2013 FTC Asia-Pacific Invitational in Sydney, Australia
A few years ago, our FRC team and mentor worked with our FTC teams to prepare proposal in response to a call from Central Texas FIRST. Our proposal was one of two selected, which resulted in our FTC team representing Central Texas and FIRST at the 2013 FTC Asia-Pacific Invitational in Sydney, Australia. In planning our proposal content, we reached out to FIRST Australia to understand more about their program and what they wanted to achieve in their region. One issue they brought forward was that, while Australia hosts more than 200 FIRST LEGO League® teams, it only has about 20 FTC teams. FIRST Australia was very interested in convincing more FLL students to continue their progression through FIRST, something we have experience with after creating a “What’s After FLL” video that was shown at multiple local FLL events. We decided our FTC and FRC teams would join together to do an FLL-to-FTC workshop at the Invitational designed for graduating FLL students. Several of our FTC mentors and students, as well as some of our FRC team members, traveled to Sydney this past summer for the event, at which our FTC Team 3781, Pi-Rho Maniacs also competed. Although the competition was fun, the highlight of our trip was delivering our workshop. It consisted of a series of presentations as well as hands-on build sessions that resulted in small teams of students completing a limited, but functional robot capable of competing in the 2012-2013 FTC competition. The build instructions for this robot were developed online using Dozuki and are now freely available for any team or organizational that wishes to duplicate the workshop. The workshop was very successful, helping more than 30 FLL kids and 10 adults from countries such as Brazil, Pakistan and China. An Australian FLL coach even remarked afterwards, “This was easier that we had thought. We’re definitely going to consider doing FTC next year.