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.

Posted in FIRST News | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in FIRST News | Leave a comment

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.”

Posted in FIRST in Memphis | Leave a comment

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

Posted in FIRST News | Leave a comment

5th Annual Battle for the Bluegrass FRC Invitational Announcement

Your team is invited to the 2018 Southern Kentucky Battle for the Bluegrass Robotics Invitational sponsored by Berea College GEAR UP.

The Battle for the Bluegrass (BftB) is a FIRST Robotics Competition invitational off-season event. This year FRC Team 3844 will host teams from multiple states to reprise the previous season’s FRC game. This is going to be an extra special year for FRC growth potential in Eastern Kentucky. Berea College GEAR UP is partnering with us to sponsor six or so Eastern Kentucky pre-rookie teams for this event. The plan as it stands is for GEAR UP to finance the registration, travel, and meals for the pre-rookie teams to come to the 2018 BftB at Lynn Camp H.S. Several of the attending veteran teams have already pledged their Beta-Bot and mentor help with the pre-rookie teams so that they can compete on Saturday. We will spend Friday afternoon training the newbies on robot control, pit work and basic gameplay. This will be the shortest team formation to competition day ever! We still need a few veteran teams to pledge their beta-bot and mentor support for Friday and Saturday.
Continue reading

Posted in FIRST News | Leave a comment