Hello from Florida FIRST Tech Challenge!
Please Read this update carefully and completely!
The 2014-15 FTC season concluded on April 25, 2015 with the final matches of at the World Championship in St. Louis. Congratulations to team 6433 Neutrinos from Lakeland, FL for being the captain of the Winning Alliance at the FTC World Championships. Florida has been on the FTC Winning Alliance for four of the last seven seasons.  Congratulations to all six of the Florida FTC teams that did an outstanding job of representing Florida at the World Championships: 3888 Greased Lightning, 4997 Masquerade, 5257 Eagles Robotics Xperience, 6433 Neutrinos , 6451 Tarpon Robotics, and 7477 Super 7.
I would also like to send a special thank you to all of the Florida volunteers that helped make 2014-15 another successful FTC season.  The state leadership committee, league committees, state championship committee, event volunteers, and coaches/mentors are key to the success of the program. The Florida FTC program would not exist without the long hours and dedication of the fantastic Florida volunteers.  THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH!!!
Over the last several months there have been a number of exciting announcements about the FTC program including a new control system that will be used next season.  This new control system is a significant change from using the Lego NXT and we are planning on holding a number of workshops at the September 12, 2015 kick-off events to help teams preparing for the season.  We are also hoping to hold demonstrations and workshops with the new electronics system starting in August so please make sure you carefully read any new Florida FTC email newsletters. There are a number of important topics in this newsletter that will help you prepare for the 2015-16 FTC season.
1.         FTC Registration – 2015-16 Season
2.         FTC Financial Grants
3.         US Air Force Leadership Opportunity
4.         Important Dates – September 12, 2015 FTC Kick-off
1.        FTC Registration – 2015-16 Season – Registration for the 2015-2016 FIRST Tech Challenge season officially opened today, May 13, 2015. Register here! I would like to encourage teams to register as soon as possible to help us determine how many leagues we will have during the 2015-16 season. The league structure and locations are heavily influenced by the number and location of teams registered in the FIRST Team Information System (TIMS).  I also want to highlight that ordering for the new electronics kits will only be available through the FTC registration process and teams must pay the registration fee and have two certified coaches/mentors registered before they will be able to order the new FTC electronics kits.  The shipping of the new kits is schedule for some time during the summer.
2.        FTC Financial Grants – The Florida FTC program was the recipient of a Rockwell Collins grant during the 2014-15 season and many teams received a rookie team or veteran team financial grant.  This is a reminder that all teams that received a Rockwell Collins Florida FTC grant must submit their end of season summary letter to Hans Wolf (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) prior to May 31, 2015 to ensure your team remains eligible for future grant opportunities. The availability of the Rockwell Collins grant for the 2015-16 season will not be known until September, 2015 and registered Florida FTC teams will be notified by email about the grant process.

FIRST recently sent out a team email blast about the FTC Technology Transition Grant. The following is a repeat of that information:
This grant is being offered to assist teams with our FTC technology transition, and to give more students access to a STEM experience that will positively impact their lives. We are offering a Rookie Grant $575 ($275 registration + $300 product) and a Veteran Grant $275 (registration). This grant will be available to teams when they register in TIMS. They must fill out an FTC Technology Transition Grant application to be eligible for the grant. This grant will be available until 12/31/2015 or until funds are depleted. Teams that anticipate receiving a second grant for the 2015 season should wait to complete their checkout until they have received all of their grants. Teams that pay before receiving the FTC Technology Transition Grant will no longer be eligible to receive the grant. Please note that teams may only receive one registration grant per season. 
3.            US Air Force Leadership Opportunity -- The U.S. Air Force is continuing the FIRST Leadership Experience for the fourth year in a row. A select group of 28 FRC and FTC Teachers and Mentors from across the country will visit the Air Force Academy and Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Spring, Colorado to learn leadership skills from the best and brightest to take back to their FIRST teams. Information on how to apply is available on the FIRST website

4.            Important Dates – September 12, 2015 FTC Kick-off -- The 2015-16 FTC season will officially kick-off with the game announcement on September 12, 2015.  Florida will again be hosting a kick-off at Middleton High School and we are also planning on hosting a kick-off event in South Florida.  I encourage teams to attend the kick-off event as we do plan on having several workshops primarily focused on the new FTC control system.  More information will be made available about the kick-off events in August.

Go Teams!
Hans K. Wolf
Tampa Bay Robotics Foundation, Inc.
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