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

This Florida FTC Email Newsletter has several items that will help you start preparing for the next Florida FTC Season:

1.            Season Kick-off Events

2.            Team Grant Information

3.            ROBOTICON

4.            Team Outreach Opportunities

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


Newsletter Details:

1.    Season Kick-off Events – We will have four kick-off events in Florida on September 8, 2018. Please watch for more updates in the coming weeks about the specific locations and schedule for these 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.  We will have a kick-off event in the following four locations: Jacksonville, Tampa, South Florida, and the Kennedy Space Center.

2.    Team Grant Information –

  • Florida Power & Light is offering $750 to rookie teams if you are in one of the counties listed below.  See that attached PDF document for details on the grant an how to apply.  The following are the Florida counties supported by Florida Power & Light:
    • Okeechobee
    • Clay
    • Columbia
    • Baker
    • Bradford
    • Suwanee
    • Union
    • Nassau
    • St. Johns
    • Putman
    • Flagler
    • Clay
    • East side of Volusia
    • East side of Seminole
    • Brevard
    • Indian River
    • St. Lucie
    • Martin
    • Palm Beach
    • Broward
    • Miami Dade
    • Collier
    • Charlotte
    • Lee
    • Sarasota
    • Manatee
    • Desoto
  • 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.
  • Rockwell Collins will again be supporting Florida FTC teams. The Florida Rockwell Collins grant application will be distributed to teams in late August or early September. However, the grant application will only be sent to teams that have completed the FIRST registration process. 

3.    ROBOTICON Tampa Bay (September 29-30, 2018) – ROBOTICON will again be held this season at USF and will include FTC workshops and an opportunity to practice on an FTC field.  To learn more about the event, please visit the following web page:

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.

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