Team News and Updates

TVA Grant

The TVA Grant will be available to teams in their service area (see map) for the Into Orbit Season.

TVA Service Area

In the past TVA paid the registration fee for teams that received the grant but it did not include the Challenge Set. This year since it is being included with registration, the Challenge Set will be included in the grant.

The application process for the TVA Grant should be announced shortly (expected around July 1) so watch this website for updates and instructions. Note: teams should register quickly since there is a limit on the number of teams TVA will award the grant to, so do not wait to apply once it becomes available.

Hardship Grants

The TVA Grant, discussed above, only covers the registration (including Challenge Set) for the teams. It does not cover the cost of the Robot or the $75 regional activity fee (used to support our regional qualifiers). If you team needs further assistance to obtain a robot, please fill out THIS FORM to apply for additional assistance. We have grants available and also have robots, donated by TVA, to lend out to teams for the season.

News from the FIRST Global Conference

Just some notes from the conference that 3 members of our team (Tom B. – Partner, Dan K. – Partner and Randall P. FIRST Senior Mentor) attended:

  • Don’t forget that the Challenge Set (aka the Field Setup Kit) is now part of your registration fee. Every team will get a set. Please be aware that you will NOT be able to opt out of buying a Field Set this year (since it is now bundled).
  • A new, shorter Coaches Handbook is now available to help you get started. It can be downloaded HERE. You will note that it is 19 pages (vers 96 pages) and they did this by only keeping only the information you need to get your team ready to compete. There will be a second manual containing info on what to expect at a competition (that should be posted shortly).
  • There will be an “Engineering Journal” template available for teams to use to track their robot design, programming and testing. It is NOT REQUIRED but it will help you team in the design process for the robot. We will post the link when it becomes available.
  • We are always asked “Do I have to use the Lego Software?” For this season the answer is STILL YES, but FIRST is re-evaluating this rule (as they do periodically), but for now you still have to use the Lego supplied programming language.
  • Judging rubrics have changed a bit to reflect the new unified CORE VALUES along with a few other minor changes. They also changed the color of the rubrics – no one could explain why 😉

Regional Activity Fee

We are working on a new way of paying the regional activity fee. Check back for info on how this will be paid, but in the meantime we wanted to let you know the fee will remain $75 (and all funds will be used to support our Qualifier events….there is still no fee for our Championship).

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