by JoAnn Halloran
FTC Partner Services Manager
Usually, my kickoff Saturday is spent in the office, (wo)manning the phones and crossing my fingers that everything will run flawlessly. This year, I had the great privilege of attending the Massachusetts FTC Kick-Off event. Our MA FTC Affiliate Partner, Loretta Bessette, organized this event, Jen Price, Principal of the beautiful Newton North High School, hosted it and our friends at PTC, our Official CAD and Collaboration Sponsor, sponsored it.
With several hundred people in attendance, the air was crackling with enthusiasm and anticipation.
We listened to inspiring speakers, including our organizer, Loretta Bessette, our host, Jen Price, Robin Saitz, Sr. VP of Solutions Marketing and Communications for PTC and Amy Kukulya, an Oceanographic Engineer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
What was particularly cool for me is that this is the first STEM activity I have attended where every single speaker was a woman.
We broke for enthusiastically attended workshops with titles as diverse as “Advanced Creo: Kinematics and Simulation using Creo” and “Icy Challenges of an AUV”. After the workshops, we all returned to the theater to see the field, watch the game video and animation, and to ask (or in my case, answer) questions about the game.
Every year I am surprised by the thoughtfulness and quality of the questions that are asked. Even with limited exposure to Ring It Up!, teams were thinking about strategy; build rules and penalties in clever and sometimes devious ways. Sometimes the best answer Loretta and I could give was "check the manual, and then post your question to the forum", so before you can ask about it, here's the scoop on the forum.
The FTC Game Q&A Forum goes live on September 18th. We really want you to read the manual before you post your questions. If your question is about strategy, please filter them through the guidelines that the Game Design Committee will be using this season, and ask yourself:
1. Could this damage or disable another robot?
2. Could this damage the playing field?
3. Could this hurt somebody?
4. Is there a rule that prohibits this?
5. If everybody did this, would game play be impossible?
If the answer to all of these questions is NO, please post your question. If the answer to any of these questions is YES, please re-think your strategy.
We hope you enjoy playing Ring It Up! as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you!