BEST Robotics Teacher and Mentor Workshop (June 2018)

June 25 @ 12:00pm - June 29 @ 1:00pm, University of Texas at Dallas / SEEC
  • WHAT’S INCLUDED: ​ Workshop tuition, lunches, snacks and drinks, and an evening mixer so you can get to know your fellow BEST coaches.​  Plus you get to play with a mini-BEST robot!
  • WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Teachers, coaches, and mentors of BEST Robotics teams​.  While geared towards new(er) BEST teachers, even veterans will gain tips and valuable experience.  You must be at least 18 years of age to attend this workshop.
  • WHEN: Choose your session — June 25-29 or July 23-27. Each workshop starts on Monday at lunch and runs through Friday at lunch, allowing travel time on Monday morning and Friday afternoon.  Workshop size limited to 26 participants per session.  We will maintain a waitlist in case a cancellation opens up a spot.
  • COST: Tuition $500 per person.

For more details and registration, see the Best of Texas Robotics site at .

Robotics in the Classroom

April 7 @ 8:30am - 3:30pm, SMU Junkins Building

Robotics in the Classroom:

Michael Calahan is presenting. Michael is the CEO of Rocket Science. He is also the Head Judge for the FIRST LEGO League in the North Texas Region. He has been working with a number of robots in his programs and camps. He writes curriculum for robots in the classroom as well. He will be sharing his expertise on robotics curriculum and robots in competition. This workshop is primarily for upper elementary up to ninth grade teachers.


8:30 AM at SMU in room 101 in the Junkins Building, 6251 Airline Road. This is where all of the Saturday workshops will be in April and May. Here is the interactive map . It is cattycorner to the Caruth Building where we have met in the past.


The best parking garages are Binkley and Moody. They are B and C on the map. Information on how to get to SMU can be found at or you can put the address into Google or other map program: 6251 Airline, Dallas, TX 75205

1. Find Binkley or Moody Garage
2. Find the faculty and student entrance. One will have a big ticket dispenser that you will have to pay and the other will have a small keypad. You want the Keypad lane.
3. Punch 32459 into the keypad and then hit #. These are really sensitive keypads. It is very easy to accidentally hit a number twice. You may have to try a couple times.
4. The gate should open. Find a spot on the first floor Visitor parking.


Saturday April 7, 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM


The morning session will be a presentation on using robots in the classroom and the afternoon session will be about competitions and coaching a robotics team.


Coffee to drink in the morning and money for lunch. We are not allowed to provide food or drink according to the rules of the grant. (Very disappointing)

Laptops to take notes or see the software.

If you would like to attend please email me at and I will send you more information!

See you soon!


Kenneth S. Berry , Ed.D.
Research Professor
Associate Director of STEM Programs
Caruth Institute for Engineering Education the SMU Lyle School of Engineering

Robot Rumble 2

May 19 @ 9:30am - 5:00pm, Splash Kingdom Wild West Waterpark

Event flyer (2018.05.08)

Update 2018.04.16:

Robot Rumble has its own YouTube channel with newly posted videos on the line follow race and sumo contest.  There is also a video on the battle bots course for this year.  Check them out for information on this year’s contest.  Either search channels for “Robot Rumble” or go to

There is still plenty of time to prepare and sign up for Robot Rumble 2.  Enter as many contests as you want, plus enjoy games and waterpark attractions for one price that includes meal.   Full details can be found at:


Robot Rumble 2 at Splash Kingdom Wild West is set and ready to go for Saturday, May 19. Contest includes sumo wrestling (always an exciting event), line follow races (a great way to teach light sensor programming for FLL), and the new super crazy battle bots for Lego (we promise not to destroy your expensive robots). Admission to the event includes entry into as many of the contests as you want, lunch, and entry to the waterpark to splash away after the contest concludes. We are looking to have some other games and prizes going as well. This is a great event to end the season, have kids practice some programming for next year, build some exciting attachments and bots, and just have a blast after a long year/season. Last year we had over a hundred come watch and participate. We hope to see more join us for this crazy fun event. Full details can be found at:

Contest rules

Sign up instructions and costs are also listed on the site.  I know Saturdays are busy at the end of the year, but I hope many of you can make it. Please email me directly at or for any questions. Thanks.

