MN FIRST - Duluth Regional Events important deadlines

Team Leaders, now that the calendar is forcing build season come to a close, it’s time to prepare for your team’s first event. We’re running behind previous years in RSVP’s for lunches, event ambassadors, junkyard robots, and evening team events. Note that the pit setup procedure has changed from the last email.

Team lunch forms can be found at (http://mnfirst.org/frc/duluth-lunch ).  The deadline is this Thursday, Feb 16th.

The Thursday Team Feed at Grandma’s Sports Garden (RSVP deadline is Feb 24th ) and the Friday Team Social at the DECC (RSVP deadline is Feb 16th ) are both back this year.  Details for those events can be found at (http://mnfirst.org/frc/duluth-team-social ).

Junkyard Robots are back for the 6th year (http://mnfirst.org/frc/duluth-junkyard-robots ).  This is a great tradition that teams have a lot of fun with.  See this page for details (http://mnfirst.org/docs/2017/JYR.pdf ).  For our planning purposes, you must register by Feb. 27th.

In past years, we have asked students to be VIP escorts. This year, the Regional Event Ambassador has replaced that position.  Each team is invited to have one student submit for consideration to be a Regional Event Ambassador.  Applications should be made via FIRST VIMS (https://my.firstinspires.org/FIRSTPortal/Login/VIMS_Login.aspx ).  Questions, please write to Laurie Shimizu, lshimizu@firstinspires.org.  Ambassadors will be called upon throughout the event and immediately after the Invited Guest Luncheon on Friday at 1:00pm.  Training for this position will be on Thursday at 1:30pm in the Split Rock 2 room.

One of our long time Duluth sponsors, Grandma’s, has a special ticket price for the Adventure Zone (http://www.adventurezoneduluth.com ) and $2 from each ticket goes to help fund the events.  The ticket price is $10 (normally $17) and includes unlimited Laser Tag and Mini-golf.  Tickets must be purchased at Grandma’s Sports Garden (http://www.thesportsgarden.com ).

Please review the Rules & Expectations for FIRST Robotics Competition Events (http://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/frc/event-experience) manual.  It details team conduct and many of the “to-do’s” for before and during the event.

The Duluth competitions are held in the DECC (Duluth Entertainment Convention Center) which has vendor contracts that prohibit the public from bringing their own food and drinks to an event.  This rule applies to teams and spectators.  Your cooperation in getting this message out to your team and all the spectators is greatly appreciated.  Team members are encouraged to bring empty water bottles as there will be refill stations around the venue.

Team Seminars will be held in Split Rock 2 from noon to 4:00pm on Thursday. Here is the current schedule:  Chairman’s Award Exchange hosted by Team 2052 (noon – 1:30pm).  Team 2052 has asked that you signup and fill-in the form on this page (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeaWH85eGDLlqKSueN6gwxtVxYGpWBsG2Wb3NeuQfQI4eMhBw/viewform ).  Regional Event Ambassador training is from 1:30pm – 2:00pm, Diversity and Inclusion in FIRST hosted by Team 2500 from 2:00pm – 3:00pm, and the Mentor Roundtable from 3:00pm – 4:00pm.  

Please note carefully that load-in and load-out have changed considerably this year.  Pit setup has been added to Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  Load-out logistics are dramatically different with the city of Duluth closing Harbor Drive on Saturday to all traffic except robot teams.

Team Update 4 has modified the early pit setup allowing teams access both Wednesday night and Thursday morning:
The Early Pit Setup section of the Rules and Expectations for FIRST Robotics Competition Page has been updated to include the following additions: 
E32-1. Only five team members (one of which must be an adult) may be in the pit area, and this must be for the purposes of pit set up only. 
E32-2. Once pit set-up is complete, or the early Pit Set-up time the evening before pits open to all has ended, team members must immediately leave the pit area. If an event has designated Early Pit Setup times both the evening before and the morning before pits open to all, a team may use both periods to set up its pits, but, per E32-2, must leave once pit set up is complete. Teams can be expected to be asked to leave by event personnel if it is noted that their pit set up is complete and they have not yet left the pit area. 
Here’s how Wednesday night and Thursday morning load-in will be conducted.   On Wednesday night from 6:00pm to 9:00pm, teams will unload their trailers at the appropriate door (see map: http://mnfirst.org/frc/duluth-directions ).  A driver must stay with the vehicle at all times. When curbside drop-off is complete and the vehicle is ready to move, the team will receive a ticket that will allow them to begin pit setup.  Only 5 people (one must be an adult) will be allowed in the pit for setup.  For safety purposes, robots will be directed to a holding bin so that they are not in the pits during pit setup.  Once a team’s pit setup is complete, the robot can be retrieved from the holding area and returned to the team’s designated pit.  The pits close promptly at 9:00pm on Wednesday night.  Teams loading-in on Thursday morning will follow the same procedure beginning at 7:45am.  When a team’s pit setup is complete, the setup crew must leave the pit area and not return until 8:30am on Thursday morning.  Please tell your students and appropriate mentors about these changes. Also at load-in, Junkyard Robots will be directed to a holding bin and team banners will be collected.  

Load-out is complicated this year because of several other activities scheduled at the DECC on Saturday.  Teams in Northern Lights will not be loading-out where load-in occurred for both buses and pit/robots.  Buses for Lake Superior will load-out at a different location, too.  Please carefully read the directions on this page (http://mnfirst.org/frc/duluth-directions ).

Don’t forget to create a team banner.  Banners will be collected at load-in and will hang in the DECC lobby.   The banner should be made of durable material, be 2ft x 2ft, and have 2 grommets at the top from which to hang the banner.

There is one field worth of carpet that can be distributed after the event during teardown.   Please contact me if you’d like a piece of carpet (markl56821@aol.com )

Regards, Mark Lawrence
Chairman, MN FIRST Regional Planning Committee