2023-2024: CENTER STAGE

Thank you for following along on our fourth FIRST Tech Challenge Season. We are an all-girls team in NW Montana. Please bear with us as we get used to a new website. The newest posts are at the top.

Y’all ready for this?!!! The arts have come to FIRST. The 2023-2024 theme is FIRST in SHOW! FLL’s game appears to embrace the arts in every way with their new game #MASTERPIECE. FTC takes #CENTERSTAGE in a season about creativity and maybe leaning toward performing arts. FRC’s new game #CRECENDO may focus on music or sonic arts. We don’t know, but we shall soon find out.

RoboScout Squad is sooooo excited! We can’t think of a better theme for our artistically creative team.


Kickoff Updates

Want to see the new Center Stage field in person on kickoff day? RoboScout Squad will be hosting a Montana FIRST Tech Challenge Kickoff event on Saturday, Spetember 9th, sponsored by Synergetix Inc.

Check-in, social time and breakfast start at 8:30am, the event starts at 9:30. We are going to have a ton of fun exploring the new field, reviewing rules, brainstorming strategy and catching up with each other. Bring a sack lunch, notebook and a pen. Feel free to bring a robot for testing. Bring an extension cord and gaffing tape if you need to plug stuff in.

At 11:00 we’ll have a Zoom meeting for live Q&A for any teams that wish to get a look at the field and ask questions. We’ll be drawing for door prizes for in person teams at 1:30pm.

Please fill our our RSVP form to let us kow if you’re attending in person (and how many) or joining remotely for live Q&A.: Kalispell Kickoff RSVP

FIRST LEGO League’s 2023-2024 Masterpiece game was released today. Their new game looks incredible and we can’t wait to see how teams approach the challenge and their innovation projects. You can watch the FLL Masterpiece kickoff video here.


Go Local Flathead Valley Magazine

Earlier this spring we were interviewed by Meghan Voss, writer for Go Local Flathead Valley Magazine. It was an amazing opportunity to share about FIRST and what we learn in FTC with a new audience.

This local publication has two themed issues each year. This summer’s issue is entitled “Hi, Tech!” and is all about technology in the Flathead Valley. The two featured articles in the issue are RoboScout Squad and team sponsor NOMAD GCS. Paper copies can be found at newsstands all over the valley. Read our article online here: https://golocalflathead.com/2023/07/06/squad-goals/


Center Stage Game Manual 1 Released:

Game Manual 1 is out and its full of interesting info:

  • AprilTags are going to be big this season, there are already AprilTag samples available, sample code and yes, even for Blocks
  • Multiple Cameras and single image sensors are allowed (was this allowed before?)
  • Ranking Points and TBP are the same as last season
  • Teams that attend tournaments outside their home region are ineligible for Inspire Awards and advancement from the tournament (6.1)
  • <RG02>b: Flexible materials (i.e., zip tie, surgical tube, string, etc.) may extend up to 0.25 inches (0.635 cm) beyond the 18 inch (45.72 cm) size constraint.
  • <RG07>: a propelled scoring element cannot travel in the air more than a 18 ft. (5.49 m) distance or more than 5 ft. (1.52 m) in elevation
  • <RM02> COTS: Dead Wheel Odometry kits are allowed
  • <RE10> Servos with a 4th wire for position output are allowed (we’re looking at you Axon Max+/Mini+)
  • <RE06> next season (2024-2025), Android smartphones will no longer be legal robot controllers, must use Rev Control Hub, still ok for Driver Station though
  • <DS03> Sony DualSense for PS5 in wired mode is now allowed
  • Promote Award theme: “The best thing about FIRST Tech Challenge is…”

Read GM1 Here: Game Manual 1

AprilTag Documentation: Oodles of AprilTag Information of the FTC GitHub


Senator Tester Visits

We were excited and thankful to have U.S. Senator John Tester visit us in the HideyHub this morning. We shared about our team, what we do in FIRST, taught him how to drive McQueen, and Zia explained the GoBabyGo project.


Gianforte Family Foundation Grant

We applied for and received the Gianforte Family Foundation Grant for Robotics Clubs in Montana. We are so thankful to have these funds to help with parts and travel expenses this season.

All Montana FIRST Teams can apply annually here:

Gianforte Family Foundation Grant Application


Game Set Pre-Orders are Open

FTC CENTER STAGE Game Sets are now available for pre-order from AndyMark.

Of special note in today’s FTC Team Blog is a change in gaffing tape. Game tapes will now be 1″ rather than 2″. Bummer that we need to buy more tape, but it’s good for rookie teams or those that have run out. 1″ is cheaper than 2″.

Also, great news for teams with grant funding through FIRST, starting after kickoff teams will be able to order their AndyMark game sets through the FIRST website.


2023-2024 Spring Info Night

We are having an open house and information night on Wednesday May 17th in our robotics lab. Stop by and see what we are all about. We are now recruiting girls currently in grades 7-11, to join our team for amazing summer projects and highly creative competitive season.

If you’re interested in joining us or have questions but can’t make it, please fill out our team interest form and we’ll get back to you.


2023-2024 Season Reveal:


If you’re interested in joining us or want to learn more about FIRST, please reach out.

Enjoy the season “trailer” for FIRST in SHOW!
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