Michael Young
Grand Saline Middle School
6th grade Science
Middle School Robotics
High School Robotics
UIL Director
Football/Track Concession stand manager
Coach of FLL Teams:
19367 Tie-Dye Monkeys, 19368 Nimrod Squad, 19369 When Pigs Fly, 23224 Loose Screws, 23354 Bird Brains,and 23590 Space Unicorns
Coach of FTC Teams: 12688 Bass Noise, 12690 Lost Cause

2018 TAPPS Robotics State Championship

May 12 @ 8:00am - 5:00pm, Waco Convention Center

The TAPPS Robotics State Championship- FIRST Tech Challenge will be held May 12, 2018 at the Waco Convention Center.
Any TAPPS – FIRST® Tech Challenge teams are eligible to compete.

The TAPPS Robotics season will run in conjunction with the normal FIRST® season and shall correspond with all dates, official events, and guidelines outlined by FIRST® Tech Challenge.
Teams will participate in the 2017-2018 FIRST® Tech Challenge Game FIRST® RELIC RECOVERY.

For more information, see .


2018 UIL State Robotics Championship (FTC)

May 17 @ 8:00am - May 19 @ 5:00pm, Austin Convention Center

The UIL Robotics State Championship – FIRST Division for FIRST Tech Challenge will be held on Friday, May 18th and Saturday, May 19th (See Schedule page) at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX. Up to 64 UIL eligible FIRST Tech Challenge teams (32 from 1A to 4A schools and 32 from 5A and 6A schools) will qualify based on their performance at their FIRST Texas Regional Championship tournaments (See Qualification page) and compete in two separate tiers.

For more information, including scheduling, see


2018 Yellowjacket Blacklight Bug Zapper

April 28 @ 8:00am - 5:00pm, Ferris High School

Ferris High School Robotics (FTC 11242 / FTC 12645) and Ferris Junior High School Robotics (FTC 12650) would like to offer an off-season FTC
blacklight tournament on *Saturday, 28-April-2018* at Ferris High School for the Relic Recovery game.

The tournament will be capped at 24 teams and registration is $100/team.  Teams can register at the following:

Teams must register no later than Friday, 30-March-2018 and payment must be received by Friday, 13-April-2018. The registration costs cover food for all participants, cover other event expenses, and generate some fund-raising revenue for the hosting teams (FTC 11242, FTC 12645, & FTC 12650).

Teams will compete in fast-paced qualification rounds in the morning, followed by alliance selection, and then elimination rounds in the afternoon.

This will give FTC teams an additional chance to compete during the Relic Recovery season in a fun and exciting environment.

The entire tournament will be held in blacklight at Ferris High School – 1025 E. 8th Street, Ferris, TX, 75125.

North Texas FTC Robotics Championship, Feb 10, 2018 – sign up as a Volunteer!

We are currently looking for volunteers for the North Texas FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Regional Championship. The North Texas Regional Championship will be held on Saturday, February 10th at Wylie East High School in Wylie, Texas. Forty-eight of the top FTC teams in North Texas — around 1,000 participants — will be competing to determine the regional winners and advancing teams to the next level of FTC competition in March.

This is UT-Dallas’ first year as the Affiliate Partner for FIRST Tech Challenge in North Texas, and so we’re looking to make sure this event runs well. This will also be the largest FTC event ever held in North Texas, and for that we need lots of judges, referees, inspectors, queuers, and more in order to provide a successful experience for the teams and students. Don’t worry if you haven’t done this before or feel like you might not be qualified… FIRST Tech Challenge teams are evaluated for their communication, marketing, writing, planning, and teamwork skills just as much as engineering or scientific skills. Online training is provided for most roles so you can feel very prepared for the tasks when you arrive, and we have some top-notch advisors that will be leading you through the process. Short descriptions of the needed roles are below.

To volunteer for the event, please visit and select the role(s) you would be willing to serve at the event. FIRST Tech Challenge is some of the “hardest fun you will ever have”!

