KC FIRST - May 2015 - Season Wrap-Up
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Not the usual FIRST Robotics Competition alliance, these robotics students are putting their heads together for an entertaining pie eating contest during the Kansas City FIRST Robotics Competition Regional (March 14, 2015). It was Pi day!
The 2014-2015 FIRST Season in Review

Over three hundred FIRST teams in Kansas City wrapped up their season in April with 12 of those teams traveling to St. Louis for the FIRST World Championship.  See below for highlights from all four programs.

Junior FLL: The Rinky Dink Thinkers from Overland Park traveled to St. Louis for Worlds and won the Gracious Professionalism award for the second year in a row!  Not so rinky dink at all!

Junior FLL team, the Imagineers, from Academie Lafayette at the Opening Ceremony at Worlds.  "I got a chance to meet people from China, Isreal, Texas, New York, and Mexico... and the head man over LEGO!" 
  - Imagineers team member DeMichael Johnson
An inaugural event was held this season exclusively for Junior FIRST LEGO League to showcase their projects. The Kansas City Public Library partnered with KC STEM Alliance to host 20 teams of 6 - 9 year olds. Teams showed their mechanical model to "reviewers" for this year's theme "Think Tank".  Eighty-five JR FLL teams exist in Kansas City.  Opportunities to share occur about 6 times in the season including the new standalone event, events at 3 FLL qualifiers hosted at local high schools, and demonstration areas at the Kansas City FLL Championship and Maker Faire Kansas City (both at Union Station). 
The JR FLL TechnoTurtles from the KC St. Peter's School made a wonderful video of their trip to St. Louis for Worlds.  View here.
FIRST LEGO League team, the Brick Ops from Ascension Catholic School in Overland Park, not only won the Champion's Award (first place) at the Greater Kansas City FLL Championship, but was also invited to present their project for the Global Innovation Award at the FIRST Worlds Championship in St. Louis.   They were one of only 20 teams (out of 527 from 22 countries) to become semi-finalists for their (patent pending!) product idea, called Lexi-Learn, a tool to aid kids with dyslexia in learning to read.  Congratulations to the Brick Ops for this outstanding accomplishment!
FIRST Tech Challenge continues to grow in its third year in Kansas City!  Over 30 teams compete at the Kansas City Qualification Tournament held at UMKC.  The Astromechs, a team from Parkville, MO, advanced through the FTC tournament structure to reach Super Regionals in Iowa while also inspiring many local teams with their great outreach and assistance.
See the FTC Astromechs of Parkville, MO at Maker Faire Kansas City June 27 and 28,.
The FIRST high school age program, FRC, includes over 50 Kansas City teams, eight of which earned spots at the World Championship.  These teams first compete in a regional tournament.  Kansas City's regional tournament was held at Metropolitan Community College - Business & Technology and hosted 54 teams.  Our local teams not only competed in KC, but represented KC in a total of 8 different regional competitions where they captured 40 awards collectively.  An incredible local showing was made at Worlds where five KC teams made it to division playoffs (competing against over 600 other teams from around the world.)
The excitement of the Kansas City FRC Regional
Upcoming Workshops

Saturday, June 20th OR Saturday, August 1st

So you want to start a FIRST team?

Come to this informational workshop. 
Sessions include JR FLL, FLL, FTC, and FRC.

KC Engineering Zone
at 4825 Troost

FLL and JR FLL - am
FTC and FRC - pm

To RSVP or for more info - contact Jean Melech, FIRST Senior Mentor.
So you want to start a FIRST team?
Upcoming Events

Saturday, June 27th AND Sunday, June 28

Maker Faire
Kansas City

featuring FIRST robots galore

The Grand Hall of Union Station
Come see the robots in action, learn about all four FIRST programs, and meet over 15 FIRST Teams
Robot demos:

Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 10am - 4pm
Upcoming Key Dates

Team Registration
Opening Dates for the 2015-2016 Season:

Junior FLL: August 4
FLL: now open
FTC: now open
FRC: August

Challenge Release/Kickoff
 for the 2015-2016 Season:

Junior FLL: August 4
FLL: August 25
FTC: September 12
FRC: January 9

Contact Robert Dumler, FIRST Regional Director
and Gretchen Neis, FLL Partner
FIRST Coaches - Please take our survey!
We want to learn about your team's mentors.  Whether you are in good shape or in need of mentors, please take a few minutes here.
KC Engineering Zone
UMKC Campus
Register Now
Help FIRST Make KC Better
KC STEM Alliance is currently looking for a FIRST AmeriCorps VISTA member to serve with our current member, Dylan Fuehrer, from August 2015 to August 2016.  FIRST VISTA members work to support and assist teams, mentors, coaches and volunteers with an emphasis on securing and sustaining support to the underserved.  View info button and contact Malcolm Strickland, FIRST Vista Leader.
Kansas City FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Teams
are some of the most successful in the world! 

This year, three of our local teams were ranked in the top 1% worldwide based on regional and championship competition results and awards. 

These teams are:

Lee's Summit High School
(Team Driven),

Lee's Summit West High School
(Team Titanium), and

Smithville High School (S.W.A.T.).

FIRST is not just about the robot.
For these teams to be recognized in competition, it takes community outreach, learning, and inspring others about STEM. 

Students spend long hours and hard work reaching thousands of kids through events all year. 

The Chairman's Award recognizes these efforts and is the most prestigious award of the competition. 


Olathe Northwest High School
(Ravonics Revolution)

has won 5 regional Chairman's Awards over the past 7 years, an astounding feat!

KC STEM Alliance is proud to be part of the Kansas City FIRST community and honored to promote and nurture it as part of our mission in STEM education and access.
Visit and "like" Kansas City FIRST on Facebook.
The Kansas City Engineering Zone opened for business just in time for two FRC teams (Lincoln Prep high school and Paseo high school) to build there.

Copyright © 2015 KC STEM Alliance, All rights reserved.

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