To clarify how FIRST operates in our state, an introduction is in order. OregonFIRST is the state operations group partnered with FIRST (in New Hampshire). OregonFIRST is an all volunteer organization who is chartered with implementing and supporting the FIRST programs in Oregon. Each program has a state wide partner who plan, organize, and implement the programs.
In reality, OregonFIRST is a very small group of dedicated volunteers who rely on the FIRST teams across the state for help. Our resources are intended to help you.
A Little More Detail…
The FRC year is broken into three major divisions (we call them seasons), and you will hear most mentors and teams discuss things in terms of the three divisions.
These seasons, much like any other sport, have their own flavor of activities in support of your team. At a very high level, here is what happens during these times.
The FRC pre-season usually starts end of August as school starts to wind up. It ends the first weekend of January. Your regional committee will be working on planning pre-seasons workshops and events. These events are usually done in conjunction with the other FRC veteran teams. As a rookie team, you will want to know about these events. Another great reason to start communicating early.
Check the schedule on the Calendar page of oregonfirst.org to see when and where a mentor meeting might be held.
Pre-season is also when a lot of fundraising happens, recruiting new team members, bringing new students up to speed.
The build season starts the day the contest is announced. Usually, it is the first Saturday in January. All teams around the world meet up in kickoff locations to watch the new game, get their kit of parts. Most kickoff events also have a discussion period, a sample field setup so you can see the game in a little more detail. The OregonFIRST kickoff events typically have breakout sessions for team members to get with other teams to share ideas about how to play this game.
Your team then has six short weeks to determine how to play the game, design and build a robot, test the robot, pack it up in a crate, then on the day after Presidents day, ship it to the Regional Event for safe keeping. This is a very busy time for your students and mentors.
Sometime during the month of March, we will be having all of the PNW District Events. Check the FRC calendar for the date of the next event.
This season starts the day after your last event and usually closes the last day of school. This is usually the quiet time for most teams. Typical teams will demonstrate their robot at fundraising events, fairs, elementary schools, and other venues. Fundraising is also common this time of year.