MN FIRST – build season update

MN FIRST – build season update

Team Leaders, here’s the first build season update. Please pass this information on to team members and mentors. There’s lots of information on several different topics but mostly on how to make your season better. Several people have been working very hard behind the scenes to make technical resources readily available to teams so please check them out ( ).

Volunteers for Competitions

Again this year, we’re looking for Robot Inspectors on Thursdays of the Regionals. If you’ve done it in the past or would like to help this year, please sign up in VIMS ( ) or contact Laurie Shimizu ( ).

MN Mentors on Call

There’s a new service to help teams with technical issues. It’s called MN Mentors on Call and has its own page on the MN FIRST website ( ). You can open a case simply by sending an email to ( ) or fill out an “issue ticket.” Be sure to carefully describe the nature of the robot problem. Your request for help will be matched with a volunteer-mentor in our database. We are also looking for mentors who would like to be part of the pool of robot specialists, please go to this page to register ( ).

Robot Inspection video

Jon Stratis, one of our Lead Robot Inspectors, has put together a very educational video on the robot inspection process at competitions. You can find the link to the Inspection video on the Online Assistance page ( ).

MSHSL State Championship Qualification

The qualification rules for the MSHSL State Championship have been posted ( ). There are no significant changes this year.

Week Zero events updated

We’ll continue to post updates on Week Zero scrimmages as we get info. Please see this page ( ) for the current listings. These are great events to test your robot and strategies before bag day!

MURA (Minneapolis Urban Robotics Alliance) Practice Field

The Minneapolis Urban Robotics Alliance (MURA), through grants from Seagate and Boston Scientific, has built a full practice field in Minneapolis (all field elements and no electronics) to serve all FRC teams in the region. The MURA practice field is available starting January 30th for MN FIRST teams and continuing on Tuesdays and Thursdays (4 pm – 8 pm) and Saturdays (10 – 4pm) through February 17th.

MURA teams and teams funded by Boston Scientific and Seagate will have scheduling priority but all teams will have access on first come first served basis. MURA will also be hosting a “Week Negative One” event on February 10 (12 + team round robin, without ranking points or playoffs). Registration for the field is at ( ). For questions, directions, scheduling issues, and costs, contact ( ).

District 196 STEM Fair from Jim Lynch (a founding mentor of Team 2220)

Jim Lynch is once again helping coordinate the District 196 STEM Career Fair. Apple Valley High School is hosting the event on Feb. 15 from 6 – 8 pm. It is open to all high school students and their parents, not just those in District 196. Last year, there were over 240 different STEM professionals at booths representing over 100 companies and over 2000 attendees. It appears now that there may be even more STEM professionals than last years.

Link to Fair information –

More than 100 STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) businesses and colleges will have representatives available to answer students’ questions and share information about their company and work experience. Students can move from table to table in a college fair-like setting to learn how to prepare for a career in a STEM-related field and find out what it takes to become an engineer, computer programmer, physician, pharmacist, nurse, actuary or other STEM professional. There will also be door prizes, information about STEM clubs in District 196 schools and tours of Apple Valley High’s fabrication lab. No registration is necessary to attend. For more information, contact Teaching and Learning Coordinator Cathy Kindem (

Regards, Mark Lawrence
Chairman, MN FIRST Regional Planning Committee

2018-01-22T17:06:28+00:00 January 22nd, 2018|