FTC 2020 Season Kickoff and Game Review, Session 2

2020-09-14 @ 7:00pm - 9:00pm, Zoom Webinar

Thank you to everyone who attended our kickoff webinar yesterday — we really enjoyed sharing the kickoff with all of you and having an opportunity to answer your initial game-related questions.  We’ve posted the video of yesterday’s kickoff event online, and we’re also planning to hold a “session 2” webinar tomorrow (Monday) at 7pm.

The video from the September 12 kickoff is available at


Registration for this “session 2” webinar at 7pm is available at


We know that we ran out of time in the original kickoff before we could address many questions, so this event is another chance for us to address those questions, as well as for teams to ask new ones they’ve discovered after studying the rules further and thinking about robot designs a bit.

Registration is free.   We’ll also have another NTX FTC Zoom Chat/Clinic on September 17 at 7pm (registration link coming soon) where we’ll take a few additional questions and start to look at some broader robot design and season topics.

We hope to see many of you at this second kickoff webinar.


FTC 2020 Season Kickoff and Game Review

2020-09-12 @ 1:00pm - 2:30pm, Zoom Webinar

North Texas FTC will be holding our 2020-2021 “Ultimate Goal” Season Kickoff online on Saturday, September 12 starting at 1:00pm CDT. The purpose of the kickoff is to give teams more information about the game field elements and rules, and to provide an opportunity to ask questions about the game/field and get a sense of this year’s game components.

The kickoff will take place as a Zoom webinar.  Registration for the webinar is required — register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_pMVJ6wE8SW2ox5w4eUa6eQ .

The FIRST Tech Challenge official kickoff and video will be broadcast online at 11:00am CDT and last approximately one hour.  We’ll then take an hour break for teams to be able to have some lunch, review the FIRST videos, and download/view copies of the manuals and rules.  We’ll then start this North Texas FTC webinar at 1:00pm.  Our local experts will give a detailed review of the field components, scoring elements, and other details, as well as provide some additional overview/insights into game rules and game play.  More importantly, we’ll be taking your questions — we’ll have cameras, pieces, and experts at the ready to try to answer the questions you may have about the upcoming game.

We’ll also have a followup webinar later in the week.

Look for registration links and other announcements on the North Texas FTC Google Group.  We look forward to the kickoff on Saturday!




STEMpump Online

2020-05-26 @ 3:00pm - 2020-06-30 @ 5:00pm

Hi everyone, hope you and your family are doing well during this tough time. While the FTC season is over, we can use this time to sharpen and learn new skills. Last September, we started a program called STEMpump, you might’ve heard or attended one of our classes.

STEMpump is a student-led initiative that teaches students the best of STEM technologies. We cover everything, from programming, robotics, even game design. We teach free STEM camps in the community. However, due to current events, we have had to cancel all our physical events.

Introducing STEMpump Online: All new, every week. Always free. It’s our solution to bring the latest in STEM to everyone. We are teaching skills for a STEM-focused future, including Web Design, Python, and Autodesk Inventor. Interested? Just signup @ stempump.com/camps

More specifically towards FTC and robotics, we are teaching the following camps:

  • FTC Programming (5/26, 6/2, 6/9 from 3-5PM CST)
  • FTC Judging (6/5, 6/12, 6/19 from 3-4PM CST)
  • Autodesk Inventor (6/16, 6/23, 6/30 from 3-5PM CST)

All these camps are over the course of three weeks, meeting for 2 hours a week. The link above has descriptions and more information. If you have any questions, head over to our website and feel free to contact us.

Thanks, Ritesh Kanchi

North Texas FTC Regional Championship

2020-02-15, Wylie East High School

Thank you to our event sponsors!


The Regional FTC Championship for North Texas will be held on February 15, 2020, at Wylie East High School in Wylie, Texas. Forty-eight teams will be competing for awards and a chance to attend the FTC World Championship in Houston, Texas in April 2020.


