FIRST® Tech Challenge
Team Blast October 20, 2023

Hi , 

  1. Tech Tip of the Week
  2. Rookie Team Resource Spotlight
  3. Team Webinars
  4. Dean’s List Nominations are Open!
  5. New Resources Released
  6. Complimentary Software for Teams


Tech Tip of the Week

This week’s Tech Tip of the Week is an extension to our first-ever Tech Tip of the Week regarding battery maintenance. Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH or Ni-MH) batteries, like those used in FIRST® Tech Challenge, do require periodic maintenance to keep them healthy!

Every day, NiMH batteries lose on average 1% of their charge capacity at normal room temperature - at colder temperatures this decline slows a bit but does not stop it. This means that every 2-3 months it’s important to recharge your batteries to keep them healthy - there is no off-season for batteries!

It’s also recommended to mark your batteries with tape and a sharpie to mark (1) Your team number (never lose a battery at a competition!), (2) What year the battery was purchased, (3) Give your batteries names so you can differentiate batteries easily, and (4) optionally provide a tick mark each time the battery is recharged.

NiMH batteries can generally last 200-300 recharge cycles before their internal resistance declines to the point where it’s time to replace them, and keeping track of charge cycles is an easy way to track how “used” the battery is before needing to have its internal resistance checked.

Rookie Team Resource Spotlight

The Coach’s Goal Tracker contains a 6-week plan to help keep a rookie team on track for competitions. This guide outlines checkpoints for your team, highlights required reading including the Game Manuals part 1 and 2, and encourages your team to celebrate your milestones. You can find the guide with our Team Resources!

Team Webinars

Last week kicked off our first set of team webinars! The Team Dean’s List call and Team Gameplay call were recorded for those who could not make it and have been added to our CENTERSTAGESM presented by RTX Season Team Webinars playlist here. If you are interested in joining future calls, please check out our blog that provides dates, times, and links to sign up!

Dean's List Nominations are Open!

Dean's List nominations are now open! Please be sure to nominate your outstanding sophomore and junior high school students for the Dean’s List Award! Resources for nominating can be found on our website!

New Resources Released!

The following resources have been released this week:

Volunteer Training Manuals

  • Referee and Head Referee Manual
  • Judge and Judge Advisor Manuals
  • Dean's List Interviewer and Reviewer Manuals

Team Resources

Translated Game Manuals:

  • Game Manuals 1 and 2 translated in Chinese and Romanian

Complimentary Software for Teams

As part of team registration, several software vendors offer complimentary licenses to student participants. Take advantage of these to enhance team building, designing and programming this season.

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