strictly voluntary. For more info YPP: http://www.firstinspires.org/youth-protection.
Apply for Grant. While waiting for the screening to come back, this is the time to apply for the MEGS+ grant. New teams should use their temporary team number. This can be found on your Dashboard. It is 8 digits beginning with 2016 or 2017. Move on to SECTION 3 below! Come back to this part when you are finished.
Register for your events.
➢ FRC Teams: Once both of the team contacts have passed the Youth Protection Program screening, then it’s time to register for your events to get your permanent team number. NO MONEY IS DUE AT THE TIME OF FRC EVENT REGISTRATION. FRC event registration is as follows:
First you have to press agree to the terms found at the bottom of the page. If you are registering prior to Oct. 6, the only event that will be available will be your home event. This is the event closest to you. We save you a spot here if you want it. If not, you can choose to opt out by clicking the opt out link. If you are registering after Oct 8, you can choose two events. The home event will say home underneath the event name. You are guaranteed a spot there. Register for the home event first, then repeat the process and select a second event. You must do two events to be eligible for the state grant. Both are included with your registration fee. Second event registration opens on Oct. 6th at 12pm.
➢ FTC/FLL/FLL Jr. Teams: FTC/FLL/FLL Jr. event registration is handled at the local level. Teams will be contacted via email by their respective FIRST in Michigan Program Director with event registration instructions.
FRC Teams: No money is due at the time of registration. Money is due by Nov 21, 2016. Note MDE grants are reimbursements starting in Jan. The FRC Rookie Grant through FIRST is credited to your event fees. As an FRC rookie you are eligible for both the MDE and FRC Rookie Grant. Apply for both.
FTC/FLL/FLL Jr. Teams: Payment for season registration and parts is due at the time of registration. FTC teams awarded the FIRST FTC Team Grant should WAIT to pay until the grant appears as available on the team’s FTC Storefront landing page.
FRC Teams: Once you are placed into your first event, you will get your permanent team number. This number stays with you year after year. If you have not yet submitted the state grant you can use this number, or you can use the temporary number on the MEGS+ grant application, If using your temporary number, see no. 5 below.
FTC/FLL/FLL Jr. Teams: Your permanent team number will be assigned once the FIRST FTC registration fee is paid. This number is retained year to year.
There is one person in the district with access to the online system for applying for MDE grant, MEGS+ (Michigan Education Grant system). This person is called the Level 5 employee is usually found in the superintendent's office. If you cannot figure out who your level 5 employee is, you can contact Amanda Stoel below at the MI Dept of Ed and she can look it up on the MDE’s list. If you are a charter school, the level 5 employee may be in your management company's office rather than at your school. . Ask the head of your school. Be sure to start early enough to find them and have time to fill out the grant which only takes a few minutes.
MEGS+ Log in Page
Look for the FIRST Robotics Grant.for the 2016-17 year.
Before starting, be sure to read up on the grant specifics which can be found in the various documents contained here: http://www.techplan.org/rdi/
The two important docs to read there is the 2016-17 RFP which contains all requirements and the FAQ’s.
In the sections below, we tell you what to put in for the mentor and sponsor requirements, and we provide you with a spending plan that assumes your match is all in-kind. You simply have to put in the number of teams your district has at all levels and it will calculate everything for you!
The level 5 employee will fill out ONE single application for all of the FRC, FTC, FLL, & FLL Jr. teams within the district, putting each team on a separate page.. Each team must be on a separate page within the application. The application allows the district to add a separate page for each team.
Example: If a given district has 1 high school FRC teams, 2 middle school FTC teams, 3 upper elementary FLL teams & 4 Kindergarten-Gr. 3 FLL Jr. teams - the application will contain 10 separate team pages within the the single district-wide application.
The app requires a team number for EACH SEPARATE FIRST TEAM in your district seeking a grant.
Use the permanent team number if you have it or IF YOU HAVE ONLY A TEMPORARY TEAM NUMBER beginning with 2016 (all programs except FRC) or 2017 (FRC) use that. But be sure to register for an event (FRC teams) or pay your registration fee (FTC, FLL, FLL Jr.) prior to Nov 7 so that you have a permanent team number by 11:59 pm on Nov 7.
If you already have a sponsor in tow (Whirlpool or Dow or others), put them in the grant. FRC Teams: If you don’t have a sponsor yet, and many of our rookie teams don’t, you will be applying for the FRC Rookie grant from Argosy (see bottom of this document) so please use Argosy as your community sponsor.
