FRC News

Rah Cha Cha Ruckus

Marlene, Morgan, Ben and I went to hang out at Penfield Robotic’s “Rah Cha Cha Ruckus” event today. We talked to a number of other teams, and gawked at the robots from last-year’s FIRST Robotics competition.

ruckus playfield

FLL FRC Updates

October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011

A recap of tonight….what  was said and what I wanted to say!

FLL — First Lego League (4th to 8th grade)

FRC— First Robotics Challenge (9th to 12th grade – there are some  exceptions based onconversations with parents and students regarding the rules)


OUR WEBSITE AND BLOG ARE LOCATED AT   (for information about FRC see )   PLEASE go there and sign up to receive  updates!!!!!  It is the best way to get information out BETWEEN meetings.




Sponsorship is everyone’s responsibility.
We need about $5000 to support our upcoming FLL team(s).  We also need nearly that to support the FRC  team’s endeavors that are coming up fast.   Every donor counts!  Ask everyone,  for any amount!  Contributions are tax  deductible since they will go to the Cooperative Extension to be used by us.  They are an exempt 501 (c) (3) corp.

Our first  sponsor is an in-kind donation of rental space for the FRC build.

The second  Sponsor is purchasing an NXT kit for the FLL.

It is amazing what you can accomplish by just asking.   I am happy to help you with the brochures or if you are asked questions that  you would like help with give them my contact info, or have me call them. .  (I am Marlene Seielstad)

FLL For Now

 For Now, the  FLL group will meet once a month and learn some build and programming skills.  The challenge for them will not roll out until Sept. 2012.

In the  plans:

  • Building  a “field” Does anyone have a 4×8 sheet of plywood to donate?  ½ or ¾ (better) inch thick?  Pieces of 2×4 4ft or 8ft long?
  • A  field trip to a local FLL competition, if it can be arranged.
  • Kids  to participate in Public Presentation Days in February (presentations are part  of the FLL competition)
  • We  believe we will have the 2011 challenge board in early December (Hand me down  from another team)
  • They  will meet once a month for now.
  • I  promise to give them more attention once the FRC team and mentors are in place  (since there roll out is Jan 7th – yikes!)


 First—- Can anyone go on Saturday (this week 29th)?  I know it is short notice.  As of now we have one car leaving to go for the day and one car that will go for the afternoon.  We have room. Mentors and team members that can make time WILL learn a lot, guaranteed.   More info is at
We have a ton of stuff to do!

We need:

  • A Name  (ie; Orleans Storm, First Team 4093)
  • A shirt Color (green, red, purple, pink…get it)
  • A logo for us.


We need to plan a build schedule:


 I would like to  schedule with the least amount of conflicts for everyone and the sooner we nail  down the build schedule the better.  Other teams have a schedule that is 2.5 hours on weekdays and 6 hours on Saturday.  Does that work for us?  Do we want 2 hours and 7 hours.  I need your input and then will create something that works so everyone can come most of the time.  Information regarding how early you can  arrive and how late you can stay would be helpful.  If you have a commitment on a specific day of  the week, what time?

I know that  everyone will not make every meeting, but if you can make most of them, or come  late or leave early…  Scheduling will be  the hardest part, but we still want everyone to participate to whatever level  they are able.  During the build we will
do time cards so that when positions are selected for competition we will have
a deciding factor if we need it.  Hours  spent doing work at home and documented will count also.

Team Members should:

Become familiar with   go to the FRC tab and look around.  Look at past challenge info.  READ, READ, READ…

We have some awesome mentors that have signed up to help, with a fabulous set of skills!!  Thank you in advance for your willingness and availability!!!!


EVERYONE: Shifts during the afternoon of December 3rd to be determined at Meeting 11/15


Tuesday, November 15th Education Center Classroom, 7:00-8:30pm

Monday December 12th, December Education Center Classroom, 7:00-8:30pm


Thursday, November 3rd Education Center Classroom, 6:30-800pm

Tuesday, November 15th   Education Center Classroom, 7:00-8:30pm

Monday, November 28th Education Center Classroom, 7:00-8:30pm

Wednesday, December 7th Education Center Classroom, 7:00-8:30pm

Monday December 12th, Education Center Classroom, 7:00-8:30pm

We will be picking a couple of meeting times over the Holiday break to set  up the build site, when we can be there for a few productive hours.


 PLEASE email me with any questions or comments.  The meeting schedule uses different days; we are trying to see what works best for everyone.

FRC News

October 22nd training news… FRC Kids–What are you doing Oct 29th??

Saturday, October 22nd, Erik, Morgan and I attended a regional FIRST training session.  I attended the NEMO (non engineering mentor org) side, while Erik and Morgan received some PTC training.  All of that is news we can use, I am sure.

