Deadlines Approaching!

Deadlines Approaching! Please be aware of the following deadlines:

  • Payment Deadline: 1st Regional and 1st and 2nd District Event Registration must be secured by 5:00 P.M. ET on November 19. Please view the Pricing Structure and Payment Terms for more details. Please note that the following Districts will have their own payment terms and deadlines: FIRST® Israel, FIRST® Ontario District, and Pacific Northwest District.
  • Kit and Kickoff Selections must be made prior to 12:00 P.M. (noon) ET on November 19. Teams who do not make their selections in the Dashboard will default to having the kit shipped to their location and will incur applicable shipping costs.
  • Event Registration will close on Monday, November 19 at 12:00 P.M. (noon) ET
2019 Motor Controllers and MXP: Read this sneak peek into the 2019 Game Manual to find out what actuator controllers, MXP boards, and motors will be legal this season.
Virtual Kit Detail: Pre-Kickoff vouchers and software tools are now available. More information is on the Kit of Parts page.
2019 FIRST Choice Round 1: Starting at 12:00 P.M. (noon) ET on November 21, 2018, the Lead Coach/Mentor 1 or 2 from eligible teams may peruse FIRST® Choice, populate Priority Lists, and prioritize items for Round 1 (even though FIRST Choice passwords are live today, they won’t be of any use until FIRST Choice opens). To create and submit a Priority List, teams must be registered for an event and the initial event registration fee must be secured. More information is available on the Kit of Partspage.
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Bag and Tag / Stop Build Day to End in 2020

FIRST just announced on TWITCH that Bag and Tag (and Stop Build Day) will end with the 2019-20 season (next year).

They do not have all the answers yet (watch the video on twitch), but they wanted teams to know that it was coming.

Main reason is that FIRST feels that teams with fewer resources were not able to build a practice bot, while those with resources could…giving them a huge advantage (50% of teams build a 2nd bot).

Secondary concerns were weather closures at schools, religious holidays etc.

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Announcement and Preview of a Significant Change

Tune in to FIRST’s Twitch Channel on Tuesday, November 13 at 6:00 PM CT to hear the announcement and preview of a significant change to the FIRST® Robotics Competition season starting in 2020. Frank will make this announcement, as well as answer questions from the community. Documentation will be available after the show.

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TVA Fosters Next Generation of STEM Experts


A recent TVA/MLGW Student Robotics Showcase in Memphis gave young STEM robotics experts a chance to shine.

TVA’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program is supporting kids who build robots. The recent MLGW/TVA Student Robotics Showcase was a chance for featured students to tout their talents and creative ingenuity at the Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division—the region’s largest utility.

The event created a hands-on math and science experience that highlighted the universal career fundamentals of teamwork, critical thinking, presentation skills and technical writing. Traditionally, these types of learning opportunities for youth in robotics technology have been limited to only theoretical application.

TVA’s Mark Creech learns from a student at the MLGW/TVA Student Robotics Showcase. “TVA is proud to partner with MLGW for such an awesome event benefiting Memphis youth, who are the workforce of tomorrow,” he said.

The Robotics Showcase, however, gave robotic program participants like computer coder Andrew Rutledge the mechanical and technical experience most often reserved for college or expensive career training programs. Rutledge is a senior at White Station High School in Memphis, Tennessee, and plans to pursue a career as a micro-mechanical engineer.

“A lot of people don’t go into mechanical engineering with technical experience. They just know they like math or science,” Rutledge said. “Being able to actually go into a job and have some type of technical background is really valuable. I think this program is really going to help me in the long run.”

Robotics expert Charles Spencer of Tennessee Valley Robotics agrees. He believes events like the Robotics Showcase are bridge builders to a brighter future for all young students.

“What’s become important in education today is the hands-on part of learning, and robotics programs allow students to put together code and learn through trial and error,” Spencer said. “These programs instill an excitement in education, promote teamwork and teach children to express themselves. They’re just great learning experiences for any school.”

Robot mom, Lien Nguyen agrees. “My sons absolutely love it,” she said. “My youngest son actually gives his teammates [robotics] homework over the weekend!”

TVA’s partnership with MLGW is just one example of how STEM is creating an exciting learning environment for students that ultimately fosters the skills required for success in the ever-changing tech world.

“This is an exciting time for education in West Tennessee. For companies like TVA and MLGW, this is where their future employees will come from,” Spencer said. “The more we can get behind the next generation, the better off we’ll be.”

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FIRST Robotics Competition DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE Presented By The Boeing Company Season Teaser

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