FRC Blog: Volume 22

Register for Off-Season Events

We’ve got an exciting calendar of FRC off-season events this year. Don’t wait to register your team! 

As a reminder, off-season events are hosted and run by FRC teams, not FIRST Washington. This means each events participation requirement, fees, and timelines may vary. 

All events will utilize the previous season’s game, CRESCENDO.

We will continue to share registration details for events as they become available.

Event Registration Links: 

20 - 22
September

Block Party

Block Party

Date Sep 20 - 22, 2024Venue Henry Jackson High SchoolOrganizer Team 2910 Jack in the Bot
18 - 19
October

Storm Surge

Storm Surge

Date Oct 18 - 19, 2024Venue Skyview High SchoolOrganizer Team 2811 StormBots

Interested in Bunny Bots? Let us Know!

BunnyBots was developed by Team 1540 Flaming Chickens mentors and alumni and provides a way for FRC teams and new FRC members to gain vital skills before the build season.

For many students, this is their first experience making an FRC-quality robot. Bunny Bots is a light-hearted 1 day contest, focused on team and skill development.  The BunnyBots program aims to develop the technical foundation of rookie members and teach veteran members leadership and project management skills. This program addresses the problem of insufficient rookie training, allowing them to learn machining procedures and design basics to succeed in the intense build season. The game is released in early September, and teams sign up on a first-come, first-served basis. As a training tool, the game rules are loosely based on FRC rules. 

Details: 

  • Washington Bunny Bots: Either Sat Dec 14th or Sun Dec 15th (depending on interest level) 
  • Oregon Bunny Bots: Dec: 14th 
  • Cost: TBA 
  • Rules will be posted on or around September 1st, as will finalized costs and registration. 
  • Last year’s contest information: https://www.team1540.org/bunnybots 
  • Interest survey: https://forms.gle/834G9kvpLj2WcFE49 

Questions? Email 3218 coach Jason Vander Hoek at: Jason_vander_hoek@sumnersd.org

Thank you to all who marched in the Seattle Prdie Parade! 

We had an awesome turnout for our third year participating in Seattle Pride with 12 teams and 3 robots marching!

Thanks to everyone who showed up to celebrate our LGBTQ+ community, and thank you for all that you do every day of the season to support a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our FIRST family.  

Looking for guidance on how you can support LGBTQ+ students and mentors? Check out this FIRST blog post 2022, it’s still helpful today! 

 5 Ways to be a Better Ally this Pride Month (and Every Month) (firstinspires.org)

FRC Blog: Volume 21

District Championship Event Briefing TONIGHT

We had a great FRC CRESCENDO season and are so excited with the growth we saw in 2023-2024.

This is the time of year where we reflect and figure out how to do even better next seasonYour input is very important to that processPlease take a moment to fill out our end of year survey so we can include your feedback as we look ahead to the 2024/25 season.  Click here to access the survey 

Celebrate Pride! Walk with FRC teams in the 2024 Seattle Pride Parade

We’re thrilled to invite all FRC teams to march together in the Seattle Pride Parade on June 30th.

To participate, make sure to submit your registration by June 10th.

This will be our third season marching in the parade – a huge thanks to Team 1318 for organizing our FRC teams particiation. If you have questions, feel free to contact 1318 mentor Julie Irwin at – Julie3Irwin@gmail.com.

We hope to see you there!

FRC Blog: Volume 20

District Championship Event Briefing TONIGHT

Tune in for our District Championship Briefing tonight  March 19th at 7:00 pm.

I recommend any team that believes they may qualify for District Championships have an adult attend this meeting. You can find the meeting link on the calender on firstwa.org or clicking the link below:

District Championship Hotel Room Block

We have some exciting news, we have secured hotel rooms at the Hyatt Regency which is very close to the venue. 

We suggest that you book ASAP as we cannot access more rooms at this rate once the block fills up.
Visit the link below to reserve:

FRC Blog: Volume 19

Takeaways from Week 1

Remember, once the pits open at 5 pm, no work can be done on the robot at your shop. If you live close to the venue and choose to not load in right at 5, we expect you to be gracious and professional and stop working on your robot until you arrive at the venue. 

Safety: 

  • We want everyone to have a fun competition but part of that is doing it safely. Make sure you and your team understand the safety rules. If you need a refresher, you can find the safety manual here 
  • If you are wearing glasses and plan to wear side shields, make sure your prescription glasses are safety rated.  
  • Tie long hair back when working on or around the robot so that it doesn’t get in your way or tangled in the robot 
  • Do not charge your batteries at the venue overnight (Even if there is no generator and the pits are powered) It is a safety issue. 