But, outside of the training sessions, I garnished some great information as well!  There is a competition in Webster next Saturday.  We would like to go and take some or all of our HS aged (FRC) kids with us.   We have been invited (IF you bring safety glasses) into the pits by more than one team.  They even implied they would let you drive!  Email if you can go.  We will also talk about it Monday, but the sooner we know the better.  The event is all day, we could go for all or part of the day.

See you tomorrow!


FRC Sponsorship


The FRC rookie team has received a $6500 grant from JCPenney. This directly pay for our registration and qualifying event!   We are off and running!!!!


FIRST’s Kamen speaks on U.S. Science, Technology Education

Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) — Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST Robotics Championships, talks about the U.S. system of education and challenges in interesting students in science and technology. He speaks with Matt Miller and Carol Massar on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg).

The 5-minute video can be seen here:

FRC Sponsorship

Sponsorship Update 10.13.11

News you can use!!!

When I spoke with the regional rep from FIRST he guaranteed me that we would receive one of two things.  Either $5,000 start up grant from a fund he “manages” or a $6,500 Rookie team grant from JCPenney.  We are still waiting for final approval from the JCPenney store, so I do not know which we have, but it is AT LEAST $5,000 for the FRC competition team!!!

We have secured a build location which is considered an “in kind” sponsorship.  The value of that is probably around $1,000.  There is build space, some practice space, and WIFI for our use while on site.

We still need to raise $2-$4,000.  I have a sponsorship brochure in publisher format.  I will have some printed for the meeting on October 24th (7pm).  (If anyone has a good quality color copier at their disposal that could print more, let me know)  The request we will be making is for funds from the sponsor’s 2012 budget.  We truly will not need the bulk of the money until January.  (We need $6500 by 11/30/11 so depending on which grant we receive we may need $1500 now)  Many companies are doing their budgets for next year now, so if we get in the door and ask before those are finalized we may be able to ask them to plan on helping us both this year and sustaining us in future years.

Please be thinking of businesses that you would be comfortable approaching.  There are levels of sponsorship from $100 to $5000 so we do not need to all go to the biggest manufacturer in town to seek out funds.  You may also want to make a tax deductible donation yourself.  That is OK too!  I will have the Chamber of Commerce and Pennysaver Business directories on hand, so that you can “claim” your sponsor and we will not all go to the same companies.

See you all soon!!!!

Don’t forget to invite friends that may want to be a part of this!  IT IS REALLY HAPPENING!!!!!

Community Service News

Churchville & Penfield FIRST Teams Give Back

I ran across the following article



FRC Updates

The first of MANY!


This is the first of, what I assume will be many posts to this blog.  It seemed that it might be better to let you check on your own rather than fill your email boxes with messages every time something great happens.

What has happened since September 26th?  Alot!

I made a great contact with a gentlemen from FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of science and Technology) we had a face to face meeting and he made some very good points as to why we should go FRC rather than FTC with the older kids.  It boils down to the location of the events, we would spend just as much traveling to compete as we will on the bigger robot.  Then he completed the JcPenney Grant application (that we thought we had started) and suggested to them that we would be a match for their Batavia Store (we meet the criteria, ie distance)  He hopes we will hear about that next week.  That is a $6500 grant for rookie teams.   If that does not go through, he has $5000 grants available to us.  Locally teams are using 8-10K per year on this program so we will need to come up with 3-5K more in sponsors.  Mr. Pearson and possibly a mentor from a CCHS team will be joining us at the October meeting.

We have contacted Sigma and I am in the process of writing another grant application.  I will have a Sponsorship plan to present at the next meeting, I just need to find time between emails and blogs to set it up.  :)

I am also fairly certain that we have a shop donated for us to work on “the build” portion of this challenge.  I am also talking with an engineer friend from Rochester to see if he knows any engineers willing to volunteer to help the kids in January and February.  The build time will be January 7- February 21st.


There will be 4 or 5 NXT kits at the October 24th meeting, you will be building some simple robots THAT NIGHT!  The plan right now is to register you with FLL later on.  The FIRST rep that I am working with believes he can have the challenge stuff donated to us after the Rochester qualifer so we will have all year to get sponsors and such to sign up our rookie team(s) next year.  Bring your friends!

I encourage you all to come with the same excitement you had when you left a couple weeks ago.  GOOD STUFF IS HAPPENING.  It is just happening so fast it is hard to keep you all “in the loop”

I know I said this before…..but WE NEED A NAME(S)!!!!  Brain storm names!  Words like:  Thunder, lightning, Orleans, Head, Heart, Hands, Health, 4-H, Blizzard, Raiders, Flash, Storm, Power….You get the idea….  String a couple words together and you have a suggestion.  Write them down and bring them with you.  The FRC and FLL can each have a different name if you decide that is what you want!