FTC-Iowa: Coaches

FIRST Tech Challenge Participants
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 ftc.iowa@gmail.com, 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.

Field Options

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.

Events

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 Cancelation Policy.

Field Items

  •  "Game Specific Field Elements"
  • "Extra Robot Parts"

Teams have the flexibility to purchase items that are needed beyond the kit-of-parts. Coach Dan Niemitalo (#4150) has compilied a list of robot parts (including link to vendor websites) and an explanation of the part recommendations. Please keep in mind, these are the recommendations from an experienced FTC coach. They are not requirements.

Registration

For more information about team registration, please visit this page.