Our primary need is for judges — there are a lot of teams to be judged in a short period of time. Judges will select team award recipients through interactions with teams; teams give presentations on the morning of the event, and then the remainder of the day is spent interviewing teams in their pit areas, on the field, and throughout the venue. Teams also supply an Engineering Notebook that judges will use to help determine the award winners. Judging is done in panels, so you’ll have others with you to make evaluations, and a set of criteria for each award and our highly-experienced Judge Advisor will facilitate the process.

Referees observe team matches to observe rule violations and “call” them. They may also keep track of which elements have been scored and record these items on scoresheets. It’s not necessary to learn all of the scoring aspects of the game — the scorekeeping software does that — referees and scorers simply count elements on the field at various points in the match and send those counts to the scorekeepers to be entered into the computer. There is online training to become a referee and a certification exam (which usually isn’t very hard). Refereeing also gives you “the best seats in the house” for watching the matches take place. 🙂 Referees can also volunteer as Inspectors (below).

Inspectors meet with teams in the morning to check robot designs for safety and compliance with build rules and restrictions. This involves going through a short checklist of items for each robot, informing teams of any infractions that will prevent the robot from competing or certifying the robots as being compliant with the game requirements. This role also has training materials and a short certification exam for the role. Inspectors can also volunteer as Referees (above).

We also need queuers (people to help manage traffic flow and get teams to their judging sessions and matches), announcers, runners, registration/checkin volunteers, and more.

Again, if you can volunteer for this event, please visit and sign up for any roles you would like to have.

If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Michaud at <>. Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.


Volunteers wanted for FTC 2017 events

We are always looking for volunteers for FIRST Tech Challenge events in the North Texas Region.  Volunteers can take a variety of roles, including Judges, Referees, Score Trackers, Inspectors, Hospitality, and more.

Judges select team award recipients through interaction with teams. Documentation regarding team background information is provided to familiarize judges with teams. • Interview and observe teams in the judging rooms, the pit, and on the playing field.  Judging is generally an all-day commitment; the morning is spent interviewing teams and after that the judges deliberate and visit individually with teams to determine event winners.

Robot Inspectors and Field Inspectors are responsible to ensure every robot follows the guidelines outlined in FIRST Tech Challenge Game Manual Part 1 and are ready to compete on the field. The inspection process involves filling out a checklist for every robot and placing a label or other unique tag on the robot after it passes inspection.   Inspections generally take place in the early morning and are finished before matches begin (usually around 10:30am), which means that Inspectors can also volunteer to be Referees or Score Trackers.

Referees observe team matches, identifies rule violations, and “call” them. Referees help the competitors to avoid breaking the rules of the Game. Referees participate in deliberations regarding contested calls, working directly through the Head Referee.  Referees are needed when matches start (usually around 10:30am) and for the remainder of the event.  Referees can also volunteer as Inspectors.

There are many more roles available, including Announcers, Queuers, Runners, Registration / Checkin, Hospitalit, and more.

To volunteer at a North Texas FTC event, see the guide at .  Essentially the steps are to create a FIRST account at

For convenience, you can directly apply for an event by following one of the links below



3rd Annual Grapevine-Colleyville ISD FLL Scrimmage (FULL)

2017-11-04 @ 8:00am - 1:00pm, Grapevine Middle School
Registration for this event is full.


Announcing the 3rd Annual Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Scrimmage

November 4, 2017
Grapevine Middle School
Register here. ( Registration is full, but you may wish to contact the organizers anyway. )

The collective FLL Robotics Teams of Grapevine-Colleyville ISD are hosting a Scrimmage. You can begin reserving spots on October 21, 2017 at 9:00 am.  There will be slots open to 23 FLL Teams outside of the GCISD District teams and a total of 36 teams competing. Registration opens October 21, 2017 at 9 am and closes October 28, 2017 at 5 pm or when all 23 available slots are filled, whichever comes first.

Anyone, including teams and coaches who do not want to compete, but want to see how competitions work and what other teams are doing, is welcome to attend as well. If you would like to attend in this non-competitive capacity, please contact Nate Dunn directly for planning purposes. Additionally, if you have any other questions or concerns, or want to come and observe but not compete, please contact our Scrimmage Site Coordinator: Nate Dunn at

This will be a Robot Games only Scrimmage– there will be no judging sessions for Project, Core Values, or Robot Design.