FIRST Tech Challenge: Virtual Pits

The following was an idea shared from FIRST in Washington.

An important aspect of FIRST is the social interactions between teams. At our traditional events, students spend time wandering the pits. There are several reasons for wandering the pits.

  1. Scouting
  2. Learning by example
  3. Social Interaction
  4. Collection of SWAG

For scouting, teams interview each other to determine the capabilities of the other robots in the contest. This information is collected and used to help with determining alliance partners.

Learning by example is a critical way for FIRST teams to learn from each other. They investigate how other teams solved the same problems. Learning happens from teams seeing other approaches. This could be robot design and construction, team outreach examples, team marketing skills, and nearly every other facet of the FIRST experience.

Social interactions are important to students. Representing their team, making connections to other teams, and putting forth their best effort to be gracious professionals is a key part of FIRST. Personal interactions and hopefully positive reactions and validation create a stronger feeling of belonging and allegiance to the FIRST community.

The details about the Virtual Pits Events

  • Date: Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021
  • Time: 10am-12noon (detailed agenda is below)
  • Teams will need to pre-sign up for Virtual Pit Event
    • Registrants will receive the link to zoom a few days prior to the Virtual Pit Event.
    • The capacity for the Feb. 6th event has been reached. Additional registrations are not being accepted.

What teams should do prior to The Virtual Pit Event 

  • Download and install the most recent version of Zoom on your device. (You want to ensure you can move among team pit breakout rooms!) 
  • Prepare a 5 minute "presentation" about your team.
    • Show off the CAD of your robot
    • Show a slide or two about your team
    • Show videos of your matches
  • Develop a Virtual Team Brand. Is your team colors black and gold? Then, make a virtual background for each student with black and gold. Wear your team shirts.
  • Be prepared to repeat the team presentation every 10 minutes as spectators may come and go.
  • Practice! Designate who is going to stay in the pit, what they are going to say, etc.

Detailed Agenda of Virtual Pit Event (as of 1/26/2021)

  • 9:55am Zoom will begin. Students can start to join the meeting.
  • 10:00am Introduction and ensure participants are named correctly in Zoom
  • 10:05am Students will be placed in their first room.
  • 10:10am-10:20am Practice Round of Presentations (Teams will gather as one to "practice")
  • 10:20am-10:25am Conclusion of First Round. Participants go to Main Session
  • 10:25am-10:35am First Round of Presentations
  • 10:35am-10:40am Conclusion of Second Round. Participants go to Main Session
  • 10:40am-10:50am Second Round of Presentations
  • 10:50am-10:55am Conclusion of Third Round. Participants go to Main Session
  • 10:55am-11:05am Third Round of Presentations
  • 11:05am-11:10am Conclusion of Fourth Round. Participants go to Main Session
  • 11:10am-11:20am Fourth Round of Presentations
  • 11:20am-11:25am Conclusion of Fifth Round. Participants go to Main Session
  • 11:25am-11:35am Fifth Round of Presentations
  • 11:35am-12noon Participants give feedback as to how the event went.

At this time, we are no longer accepting additional registrations for the Feb. 6, 2021 Virtual Pit event. We have reached our capacity!