The Inaugural FIRST Tech Challenge Virtual Summer Conference

  • 23 Jul 2014
  • 3:00 PM
  • 24 Jul 2014
  • 8:00 PM
  • http://www3.usfirst.org/http%3A//www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/gearupwithftc

It’s time, FTC mentors, coaches, and teams. It is time to think beyond the robot to the bigger picture. It is time to connect with experts and teams from around the world. It is time to take your skills to the next level.

That can only mean one thing. It is time for an FTC community-wide virtual conference. Introducing – drum roll, please – Gear Up With FTC!

We are so excited to announce the line up for our first annual virtual conference. Below you will find the virtual conference schedule and session descriptions so you can mark your calendar now.


EST Time Zone

Wednesday, July 23

Presentation Description

3:00 – 3:45pm

Why PTC Supports FTC Teams andFIRST

Kari Karwedsky, Global K12 Academic Sr. Program Manager, PTC

FIRST is the cornerstone of our Shared Value program creating value through investment in tomorrow’s global workforce of engineers, which will help our customers achieve and maintain a competitive advantage. Learn more about Shared Value and how PTC invests to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists.

4:00 – 4:45pm

Team Organization and International Connections

The Bears, Mexico

For rookies and experienced teams alike, team organization can be troubling throughout the season, which is why Bears (team 3141) will give us suggestions on how to effectively structure and run a team. Team areas, work load distribution, teams in tournament days, as well as the role of the school, the sponsors, the coaches, and the families are among the topics to be discussed. As every day we live in a more globalized world, we will as well talk about the importance international collaboration, and the crucial strategies to develop international connections which allow said collaboration.

5:00 – 5:45pm

HiTechnic SuperPro Prototyping Board

Ernest Gu, Kieran Losh, Ian Culhane, Team #6424 ‘Oly Cow, Olympia, WA

With only 4 sensor ports to work with, and sensor multiplexers costing $50+, have you ever considered using a SuperPro prototyping board? For under $100, take a look at how to expand your available sensor ports to (practically) infinity, and learn more electronics/programming skills than you ever imagined! This presentation is also jam-packed with tips, tricks, and pitfalls to avoid.

6:00 – 6:45pm


Timothy Friez, Senior Software Engineer, ROBOTC

In this session, FTC participants will learn more about advanced concepts in using ROBOTC such as understanding more about the Debugger, using 3rd Party Sensors, and coding practices to make your team more efficient and productive to develop reliable competition code.

7:00 – 8:00pm

Materials for Enhancing Creative Robot Design

The Gearticks, Team #6055 Gearticks, Lincoln, MA

Take advantage of the newly allowed robot materials to improve the design and performance of your robot. Learn about latex tubing, pulleys, non-Tetrix gears, 80/20 aluminum extrusions, spring steel, 3D printed parts, UHMW PE, aluminum stock extrusions, and polycarbonate (Lexan). Hear about advantages, drawbacks, and how the Gearticks have used these materials on their robots.



EST Time Zone

Thursday, July 24

Presentation Description

3:00 – 3:45pm

Judging Interview Skills

Dr. Gigi Johnson, Executive Director, Maremel Institute, CA

Team judging interviews can be a mystery for rookie teams -- and for many experienced teams and mentors as well! We'll share stories of good and challenging judging interviews and cover 5 steps to improving your team interview skills. Gigi Johnson, EdD, has both judged and coached FTC teams in the Los Angeles area and with humor and insight is glad to share ideas on gearing up your team judging interview skills.

4:00 – 4:45pm

Advanced LabView

Katie Johnson, Team Member, #3595 Schrödinger's Hat, AK, and Hunter Smith, K-12 Engineering Specialist, National Instruments

Ready to gear up your autonomous programming in LabVIEW? Come learn how to move beyond the basics using gyro sensors, state machines, and other advanced techniques from a Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer/FTC team member.

5:00 – 6:00pm

Robot Wiring Troubleshooting

Colleen Johnson, Team Member, #3595 Schrödinger's Hat, AK, Evan Hochstein,FIRST Senior Mentor, MN, and Colton Mehlhoff, HiTechnic

Learn how to overcome common electrical problems on FTC bots. This presentation shows how to use wire management, ferrules, Anderson PowerPoles, and other wiring techniques to increase your robot's reliability on the playing field.

6:15 – 7:15pm

How FTC Relates to Engineering at Rockwell Collins

TJ Wittliff, Senior Software Engineer, Ross Wilcoxon, Principle Mechanical Engineer, Jerry Sheehy, Senior Marketing Manager, Craig Martinson, Senior Electronics Tecnician, David Lempia, Principle Systems Engineer, Adriana D’Onofrio, Senior Community Relations Specialist, Rockwell Collins

Did you know that as a member of an FTC team you are performing a lot of the same tasks/processes as a Rockwell Collins engineer? Attend this session to discuss how FTC is preparing you for a career in engineering. Ask Rockwell Collins employees career advice and what they look for when hiring interns and college graduates.

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