FIRST in Michigan FTC Resources
2017-2018 Season Information:
FIRST in Michigan operates a progression of programs which differs from FIRST national. Our model enables students to build upon the skills and experiences attained at one level then flow naturally to the next level without overlap. In Michigan, FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is the sole program for middle school students with teams comprised solely of middle school age/grade students.
Teams must be aligned properly in order to compete in FIRST in Michigan FTC events and to be eligible for FIRST in Michigan/MDE/sponsor specific grants.
FIRST in Michigan Progression of Programs *Effective 2015-2016 Season
Elementary School Programs
Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr. FLL): Kindergarten - Grade 3
FIRST LEGO League (FLL): Grade 4 - end of elementary
Middle School Program
FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)
High School Program
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)
A few key points to note:
Team registration for the season opens in May. Please refer to the above linked Team Registration/Grants/Equipment doc for steps on registering your team.
A team will need to register with FIRST FTC (national) in order to be included in season correspondence from FIRST FTC (national) and FIRST in Michigan FTC and to participate in official events. VETERANS - remember that FTC team numbers (and the FTC Kit of Parts) are retained from year to year. Do not register your veteran team as a new team; register with your veteran team number. Visit the MI FTC Team List for all 2016-17 team numbers.
It is important for teams that are affiliated with a middle school or youth enrichment 501c3 type of organization to include this affiliation as part of their "Team Name" on the FIRST registration system. This is key for eligibility for certain grants.
If you are no longer holding a key role for the team (Team Admin, Coach/Mentor 1 or 2), please be sure to invite your replacement which can be done via your FIRST account. This will ensure that the new team contacts are receiving all communications.
Per the FIRST Youth Protection Program, every FIRST team is required to have two registered adult Mentors/Coaches who must pass the FIRST background screening process. This process is initiated via the FIRST account for the individual and there is no charge for the screening.
The FTC Storefront is a one-stop shop where teams can purchase the FTC Kit of Parts. It's important to review the above linked grant docs BEFORE paying the FIRST FTC season registration fee or purchasing equipment through the FIRST FTC Storefront. Some grants can only be directly applied through the FTC Storefront.
FTC season kickoff will be on Sept. 9th which is when the new game FIRST Relic Recovery will be fully revealed. Visit our FIRST in Michigan FTC Announcements blog to find an event near you: http://michiganftc.blogspot.com/. It's a great chance to network with area teams, pick up some new skills, hone some old ones, and see the season's game up close and personal!
Teams participating at kickoff workshops should bring their Kit of Parts, tools, and team laptop with software loaded in order to make best use of their time at these events. So, it’s important to start the team registration process, apply for the FIRST FTC (national) Team Grant and receive an award decision, then pay your team’s FIRST FTC registration fee and order your parts.
See grant doc linked above for details. Of note:
In Michigan, the official Middle School FTC season is September through December and ends before FRC kickoff in January.
FTC Season Kickoff & Game Reveal
Build and Practice (no bag day in FTC!)
Sign up for an official event
Mi FTC State Championship*
North SuperRegional, Iowa*
FIRST FTC Championship, Detroit, MI!*
*State Championship, SuperRegional and FIRST Championship are advancement based. Separate event fees will apply.
FTC Team Members under 12 Years of Age
Currently, students under the age of 12 will not be able to register online for their FTC team in FIRST's Youth Team Registration System. These students will need to turn in a paper FIRST Consent/Release form at events and be handwritten onto the team's electronically produced roster.
Coaches have shared that 6th graders have a better FTC experience when the team is comprised of mixed grades i.e 6th, 7th, 8th and not solely 6th graders. A mixed grade team also lends itself to a higher rate of sustainability as, each year, only a portion of the team will need to be repopulated rather than the entire team. Plus it gives the older students the opportunity to develop leadership and mentorship skills.
Team Mentors under 18 Years of Age
To be listed as a Coach or Mentor in Team Information Management System (TIMS), a mentor must be an adult of 18 years of age or older. Student Mentors do not sign up through the registration system because in order to create an account, one must be an adult of 18 years of age or older. However, students may help out as a Student Mentor for the team. A Student Mentor would be someone who works with the team in his/her area of expertise. They help provide valuable one-on-one interaction. In addition to having the knowledge, the most important quality for a Mentor is someone who enjoys working with young people and wants them to learn.
To be listed on the team’s roster, coaches should write the Student Mentor’s name on the printed team roster in the “Additional Student Team Members and Mentors Not Listed Above (write in)” section. Indicate that they are a Student Mentor in the “Role” column. Then, attach their completed consent form to the team roster to be submitted at each event that they attend.
Any questions, please email Tammy Damrath at firstname.lastname@example.org. Welcome aboard!