Excuse my rant I just needed to get this off my chest.
So while I was at Worlds, I finally really noticed how much first favors FRC over FTC. We were banished to Union Station, a small little Ballroom that was really hard to pushed through because of the amount of people. I thought the venue at first was amazing. That is until I saw the amazing venue FRC and FLL had. Walking into this area we all noticed everything was super cool and everything was decorated for the occasion. The food was amazing they had so much food there Dippin Dots and your normal sports center fare. Our place only had a small little area where you could buy drinks, chips, and candy(which nearly everyday after lunch there was somethings sold out). So for lunches, our mentor went out to get fast food.
Another thing was, FRC got all the chances to go see all of the presentations. I had no time to do any of the conferences or even go to The Innovation Fair. We were so busy everybody that we had no time at all to do anything. It was just wake up at 5 and stay there till 8.
The one thing though that really made me super angry and got on my nerves was when Dean came in to talk at the awards ceremony for FTC all he could talk about was how we were the cheapest and kept on comparing us to FRC. As me and a lot of other people said he was treating us almost like "the red headed stepbrother of FIRST". It was insane to see first hand how much first cared about FRC and FLL compared to even FTC and Jr FLL. When they did videos showcasing the whole competition we only got around 30 seconds of screen time have FRC like 2 minutes.
There was this one moment during the closing ceremonies when Dean was presenting the homework. They invited up the congressman me and my team as well as another Illinois team work with all the time. Then they talked about how there were some teams here from this district there are exactly two as they say. So me and the other team from Illinois were freaking out we thought we were going to be called up. We work with the congressman's so much he actually asks us just to call him by his first name. Sadly they called up to FRC teams.
We were all super frustrated with the situation. But this is the way it's always going to be in you're going to have to deal with it. First screws us over with everything and that's the way it's going to be forever.
“But this is the way it’s always going to be in [sic] you’re going to have to deal with it. First screws us over with everything and that’s the way it’s going to be forever.”
I don’t you think you really believe that. I don’t.
I won’t argue with you that the Union Station venue lacks a great deal of the pageantry and excitement found at the dome. I’ll even acknowledge that FRC is the dominate program featured in most of FIRST’s media. But I will tell you FIRST is making efforts in closing that gap. The improvements from last years FTC World Championship to this year’s World Championship were noticeable. But there is ample room for improvement.
FRC is Dean’s baby. Always has been, always will be. Admittedly, sitting on stage in a yellow shirt at the closing ceremony hearing Dean’s comments about FRC surprised me too. Sadly, I think he’s somehow missing the fact that FTC is actually accomplishing the goal he envisioned 25 years ago. By shear numbers FTC is reaching more kids and getting them excited about science and engineering. Woody gets it though and I hope someday you get a chance to meet him.
Be patient Kate. Next year’s dual championships offers opportunities to see improvements in all the FIRST programs.
Congratulations to you and your team for making it to the World Championships.
I agree with just about everything you have to say and find the exclusion of FTC teams from the congressman’s district during closing particularly appalling.
That said, I had a very different reaction to Dean’s remarks during the FTC awards. I wish I could find a video of the ceremony because I thought it was the first time Dean has acknowledged that FTC is more than a stepping stone to FRC, that it is a complete program and achieves everything that FRC does at much less cost. My co-coach and I were pretty stunned when he was talking and we both commented on it after the fact.
I’ll also echo Got Robot: The gap between FTC and FRC is closing. e.g. Dean’s list now includes FTC.
Well, if there’s one positive case for this dual Super Regional™ system next year, it’s that the other programs will get a chance to shine. FTC will now be in the same building as the other programs, so you can expect less segregation in that regard.
As for how they actually treat it, that seems to be improving as well, as others have said. FIRST is slow to change sometimes, and FRC has been here from the very beginning, so naturally they continue to focus on it. But the reality is, FTC really does a better job at doing what FRC set out to do, thanks in large part to the cost. A lot of school districts can stomach the price of FTC, which roughly translates to a higher adoption rate.
However, also recognize that FRC will probably always have more airtime, more focus, and more resources. It’s bigger robots, a lot more showmanship involved, and it catches the general public’s attention way easier and faster. That doesn’t mean they can’t emphasize more on other programs, though.
I can totally understand your frustration! Althought the 2016 pits at world were pretty nice I thought the competition fields area were very small especially in comparison to FRC. Also has a huge food lover I was a little bit sad thaatn tt none of the union station resturants were open. FTC often gets the short end of the stick. I somewhat disagree with you on the FIRST favoring FLL thing however. I think the event scale goes in progression order. Starting with FRC with the best and FLL Jr. at the worst. I feel as though this gap would be much more appropriate if FTC had more of an age gap from FRC. The majority of FTC teams at world’s were high school teams just like all of the FRC teams. This makes the difference seem more unfair as kids of your own age and probably in my opinion the same amount of dedication as the upper level counterparts get considerably better treatment and favorability among the FIRST community. In all honesty I think the 2 world championship system coming next year will definetly shed a little bit more attention on to FTC. You should be very proud that you guys made it to world championships. That is a HUGE acomplishment! Congratulations!:] :]