Greetings Florida FTC Teams, Volunteers, and Sponsors:


Please Read this update carefully and completely!


Our 2015-2016 FTC Kickoff was an incredible success! If you missed the Kickoff video you can find it here. Check out our Game Page for this year's Game Manual Part 2 and other important game-releated resources. If you have friends or family that were so impressed by this year's game that they want to start their own FTC team, check out our Start a Team page. Don't forget about all of our awesome outreach resources


1.         Important Dates

2.         2015-16 Season Event Schedule

3.         Judging Changes for 2015-16 Season

4.         2015 FTC Technology Transition Grant Application

5.         FTC Outreach Contest

6.         Upcoming Outreach Opportunities



Newsletter Details:

1.     Important Dates – The Florida FTC event schedule is created by working backward from the South Super-Regional to ensure teams and volunteers are able to properly prepare for the next stage.  The following are currently published event dates:

·         December 5, 2015 – Video Submission Deadline – Teams must submit a judge video for evaluation by December 5, 2015 to be eligible to attend the Florida FTC State Championship.

·         February 6 or 13, 2016 – Florida FTC State Championship – Location is to be determined.

·         March 9-11, 2016 – South Super-Regional in San Antonio, Texas

·         April 27-30, 2016 – FIRST Tech Championship – St. Louis, MO


2.     2015-16 Season Event Schedule—League have started publishing event dates on the following Florida FTC web page - In the coming weeks, a majority of the league events will be published on this web page and the FTC event registration system will be open.  I recommend that all teams check this web page every week to get an update on any upcoming events.


3.     Judging Changes for 2015-16 Season—FIRST has published several changes that will impact the judging approach and criteria that will be performed at Florida FTC events. One of the biggest changes is that teams will no longer receive written feedback from the judges. The following is a list of changes to team evaluations (judging) for FTC awards at event that will be offered in Florida for the 2015-2016 season:

  • The criteria for Engineering Notebooks now requires a Business, Strategic Plan, or Sustainability Plan Section in addition to the previously required Engineering Section and Team Section.
  • There are some specific elements that must be in the Engineering Notebooks to be eligible for certain awards. (Game Manual section 7.3.5).
    • Innovate Award - notebook must document the design process
    • Control Award - notebook must  document the control components (Hot Tip: see Game Manual, Part 1, Appendix C)
    • Design Award - notebook must have robot design drawings
    • Connect Award - business (or strategic or sustainability) plan must have goals and plans how to achieve them.
  • Per the FTC Game Manual, the very first criterion for every award acknowledges the importance of Gracious Professionalism.  Judges will be carefully tuned-in to that this season. An egregious display of ungracious, unprofessional behavior at an event may risk that team's eligibility for all judged awards at that event. 
  • FIRST has directed that written feedback on their judged performance will not be given to teams after an event. This policy is in response to team complaints across the nation about confusing and conflicting feedback inconsistencies.


Teams can learn more about FTC awards and how to win them by studying the following documents which can be downloaded from the website.



And, of course, the FTC Game Manual, part 1, section 7.


4.     2015 FTC Technology Transition Grant Application


The 2015 FTC Technology Grants for US teams are still available.  We have approximately 100 veteran and 400 rookie grants available.  Please send the application information to your teams in need of funding:


This grant is competitive as it is need-based.  Teams should read through the grant details, eligibility requirements and expectations.   Once they have read through everything they should proceed to complete the application.  It is important that they provide as much detail as possible.


5.         FTC Outreach Contest-- If you're doing FTC Team outreach, you've already qualified to enter our FTC Outreach Contest! The winning team gets an FTC competition kit! Check out our blog for more contest details.  Below are some great opportunities to showcase your outreach skills!


6.         Upcoming Outreach Opportunities


·         October 16 & 17  - St. Petersburg Science Festival, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg  Register  at our Outreach Registration form here:  by October 1.


·         October 17 – St. Petersburg Comic Con & MakerCon – FIRST exhibit at this St. Petersburg College-Seminole Campus library event.   RSVP at  by October 1.


·         October 17 – Bar Camp Tampa Bay  is looking for one team to demo. Email Terri at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Sept. 30 if you can help out at this event, held at the USF School of Business.


·         Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faire – Nov. 6-8deadline Oct. 17 for team matching to stores – Please register at our online form by the deadline:  We’re working with Barnes & Noble statewide to coordinate for FIRST exhibits at each store, so please be sure to include your location when you RSVP .  Thank you!


·         I/ITSEC- Modeling, Simulation, and Training Conference – FIRST Exhibit at STEM Pavilion Nov. 30-Dec 4 – Orange County Convention Center – RSVP by Oct. 30 at  


Go Teams!


Hans K. Wolf

Tampa Bay Robotics Foundation, Inc.

Cell: 813-477-4595

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Follow Florida FTC at:

Florida FIRST Tech Challenge website:

Florida FTC Facebook page:

Florida FTC Twitter page:   #FLFTCRocks

Florida FTC Forum:

FIRST Tech Challenge Blog:


Visit FIRST in Florida at for more information and resources about FIRST statewide.

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