We’re looking for volunteers for this huge event!  Apply to volunteer at  https://my.firstinspires.org/Volunteers/Wizard/Search/2?EventId=48708 , or see the Volunteer page for more information about the available volunteer opportunities and how to apply.

Invited Team List

(47 teams as of 2020-02-10)
127 Fighting Pickles, Ben Barber Innovation Academy, Mansfield
6566 Circuit Breakers, Aledo High School, Aledo
6832 Iron Reign, School of Science and Engineering, Dallas
7172 Technical Difficulties, Technical Difficulties, Plano
8406 Filthy Horde, Hughes Springs High School, Hughes Springs
8418 The League of Legendary Scientists, Community Team, Plano
8565 Technicbots, FLYSET.org, Plano
8626 Protosurge, UME PREPARATORY ACADEMY, Dallas
8811 Robo*Bison Amistad, Sunset High School, Dallas
9010 Robotic Rangers, Prince of Peace Christian School, Carrollton
9161 Overload, Aledo High School, Aledo
9386 E + E Robotics, E + E Robotics, Frisco
9511 Low Voltage, Harmony Science Academy – Carrollton, Carrollton
9626 Hockabots, The Hockaday School, Dallas
10143 Aero, Harmony School of Innovation -, Fort Worth
11085 MHS Mad Hackers, Mansfield High School, Mansfield
11341 ViBøTs, Vines, Plano
11425 MAVBOTS, Murphy Middle School Plano ISD, Murphy
11563 Hedrick Garage, Hedrick Middle School, Flower Mound
12430 (J) NEST, Wylie East High School, Wylie
12791 Hazardous Narwhals, FMHS Tech Club, Flower Mound
12919 TechnoWarriors, Coppell, Irving
12929 Electric Lions, McMillen HS, Murphy
12977 Rust In Peace, Plano West Senior High School, Plano
13213 Psi Fighters, Neighborhood, Frisco/Allen/Plano
13227 Mechanicats, Woodrow Wilson HS Academy of Engineering, Dallas
13472 The Dork Side, Young Women’s Leadership Academy, Fort Worth
13542 Typhoon, Emmett J Conrad High School Chargers, Dallas
13811 High Voltage, Aledo High School, Aledo
13916 Retrobots, Woodrow Wilson HS Academy of Engineering, Dallas
14355 Jaguar FTC 1, FMHS Tech Club, Flower Mound
14415 Ball Lightning, Ferris ISD: Ferris High School, Ferris
14524 PESHBots, Plano East Senior High School, Plano
14786 Desert Camels-Jaguar FTC, FMHS Tech Club, Flower Mound
14881 Be Gone Bots, FMHS Tech Club, Flower Mound
14904 Lakehill Bionicles, Lakehill Preparatory School, Dallas
14962 Robo-Sapiens, Hughes Springs High School, Hughes Springs
15084 Envision, Lowery Freshman Center, Allen
15176 Broken Axles, Broken Axles, Plano
15648 Wonder Pets, Alcuin School, Dallas
16012 BlazingBots, Hillsboro Jr High, Hillsboro
16176 CDA Circuit Breakers, Coram Deo Academy, Plano
16272 Mark X, Wheelhouse robotics, Irving
16405 Federal Bot Institute, Renner Middle School Plano ISD, Plano
16859 Starfleet, SRA – Stem & Robotics Academy, Frisco
16985 Shockwave, Emmett J Conrad High School Chargers, Dallas
17294 Over Drive, Independence High School, Frisco

Quick notes

– REMEMBER: Gracious Professionalism (remind your teams!)
– REQUIRED: Arrange payment of team’s registration fees
– REQUIRED: Remember your team roster, consent/release forms for additional members
– REQUIRED: Bring safety glasses for everyone in pit areas and competition area
– REQUIRED: Engineering notebook
– REQUIRED: Robot (and batteries, controllers, etc.)
– RECOMMENDED: Self-inspect robots prior to Saturday (see forms)

Tournament notes

Overall, keep in mind that this is a championship-level tournament which means that teams will be performing at a higher-level throughout the day and potentially at a faster pace than qualifying tournaments. We expect teams to know where they should be and when, to proactively and promptly appear for judging, robot inspection, and matches so as to keep things moving smoothly, and to exhibit Gracious Professionalism throughout the entire event with other teams, volunteers, event officials, and spectators.