We are working to have a quiet room at each event but are struggling this season. For events that have a quiet room, here are some safety things you need to remember: 

  • Two adults should staff the quiet room so there is never a situation where there is 1 adult and one student in the room together. 
  • The quiet room may not be open at all times (and we don’t necessarily have keys to the facility to lock in when it is not in use) When the quiet room is unattended, no students should be in the quiet room. Coaches please make sure your students understand this. We did have reports last weekend of unattended students in the quiet room and will have to discontinue having it this season if we can’t get them staffed appropriately. 

Event Pages

I have heard reports that there are some issues with some of the schedules on firstinspires.org. The best place to get event information is from the event page on firstwa.org.

You can find event information below –

District Championship Event Briefing

We will be having out District Championship Briefing on Tuesday, March 19 at 7:00 pm. I recommend any team that believes they may qualify for District Championships have an adult attend this meeting. You can find the meeting link on the calender on firstwa.org or clicking the link below:

District Championship Hotel Room Block

We have some exciting news, we have secured hotel rooms at the Crown Plaza which is very close to the venue. Rooms in the robotics block will cost 159/night AND the hotel will provide a free breakfast for up to 4 people per room! To access this block, follow this link: First Robotics 2024 

Remind Your Team to Volunteer!

To see what roles are available at what events, volunteers need to login to their FIRST dashboard (or create one if they’re new). If they can apply for it, that means it’s open!

Volunteer Availability:

  • Oregon State Fair – some spots available
  • Auburn – some spots available
  • SunDome – many spots available! 
  • Bonney Lake – many spots available! 
  • Wilsonville – some spots available
  • Sammamish

Please remind students that all volunteer hours can go towards National Honor Society volunteer requirements and many other volunteer requirements. 

Specifically for adult volunteers, our greatest need is for Judges at Oregon State Fair and SunDome.

Consider signing up to volunteer, or helping recruit local volunteers! Remember, you cannot Judge at an event if you’re affiliated with a competing team, or you are younger than 20 years old.

Questions about available roles? Email Mara at Marak@firstwa.org to learn more!

FRC Blog: Volume 18

District Event Brief is LIVE

During our coaches chat last Thursday, I covered all the details you need to know regarding competing at FRC events this season. 

This information is extremely helpful and will answer most all of your questions regarding competitions. If you missed the chat, please familiarize yourself with the information below. You can watch the recording or read the slide deck!

I’ve also linked the location of all webinars and coaches chats. If you’ve missed one from the past, you can always find this information on our Webinars page.

Remember, you are responsible not only to know this information but to make sure that your mentors, parents etc. have all of the appropriate information for the events. 

Event Specific Details

All event pages are live, and we’ve got event specific slides posted for weeks 1 events.

  • Week 1 events: Posted
  • Week 2 events: Will be posted 2-21
  • Week 3 events: Will be posted 2-28
  • Week 4 events: Will be posted 3-6

To find the event specific pages, click the button below then select the event you’re competing at! 

Remember, you are responsible not only to know this information but to make sure that your mentors, parents etc. have all of the appropriate information for the events. 

Quiet Rooms at Events

We are still looking for quiet room hosts for all of our FRC events this season. 5588 provides a tote that rides on the truck with quiet room supplies.

We ask that our host be willing to set up the quiet room and make sure it is staffed with 2 adults during the period of time that it is open. If you are interested in being a quiet room host, please fill out this form. In the event we get two teams willing to host, we will connect them so they can work together to provide a quiet space for our participants.

Remember, we can only have quiet rooms at events if volunteers sign up to support it. So if this is a tool your team utilitzes at competitions, please consider signing up to host!

Remind Your Team to Volunteer!

To see what roles are available at what events, volunteers need to login to their FIRST dashboard (or create one if they’re new). If they can apply for it, that means it’s open!

Volunteer Availability:

  • Clackamas – some spots available 
  • Glacier Peak 
  • Oregon State Fair – many spots available! 
  • Auburn – some spots available
  • SunDome – many spots available! 
  • Bonney Lake – many spots available! 
  • Wilsonville – some spots available
  • Sammamish

Please remind students that all volunteer hours can go towards National Honor Society volunteer requirements and many other volunteer requirements. 

Specifically for adult volunteers, our greatest need is for Judges at Oregon State Fair and SunDome.

Consider signing up to volunteer, or helping recruit local volunteers! Remember, you cannot Judge at an event if you’re affiliated with a competing team, or you are younger than 20 years old.

Questions about available roles? Email Mara at Marak@firstwa.org to learn more!

