Coaches are integral to the FIRST Tech Challenge team. The students must build, design, and program the robot, but coaches can offer suggestions and help. Coaches can show team members how to do things, although often the students show the coaches how to do things. Coaches do not need to have a technical background, as FIRST Tech Challenge is a learning process for all involved. Successful coaches are hands-off, provide a safe location, arrange meeting dates and times, and serve as the primary method of communication with FIRST Tech Challenge Iowa.
FIRST has many resources for coaches and teams. We suggest you bookmark these sites and use them frequently. The FIRST Dashboard is the place for coaches to register their FIRST Tech Challenge team with FIRST and order TETRIX parts at a discount. Have you missed a FTC team email blast? Check out FTC blog from Ken Johnson, Director of FTC. FIRST Tech Challenge is on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
FIRST Tech Challenge Iowa also has information for Iowa teams. And we send email to Iowa teams via our newsletter. The primary email is firstname.lastname@example.org, so please save it in your contact list, as many schools and organizations filter out @gmail.com addresses. Review the archive of FTC-Iowa team blasts. We are also social! FTC-Iowa on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Teams Contact Information
An element to Gracious Professionalism is working together to build a better community. The best way to do that is for teams to collaborate with other teams - either nearby or across the state. During the build season, teams are responsible for hosting their own scrimmages/workshops, which provide great opportunities to connect with other students.
Teams are not required to have a complete FTC Competition field for practice. Many teams have been successful with a portion of a FTC field. However, if your team is interested in building a full field, but does not have the funds to cover the cost of an official field perimeter, there is an option for a Low Cost Perimeter. Also, FIRST Tech Challenge recommends that teams build their own sizing box to make sure their robot will pass the size portion of the robot inspections.
Several years ago, the FIRST Tech Challenge program in Iowa implemented a League Tournament Structure. The League Tournament structure allows for teams to compete more times (get more miles on the robot!), redesign the robot after a competition, and then rebuild. Its a true example of the engineering design process: test, redesign, rebuild and test. Teams who wish to compete at the FIRST Tech Challenge Iowa Championship must compete at a League Championship tournaments and the Iowa Super Qualifier tournaments to advance to the FIRST Tech Challenge Iowa Championship. Many teams in Iowa receive special grants to get started. Many of these grants have a requirement for teams to compete in at least one tournament; a qualifier tournament fulfills this requirement. Don't forget the consent forms. Please review the pages about League Tournaments and be aware of the FTC-Iowa Cancellation Policy.
Each season, FIRST and FTC in Iowa collects a registration fee. The link to register with FTC-Iowa is sent directly to the coaches who have completed the FIRST registration. We do not allow teams to register with FTC-Iowa prior to the FIRST Registration.