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KathieK
05-13-2006, 02:54 PM
http://www.usfirst.org/about/news/2006FVCExtended.htm
FIRST Vex Challenge Extended for 2006-2007

On Saturday, April 29th, 2006, at the FIRST Championship in Atlanta, GA, the FIRST Board of Directors voted to extend the FIRST Vex Challenge (FVC) following a successful 2005-06 pilot season. This upcoming 2006-2007 FVC season will support FIRST's goal of reaching more young people with FIRST programs, by exposing them to unique opportunities to explore science, engineering, technology, and mathematics.

The FIRST Vex Challenge program team is currently in the process of identifying regional competition sites that are accessible to all interested teams, improving our team registration process, recruiting local affiliate partners (contact: Cindy Randall at crandall@usfirst.org ), finalizing game design, as well as all the other details that are necessary for the successful launch of a FIRST program. As more information becomes available in the next few weeks, we will be communicating the details of the program roll out through e-mail as well as the FIRST web site.

We wish all teams, existing as well as new, an enjoyable and productive summer working with the Vex Robotics kit in preparation for the kickoff of the 2006-2007 season in early Fall!

YEAH! :D

Billfred
05-13-2006, 03:05 PM
Woohoo!

If y'all get a chance to see an FVC event in action, you really should take the opportunity. The matches in Atlanta, and even in Orangeburg, were some of the most competitive ones I've seen. I can't wait to see what comes in the next season.

David55
05-13-2006, 03:14 PM
That is great to hear!

I think that vex is a great program and a good way to inspire youth. It's perfect for students that have outgrown FLL and are not yet ready for FRC.
I hope FIRST Israel will be able to arrange a FVC regional competition in Israel for next year. I am sure it will greatly enlarge the amount of people that will be exposed to FIRST, and will attract lots of kids to engineering and robotics.

GeorgeTheEng
05-13-2006, 05:19 PM
I will echo Billfred's "Woohoo"... The official announcement is something I've been waiting for since we left Atlanta...

For anyone interested, the NJ Planning Committee had already starting to consider an event in NJ even before we knew FVC would continue. Stay tuned for more information on an official NJ FVC Event. We've tentatively looking at early December at The College of NJ.

I'm sure it will be an exciting competition again for 2006/2007.

nonother
05-13-2006, 05:57 PM
This is great news. I'm a junior in high school in New Jersey and I discovered Vex along with a friend in December. Since then we've been enjoying building robots on the weekend. We're excited at the possibility of getting involved with F.I.R.S.T. My only question is: do we need high school support? We are extremely unlikely to get any of it. If not, I hope to be there at the College of New Jersey in December :)

Billfred
05-13-2006, 06:03 PM
This is great news. I'm a junior in high school in New Jersey and I discovered Vex along with a friend in December. Since then we've been enjoying building robots on the weekend. We're excited at the possibility of getting involved with F.I.R.S.T. My only question is: do we need high school support? We are extremely unlikely to get any of it. If not, I hope to be there at the College of New Jersey in December :)
No, but it couldn't hurt. (There was a father-and-son team at the Championship this year that did quite well.)

Go ahead and ask around the science department at your school. Even if you can't find money for it (that's what sponsors are for ;)) the school support can come in handy elsewhere, such as getting the competition to count as a field trip. On the other hand, don't let that be the only place you look. Church groups, scouts, after-school programs--there's about a thousand different ways to go about it. Hope to see you make it to the competition!

Rohith Surampudi
05-13-2006, 06:05 PM
im sure we could definately help you out with a sponsor, registration fees, etc. send me a private message or I.M. me my screen name is , its awesome that you want to get involved in FIRST, i mean its never too late to feel the magic :D

Lil' Lavery
05-13-2006, 07:15 PM
I'm positive FVC 18 will be back to compete in the third amazing season of the FIRST Vex Challenge. I hope we're allowed to tinker around with the vex pnuematics and a plethora of other new vex parts.

santosh
05-13-2006, 10:02 PM
The CircutiRunners will be back (FVC 80). Hey Sean, we might be able to team up next year if you guys come back down to Georgia.

GeorgeTheEng
05-13-2006, 10:23 PM
This is great news. I'm a junior in high school in New Jersey and I discovered Vex along with a friend in December. Since then we've been enjoying building robots on the weekend. We're excited at the possibility of getting involved with F.I.R.S.T. My only question is: do we need high school support? We are extremely unlikely to get any of it. If not, I hope to be there at the College of New Jersey in December :)

I agree with Billfred, it's not a requirement, but would be helpful. If you want to meet some of the folks in NJ working with VEX, come over to Montgomery HS in Skillman next weekend. There will be a VEX going on in conjunction with the Monty Madness competition.

skimoose
05-14-2006, 08:10 AM
This is great news. I'm a junior in high school in New Jersey and I discovered Vex along with a friend in December. Since then we've been enjoying building robots on the weekend. We're excited at the possibility of getting involved with F.I.R.S.T. My only question is: do we need high school support? We are extremely unlikely to get any of it. If not, I hope to be there at the College of New Jersey in December :)

No, you don't need school support to have a FVC team!