FRC Blog: Volume 17

Coaches Chat is this Thursday Feb. 15th at 7:00pm

It is important you have an adult in attendance at this specific Coaches Chat meeting. We will be going over our events at a high level and talking about when you will be receiving event specific information for each of your events.

Your team is responsible to know this information.

Want to be an Event Volunteer? It’s Time to Sign Up!

Three of our events are already full for all event roles. Glacier Peak, Auburn, and Sammamish.

All remaining events – Clackamas, Oregon State Fair, SunDome, Bonney Lake, and Wilsonville – are still looking for event volunteers. Specifically, Judges for Oregon State Fair and SunDome is the greatest need.

Consider signing up to volunteer, or helping recruit local volunteers! Remember, you cannot Judge at an event if you’re affiliated with a competing team.

Questions about available roles? Email Mara at Marak@firstwa.org to learn more!

Dean’s List – a Note from the Senior JA, Graeme Baer

Hello FIRST Coaches,

Thank you for submitting nominations for Dean’s List!Please let your student(s) know that they will be interviewed at the XXX district event.If your student does not have an electronically submitted Consent and Release form, I encourage you to have the student’s parents/guardians address that prior to the event.  If that’s not possible, you will need to provide a signed Consent and Release form for the student when you check in at your event.  Students without signed Consent and Release forms will not be interviewed.Specific interview schedules are assigned by your event’s Judge Advisor.  We aim to have them posted at Pit Admin when you load-in.Judges at your event will select two students to advance to the District Championship event in Portland where they will be re-interviewed.  If your team is not attending the District Championship event but one of your students advances, Adrienne Collins and I will work with you to determine whether your student is attending without their team or will require a remote interview.  You’ll hear from us about this topic after advancements are finalized after Week 4.I encourage you and your student(s) to review FIRST’s Dean’s List Award Guide.If you have additional questions not covered by FIRST’s guide, please let me know.Graeme BaerPNW District Senior Judge Advisor

Event Accommodations

In the PNW we work very hard to accommodate the needs of our students and Mentors.  We can’t always accommodate everythign but we work hard to come up with the best solution possible so every participant can have a great experience. 

To do this, we need your help.  We can’t accommodate things we don’t know about AND it is very difficult for us to make plans for accommodations once our FRC event season has started.   To help ensure a great experience for everyone, we have come up with a form that teams can fill it ouf they have participants that need specific accommodations.  Please fill out this form to let us know about any accommodations you team may have. 

Again, I would like to reiterate, we can’t promise we can accommodate every need but we will make every effort. 

Workshops & Quiet Rooms at Events

I know many of our teams look forward to hosting workshops at events which we think is outstanding but takes a bit of planning on our part. The window is closing for submitting to host a workshop at an event this season.

Note: If you are interested in presenting at DCMP, feel free to enter that here, if you don’t qualify, we will confirm with you prior to scheduling your workshop.

We are still looking for quiet room hosts for all of our FRC events this season. 5588 provides a tote that rides on the truck with quiet room supplies.

We ask that our host be willing to set up the quiet room and make sure it is manned with 2 adults during the period of time that it is open. Many of our hosts will work with other teams to staff the quiet room so their adults are not responsible to staff it for the entire event. If you are interested in being a quiet room host, please fill out this form. In the event we get two teams willing to host, we will connect them so they can work together to provide a quiet space for our participants.

This form will close on Feb 13 and you will no longer be able to sign up to host a workshop.

Submit a Thank You Video to the Washington State Legislature

FIRST Washington is hosting a Legislative Day on February 20th at the capitol building, where board members and staff will be advocating for STEAM funding on behalf of FIRST Washington teams. But we need your help!

We need teams from all over the state to submit impactful videos showing the legislature why FIRST Washington programs are important to you!

Your video does not have to be fancy, and we encourage everyone to get creative!

But it should include the details below –

Your team saying “Thank you to our State Legislators ______ and Governor Inslee for supporting FIRST Washington!”
We are FIRST Washington team NAME, NUMBER, from SCHOOL in CITY.
What does FIRST Washington mean to us?
Show what your team has been doing this season and how support from the legislature has helped your team.
The video should be no longer than 5 minutes.

 Please send a shareable link with the video file to Outreach Manager Adrianna Miller adriannam@firstwa.org by February 14th at 5:00pm.

The email should contain your – Program, team number, team name, school, city.

It helps if you post your video on your team’s YouTube page and share the link with us, or have it online somewhere. This will be easier for us to show the videos to your legislators.

Event Pages are LIVE!

Our event pages are live! Currently, we have the event location, schedule and team list posted but more information will be added as we get closer to the events.  You can access that information on our website here:  https://firstwa.org/competitions/