Rookie FRC Teams:
GM sponsored FRC & Rookie FTC/FLL Teams applying for the FiM FTC/FLL Rookie Grants:
Dow Sponsored Teams
Rookie FTC Teams applying for the FiM FTC Rookie Grant:
Sponsorships do not need to be cash, they can be "in kind”. If you have a mentor on your team (parent or otherwise) who works at a company, you can use the company name. Mentoring is a form of an “in kind” donation from a company.
The grant this season requires a match of 25% of the stipend, and 50% of the team support funds. The match can be financial or "IN KIND" from your own school, or from a company, individuals, other grants (not the State Grant) or whatever. Examples of “in kind donations” can be a room to build at the school, school supplies, paying the teacher benefit portion of the stipend, a donation of materials from a sponsor, donations of food from restaurant or anything else you can imagine that helps your team.
The district should use the sample spending plan template worksheet found at www.techplan.org/rdi to generate the aggregate match required for all of their teams at all levels. You just supply the district name and district ID number at the top. Then fill in THE NUMBER OF TEAMS in the district at each level. Voila! On the the next tab is your completed spending plan for the district. Save it an attach it to your application.
For example, a district has one rookie FRC team, and three FTC teams: Simply place the number of teams in the boxes for each level and the plan will generate automatically on the next tab of the spreadsheet.
Until you actually hit submit, you can go back in and modify your application, adding new teams or whatever. Remember though you MUST “submit” before the application period ends on Nov 7, 2016.
If you need to modify your app after hitting submit, call Amanda Stoel at 517-241-3639 and ask her to reopen it. If you have any grant application questions feel free to contact Gail Alpert at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Dept of Ed: Ann-Marie Smith, email@example.com, 517-335-2775.
Like most MDE grants, money from the State grant for FIRST teams comes in monthly installments through your school’s state aid payment on line 99h to your district, not to FIRST. Payments are made incrementally and should begin in January 2017.
➢ Money for FRC is due to FIRST on November 21, 2016 before notification that your district has been awarded the MDE grant (which should be announced in late December.) We know this makes new teams nervous so we worked out a plan with FIRST. Simply submit a PO from your district to FIRST at AR@firstinspires.org with the following language: IN THE EVENT OUR TEAM DOES NOT GET THE MDE GRANT, THIS PO MAY BE DECLARED NULL AND VOID.
There is a webinar on the State Grant hosted by the Michigan Dept of Education:
When: Tues Sept 20, 2:30 PM
Call in Number: 888-808-6929 Access Code: 8105360
Webinar URL: http://remc.adobeconnect.com/first-ta/
See www.firstinmichigan.org. Go to the right side of the opening page to check out our comprehensive grant sheet for a list of other grants available this season. Direct link: http://www.firstinmichigan.org/Documents/2017grants.pdf.
If you plan to apply for a high school FRC grant and need help, contact:
President, FIRST in Michigan
If you plan to apply for a middle school FTC grant and need help, contact
If you plan to apply for an upper elementary FLL grant and need help, contact
If you plan to apply for a Kindergarten-Grade 3 FLL Jr. grant and need help, contact
Director, FLL Jr.
HIGH SCHOOL ROOKIE FRC TEAMS:
IN ADDITION TO THE MDE GRANT, ROOKIE FRC TEAMS MAY ALSO APPLY AND RECEIVE A ROOKE GRANT” FROM FIRST FUNDED BY THE ARGOSY FOUNDATION AND OTHER GENEROUS SPONSORS.
(Rookie high school FRC teams only)
ADDITIONAL GRANT FOR HIGH SCHOOL ROOKIE FRC TEAMS:
The rookie FRC grant is a 2 year private grant that can be used to augment the state grant. It is due Nov 3, 2016. You can find it here:
It is a typical grant with lots of narratives and a fundraising plan.
Every Rookie, whether from a private school, or public school is eligible and should apply. It is long but the payout makes it worth it:
Public School teams:
Your angle should be that you need this grant as your match to unlock the state funds.
Non-Public School teams: (home schools, private etc)
Your angle should be that since you are not a public school team you don't have access to State of Michigan funding.
Regional Director for Michigan:
Fundraising Plan Required:
The goal of creating the fundraising plan is to look at the community around you to plan how you will fund the team on your own in the future. Discuss access to businesses, companies your parents work for, organizations, grants, your community foundation, etc.
It's actually a great exercise, though long and arduous to prepare. I prepared a pro forma outline for you fill in.. You can find it here: Proforma Fundraising Plan - this is a “view only” google doc, you can put your answers in by click on “File” then “Download” to get an editable version.
There are three components you absolutely MUST include per the terms of the grant:
Note: The FRC resources include fundraising plans by older teams. While your plan will be far less involved and for WAY less money, there might be some good ideas you can steal.