I ran a FIRST LEGO League team for two seasons out of my home for my own kids and their friends. FVC is a similar format to FLL, you simply need from 4 - 10 students for a team. If you and three other friends are want to compete, you're half way there. It would be advisable to have a parent or other dedicated adult to act as a coach to handle the financial, travel, and other non-robotics needs of the team. This adult doesn't need to be an engineer, have knowledge of robotics, or even have to learn anything about robotics. See KathieK's and RoboMom's Non Engineering Mentors Organization known as NEMO (http://www.firstnemo.org) to learn more on what this adult might need to take care of.

What you will need are sponsors! If costs stay roughly the same as this year here's what your team would be looking at for expenses:

FIRST team registration - $200
Tournament registration - $300 per event.
team t-shirts/uniforms - $10-13 per shirt through local silk screening companies. Uniforms are not mandatory, but most teams want an identity.
Vex starter kit - $300 if you don't already have one.
Vex battery kit - $40 mandatory for competitions, sorry no AA batteries.
Vex programming kit $100 - you'll also need the EasyC 2.0 upgrade or MPLabs if you wish to program in that environment.
Other vex products - up to $500 you'll need more than the starter kit to build a robot. This number will depend on what you already own and what you'll need, want, or can afford.
Travel to a tournament - $??? The events should be one day competitions so you won't need hotel stays unless you're travelling long distances. Figure on a 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM stay at the competition. if you can drive to the event with this in mind you shouldn't need a hotel, but you'll still need gas, food, and other travel expenses.
Engineering notebook and other supplies $50-100 you'll need a team engineering notebook and then there are office supplies for banners, spirit handouts, scouting forms, pit decorations, team decorations, and robot decorations as desired, but these are optional.
Playing field components - $500+ playing field components are optional, if you can find another team locally that has a practice field you can use. You don't need to build a full field either. There are always low cost versions which can be built with materials purchased at Home Depot, but you will still need some components so that you can test your robot and practice.

And Lastly, If you're lucky enough to win at a local tournament,
Championships Registration - $1000 competing at the championships is optional, and doesn't need to be factored into your regular budget.
Travel expenses to Championships in Atlanta - $?????? this is all dependent on distance traveled, number of team members travelling to Championships, etc. Again, I wouldn't budget any Championships costs into your regular budget. If your team is lucky enough to become eligible to attend the Championships, you can have separate fundraisers to covers these expenses, but I just include these numbers so you're not shocked later on. :ahh:

So with the above budget numbers in mind, you can expect that a team will need a budget of $1200 - 2000 on average, again not including any Championships costs. A little less if you already own all the necessary vex components, and a little more if teams are allowed to attend multiple events this coming year or you want to build an expensive practice field.

So having school support would greatly help, but isn't necessary. You can fund a team through fundraisers, local PTO organizations might help with funding, parent's companies/employers, local businesses, or even local civic groups like the Lions Club, Jaycees, Rotary Club, etc, or try to find a FRC team in your area who might be able to help start your team. Get your team in the local newspaper early on, especially if you need sponsors, and don't write off school support without trying. If you compete without school support, get the team in the news after a competition, too. After getting good coverage in the local news, you may find that the school system will suddenly find funding to support the team in the future.

Finally, this is a call to all existing FRC teams. This is part of Dean's homework. Help new Vex teams get started in your area. If every active FRC team started just one team, that would be as many as 11,000 new students and 1100 new school systems joining FIRST. Now that's growth! :D

How about a New Jersey FRC team adopting nonother's group to form a FVC team. What about one of our sister Bristol Myers Squibb teams? Any takers?

Rohith Surampudi
05-14-2006, 08:21 AM
we'd be happy to help

Lil' Lavery
05-15-2006, 03:12 PM
The CircutiRunners will be back (FVC 80). Hey Sean, we might be able to team up next year if you guys come back down to Georgia.
Only if you guys promise not to get picked before we have the option of picking an alliance partner this time around! ;)

smweaver5
06-19-2006, 10:59 AM
This is great news!! :) Hopefully FVC 39 will be competing at one of the challenges !! :) have a great summer

Kyle Love
07-30-2006, 10:42 PM
FVC 137 The KokoMandoes hopes to return for our second year, possibly our final year, unless we can get some underclassmen interested.