Monday, September 10, 2007

NYCFIRST Update 9: Little Time Left to Register

Sept. 10, 2007

A newsletter for the NYCFIRST robotics community in New York City and the surrounding area. If you want to be removed from this list type "remove" in the subject are and hit return. If you get doubles of this email let me know.

Compiled by Norm Scott
NYCFIRST Registration coordinator

These updates are posted at Norm's Robotics blog:

The NYC/NJ FIRST Web site is at

Registration may be closed early
If you have any intention of competing this year, register ASAP. Once all field set-up kits are allocated, registration will be closed. This might happen within the next few days.

Register at:

Payment: You do not have to pay when you register. Choose "pay by check" and work things out later. But the longer you wait pay, the longer it will take for delivery. With our compressed timetable, there is some urgency.

When you register make sure to order the field set-up kit ($65) in addition to the $200 registration fee. That is an absolute requirement in order to get your team prepared.

New Tournament Structure
With registration expected to top 160 teams, only 80 teams will go to Citywide on Jan. 26.

Criteria: full tournament rules apply with a full complement of judges at each event. We need volunteers for judges in order to make these events as meaningful as possible for you and the kids. Every attempt will be made to keep the judging consistent in all events. We need people to assist at these tournaments as judges. Training will be offered to all. Some coaches in the past have judged on their off day and found it very meaningful, so please consider it. We also need other volunteers for all the Dec. events.

While not mandated, the chances to move on to Citywide are almost nil without doing the research. This is obviously one of the major differences from past years.

There will be a qualifying tournament in every borough between Dec. 2 and Dec. 15.
Registration will be open with the names of contact people in around 2 weeks.

Details will be available at the Kickoff on Sept 29 (see below) with questions answered between 9am and 10am.

Sample question:
If I paid for registration for, I thought, January, how will it work if I do not 'qualify'? Will the registration fee be returned?

No. All registration fees go to FIRST in Manchester. The borough events which are open to all, will be full-fledged tournaments.

Practice tournaments
NO practice events are planned at this time. However, if you are interested in holding a small practice event for schools in your area, contact us and we'll provide you a list of teams and any assistance we can. These events would have to take place no later than the end of November.

NYCFIRST Kickoff for the Power Puzzle
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007
Polytechnic U, Downtown Brooklyn

Schedule (tentative)
9-10: Intro to Power Puzzle Research
Outlining the new qualifying tournament structure: answering your questions (very important for everyone to attend.
10-11: A: Intro to PP game: Veteran coaches
10-11 B: Info for new coaches

11-12 Intro to PP Game: New coaches

Training for coaches
October 6 at NYU – all day training in NXT (tentative).
You will need to bring your robotics kit (not the field set-up).
Space is limited.

New coaches and vet coaches switching from RCX to NXT will get priority.
Registration procedure will be announced in an upcoming newsletter. Also, check the norms robotics blog.
Other dates will follow on Saturdays in October, some at Polytechnic.

A Junior FLL (ages 6-9) event will be held in conjunction with the qualifying event at PACE U on Dec. 2. FIRST has opened registration until the end of Nov. Open to all schools. Details in the next update. If you need immediate info contact Keith Wynne at:

Election day (Nov. 6) training
Mike Siegel of Staten Island Tech who is running the SI tournament again this year will continue the tradition of training on this date, most likely in NXT. Details to follow. Priority to SI teams but Mike will take others if there's room.

Mike Koumoulos at Aviation HS, who will be coordinating the Queens qualifying event will be holding training in RCX only on Election Day at Aviation in Queens. Mike has taken over some of the former Region 4 duties from Stephen Shapinsky, who has moved to Las Vegas.

Registered Teams
Full list of updated teams: Total 147 (as of Sept. 9)

Available at:

Sorted by boroughs and team numbers. Teams in red are the teams added since the last update.

Please check that your team is listed and the info is correct.
Update coaches' names and send me an email with contact info f you do.

Borough coordinators: update your lists of registered teams

New York City FIRST LEGO League Borough Qualifying Tournaments:

Manhattan: December 2 (Sunday), Pace U. downtown
Brooklyn: December 8, 2007, Brooklyn Tech High School
Bronx: December 8, 2007, Lehman High School
Staten Island: December 15, 2007, Staten Island Tech High School
Queens: December 15, 2007, Aviation High School

New York City FIRST LEGO League Citywide Championship:
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Riverbank State Park, Manhattan

Building instructions with 2 corrections downloadable at:


View a video illustrating each of the Power Puzzle missions. In addition, two educational videos introduce the topic of sustainable energy.

Educational videos were created by the Energy Institute at the University of Wisconsin – Madison for FIRST LEGO League. Videos are available in Flash (streaming only), Windows Media, and QuickTime formats.

All Quicktime and Windows Media File files are down loadable. When selecting the most appropriate file, simply right click on it and select "Save Target As". When the "Save as" window opens chose the location to save to. Once all of the files are downloaded, they can be burned to a CD for replay later.

Click or copy and paste this link to the FIRST site where you will find a link to the videos.

Gary Israel Reports on the Bronx Kickoff held this past Saturday

I want to share the email below that I received from Carol Gilligan, the Science Specialist for the Leadership LSO who attended the Bronx FLL Kick-off this past Saturday.

Good Morning, Gary,

It was sincerely my pleasure to attend on Saturday. I just wish I could have stayed longer to talk with more students.

I chatted with some 7th graders who had been competing in FLL for 2 years now and what struck me was their eagerness to find out what newbies there would be this year so they could introduce the program to them and help them to have "as much fun as they did". I believe they were from 192. Talk about encouraging mentorship!!

Power Puzzle is a perfect theme aligned with our middle school curriculum and the missions seem very challenging. I appreciate the incredible, rich opportunity for research in energy resources and efficiency this year's focus creates.

I know the children will benefit greatly from the collaboration and problem solving FLL Robotics presents.

Good Luck to them all!


Carol Ann Gilligan

Have a good day


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