Our previous message to teams contained specific notes regarding robots and inspection — be sure to review and address any issues prior to arriving on Saturday. We never like to have a robot fail inspection, but the size and time constraints of this event means we may not have as much flexibility to “hold” inspections open as is sometimes done at earlier-season events.

With respect to judging, we encourage all teams to re-review the Award Descriptions in Game Manual Part I, section 10 — especially those bolded sections regarding the required elements of the Engineering Notebook (section 10.2.4). Judges will be following these requirements closely, and will be looking for clear examples of Engineering Design Process via the Notebook.

Also, a note for veteran teams: Note that the distinctions between Connect and Motivate are now better delineated than in previous seasons. Some activities that teams have previously identified as applying towards the Connect Award are now more closely aligned with the Motivate Award. The judges have also asked us to advise teams with multi-year or multi-team coordinated efforts to clearly differentiate the work of this year’s team from past team efforts or those of partner teams.

For robot and field inspection, robot inspection is likely to be more rigorous than what you may have experienced at a qualifier. Robots that are unable to pass inspection by the end of the inspection period will be unable to participate in qualification matches. And the fact that an inspector passed (or overlooked) a robot at a previous event doesn’t mean it will pass at the Championship.


STEMPump FTC+ Java Bootcamp

2019-12-04 @ 5:00pm - 8:00pm, Flower Mound High School

Team FTC #14786 is teaching a FTC+ Java Camp at Flower Mound High School on December 4th, from 5-8pm. We will be teaching the following topics and more:

– Modular Code
– Gyro Control
– Encoders
– Object Detection
– Using Functions
– Connection and Networking
– Programming Q/A

If you have anything specific you want to learn, let us know. Sign up here for free: https://stempump.com/camps/ftc+.html .


FTC 2019 Qualifier pre-registration opens

2019-10-07 @ 1:00pm

Pre-registration for North Texas FTC Qualifying Tournaments will open on October 7 at 1:00pm CDT.  When pre-registration opens, teams will be able to fill out an online form to indicate their preferences for qualifier events in the season.  Completing the form does not register a team for any events, it simply establishes a team’s priority claim for available event slots.  No payment for event fees is needed for pre-registration, and events will be generally assigned to teams based on the order of form responses and availability of preferred event slots.

Even though teams are not required to pay event registration fees to pre-register, teams must pay their $275 national registration fee with FIRST (via the firstinspires.org Dashboard) before they will be assigned an event.  The national registration cost is separate from tournament entry fees; for 2019-2020 we expect qualifier tournament fees to again be $175 per team per event. (Teams that have received a Texas Workforce Commission grant from FIRST in Texas will be assumed to have paid their national fees, even if the funding hasn’t officially been sent yet.)

January Qualifiers:  In order to provide all teams with an opportunity to compete in a January event, pre-registration will give each team a reservation for ONE qualifier taking place after January 1st based on their preferences.  In December we will then open up waitlists and registrations for any events with unclaimed registration spots.

November/December Qualifiers:  Teams that wish to compete at a November or December event can also use the pre-registration form to indicate their preferences.  Teams have the option to choose a second Nov/Dec event instead of a January one, although we cannot guarantee that multiple early-season slots will be available.

As event assignments are made the team contacts will receive “reservation tickets” for their assigned events; the reservation tickets will contain instructions about completing registration and payment options for the events.  Unclaimed reservations will expire a few weeks prior to the event date and the spots released to other teams on waitlists or that request additional events.

Teams intending to compete in a league (El Dorado or La Joya) should contact the League Coordinator for registration details, or email Patrick Michaud at patrick.michaud@utdallas.edu.