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Greetings Florida FTC Teams, Coaches, Volunteers, and Sponsors:

We have about 2 ½ months before the start of the 2018-19 FTC season but it is never too late to start planning and taking advantage of outreach events during the offseason. This Florida FTC Email Newsletter has several items that will help you start preparing for the next Florida FTC Season:

1.            Preliminary 2018-19 Season Schedule

2.            (Repeat) Rookie Team Grants Available

3.            (Repeat) Pre-Orders for ROVER RUCKUS Game Element Sets

4.            Team Outreach Opportunities

5.            (Repeat) Changes to the FIRST Tech Challenge 2018-19 Season

 

Newsletter Details:

1.    Preliminary 2018-19 Season Schedule – The first step in preparing for a new FTC season is to finalize the plans for the start and end of the Florida season so that we school starts in the fall, all of the Florida leagues can focus on finalizing the dates and locations of the league meets and championship. The following are several key dates to help teams and league start preparing for the new season:

  • September 8, 2018 – FTC 2018-19 Season Kick-off.  This is the official announcement of the new season game and we are working to finalize the locations of the Florida kick-off events. I encourage teams to plan on attending a kick-off event because this is a great way to get information about the new season and also meet other teams in your area.  Please look for a Florida FTC email in early August that will include the finalized locations, workshop topics, and schedule for the Florida FTC kick-off event(s).
  • February 22-23, 2019 – Florida FTC Championship.  We are still working to finalize the date and location of the Florida Championship but February 22-23, 2019 is the most likely date and the Jacksonville Convention Center is the most likely location. Therefore, the final date for League Championships will be February 2, 2019. The other exciting news is that we are currently planning on increasing the number of teams at the Florida Championship by another 12 teams which means we will have 48 teams at the Florida Championship this season. One of the main reasons for increasing the number of teams is because last season was the end of the Super-Regional.

2.    (Repeat) Rookie Team Grants Available -- The DEKA Foundation has generously funded our FIRST Tech Challenge Rookie Team Grant. Please share this information with any new interested teams, or with any potential new teams, at your FIRST Tech Challenge Outreach events. This grant will cover the $275 registration fee and $225 worth of product. Please visit our website for more information about our 2018-2019 FIRST Tech Challenge Rookie Grant.

3.    (Repeat) Pre-Orders for ROVER RUCKUS Game Element Sets

AndyMark will start accepting team pre-orders for the 2018-2019 game sets beginning June 11, 2018. Teams must place their order by August 24, 2018 to ensure delivery by September 10, 2018.  Pre-orders for all field components must be placed on the AndyMark website. Please note that purchase orders will not be accepted until July 1, 2018.

Field Pricing:

Field Sets
Item Description Price Part #
Full Game Set Set includes all game and scoring components for the 2018-2019 game. $450 am-3890_FGS
Full Game Set* Set includes all game components for the 2018-2019 game (no scoring elements). $340 am-3890_F0
Partial Game Set Set includes half of the game and scoring components for the 2018-2019 game. $340 am-3890_PGS
Partial Game Set* Set includes half of the game components for the 2018-2019 game (no scoring elements). $290 am-3890_P0

*Scoring elements for ROVER RUCKUS presented by Qualcomm will be the same scoring elements used in a previous game. The type of scoring element and other details will be announced at Kickoff on September 8, 2018. If you have any questions, please direct them to FIRST® at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

4.    Outreach Opportunities:

  • August 2, 2018 -- FIRST will be represented by teams from all programs (FLL, FTC, & FRC) at the Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership on August 2nd at the IMAG History and Science Museum in Fort Myers (2000 Cranford Aven). We are looking for FTC teams that can be at the museum form 5:30pm to 7:30pn on August 2, 2018. Please send an email to Tina LaFreniere (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you are interested in participating in this outreach event.
  • October 20, 2018 – We are looking for a couple of FTC teams that would like to represent the program at the 8th Annual  Saint Petersburg Science Festival held this year on Saturday, October 20th, from 10am – 4pm at USF St. Pete & Poynter Park along the Bayboro Waterfront. Check out our Website. If you click on Brochure you will see the illustrious list of the 2016 Festival participants.  Please contact Wendy Austin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if your team is interested in attending.

5.    (Repeat) Changes to the FIRST Tech Challenge 2018-19 Season – The following are three important FIRST rule change announcements:

Technology Phase Out

The following modules will no longer be supported moving into the 2018-2019 season:

  • Legacy TETRIX DC Motor Controller
  • Legacy TETRIX Servo Controller
  • Legacy MATRIX DC Motor/Servo Controller
  • Legacy Sensors (LEGO and NXT sensors)
  • Core Legacy Module

Modern Robotics Core Control Modules, less the Core Legacy Modules, will still be allowed for the upcoming season. The REV Expansion hub will continue to be allowed, and will be included in the official kit of parts.

Programming Languages

Next season will also be the phase out of App Inventor, as this will no longer be an allowed programming language. We will continue to allow FTC Blocks, OnBot Java, Android Studio, Java Native Interface (JNI) and Android Native Development Kit (NDK).

Robot Weight Limit

The coming season will impose a weight limit for Robots of 42 pounds total. More details on this rule change will be outlined in the Game Manual Part 1 scheduled for release in July 2018.

Follow Florida FTC at:

Florida FIRST Tech Challenge website: http://www.flfirst.org

Florida FTC Facebook page:   facebook.com/FloridaFTC

Florida FTC Twitter page: twitter.com/FLFTC   #FLFTCRocks

Florida FTC Forum:   http://flftc.forumotion.com

FIRST Tech Challenge Blog: http://firsttechchallenge.blogspot.com

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

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