2018 Team Information

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Email blasts will be posted here leading up to and during the competition.

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Most Recent Information is at the top.

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Email Blast #6 sent 10/17:


Hello teams!

(also copied to interested contacts as an invitation to come and watch)

Game Day is almost here!

This week you should be putting the final touches on everything and finalizing travel plans. Robot driver / spotter practice is the single largest factor to your team's success at this point of the contest. BEST Award teams should also be polishing up the Marketing Presentations, exhibit booth, how to handle floor interviews, etc.. Find and read the judging rubrics on the BESTinc.org website for each category if you haven't already. They can and do change from one year to the next.

There seems to be some confusion on team engineering notebooks. All teams are to submit an engineering notebook to be eligible to compete on Saturday, whether your team is a BEST Award contender or not. BEST Award contenders will have their notebook score as part of the award summary score. BEST Award or not, please get something submitted ASAP to avoid any penalties on Saturday. Emailing a PDF of it to michael.janis@bestinc.org is preferred.

If you need to contact us for a Game Day weekend emergency, please call or text Jon Spangler at 469-693-9168, Joel Graber at 214-926-9502 , or page Bill Rock at 972.297.5817 and he'll return your call. We will not be checking emails after noon on Friday.

Event Location (October 19-20)
Newman Smith High School
2335 N. Josey Ln.
Carrollton, TX 75006

We will be in the 2 gymnasiums on the west side of the campus. See attached map for campus layout and parking.


List of Teams Competing for the BEST Award (UIL and "traditional”/non-UIL):
These 26 teams will have space and a table (if requested) provided for a display booth and will be scheduled for the Marketing Presentation. You’ll be provided your booth location at check in. Please reply immediately if your team is not listed and you wanted to be listed, or if your team is listed and should not be listed. If your team is not listed, you’ll be competing for the robot game only award.

A+ Secondary School

Canton High School

Cornerstone Christian Academy

Dallas Lutheran School

BF Darrell High School New Tech

Gilliam Collegiate Academy

Harry Stone Academy

RT Hill Middle School

Hillcrest High School

The Hockaday School

Kaufman High School

Martin's Mill High School

Mesquite Technology Excellence Center

Mexia High School

Newman Smith High School

North Dallas High School

North Mesquite High School

LG Pinkston High School

Sam Houston Middle School

Scurry-Rosser High School

Sunnyvale High School

Talented and Gifted Magnet (TAG Townview)

Uplift North Hills Preparatory

Winnsboro Middle School

Winnsboro High School

Young Women’s Leadership Academy

 

Team Number:
Your team number is found on the handle of the black R-kit case and should be a number between 151 and 200. It must be conspicuously shown on your Robot.


Friday Evening Check-In Info (October 19)
We will open the doors at 5:00 PM for robot compliance, booth setup, banners, pit tables, some Marketing Presentations (previously scheduled; see below), etc.; we will close at 9:00 PM. Please plan to stop work at 9:00!!

Distant schools may defer Friday activities with our approval. We cannot do this for all teams as it would delay the start of the game on Saturday so we limit this offer to distant teams.


Please reread the game's generic rules on robot compliance to be sure you are ready. Pit table setup and battery charging stations will be available on Friday evening, too.


Check in procedure:
- Please inventory your RKit at your school to make sure you have it all, and bring the whole thing to check-in on Friday, on the robot or not. You were given an inventory list for this.
- If there are missing pieces, you'll have a chance to bring them Saturday, or pay for them.
- To keep the line short, please have no more than 2 students and 1 adult in line for your compliance check.
- Adults can check-in the robot without any students present (not preferred), but cannot work on the robot if it fails the check (per generic rules).
- We'll check that all parts are accounted for, and that your robot is in compliance to the rules. Incomplete R-kits are subject to a cost to your team. If that's the case, bring a checkbook to cover missing parts. You may take your joystick controller, batteries, and battery chargers home after check-in if desired, but the robot is to remain in the gymnasium overnight.
- Bring both 7.2v batteries and the charger to check in. Only these batteries and chargers are permitted.
- You will not need your AAA batteries or charger, but they will need to be turned in after the contest with the rest of the R-kit.
- Check your robot for these common compliance issues before checking in:
> Any kind of tape (other than blue painters tape) on any Rkit part like Controller, Joysticks, Cortex, Servos, motors, servo wires, etc.
> Sharp points or sharp edges protruding. You can file/cut/dremel these off, or cover them with foam.
> Non-compliance material, random stuff picked up in the shop: eg 2x4 wood, unusual screws, etc. If we didn’t issue it to you at Kickoff, it’s probably not compliant to the rules.
> Robot size >24" on any side
> Hazardous sharp points
> Using parts from previous years

- Your Consumable Kit materials are yours to keep, but if you don't need some of them - we recycle! Turn them in to us at Check-In. It would help Dallas BEST keep this contest free to schools, be more cost efficient to sponsors, and environmentally friendly if you would bring back your unused and unwanted Ckit materials. Feel free to keep it if you have a use for it, such as other robotics contests, or prototyping in the off-season, but if it is just going to be cluttering up your classroom or dumpster anyway, please bring it back. We especially need any full, uncut, sheets of wood or plastic or metal or PVC pipe/tees/elbows, but even large remaining pieces can help us on future Hub built robots or fields. We will have a reuse/recycling area at Game Day check-in.
- If you still haven't turned in either your Engineering Notebook or Demographics form, you must do so at Check-In or your robot will be placed on a hold status (no compete) until you do.
- Your team's optional t-shirt entry (an actual t-shirt, any size) should be turned in at robot check-in (delayed to Saturday for distant teams with prior approval)

Display booths for BEST Award teams can be set up on Friday evening (preferred). Saturday setup is an option, but your time will be limited. Remember that the size limit is 8'x8'x8' for both the Dallas hub contest as well as the regional Texas BEST and UIL BEST contests. Prior year confusion and additional work for different sizes has been eliminated with the consistent dimensions. Wall power will be made available to all the display booths in a few common locations. Please bring an extension cord if you want to use power.

Pit tables
May be set up on Friday evening or Saturday morning. There will be no wall power at individual tables, but charging tables with wall power will be set up interspersed with the team pit tables. You may temporarily run an extension cord to your pit table from the nearest outlet when needed, but please be very aware of the trip hazard and remove that cord when not in use. Place your robot on your assigned pit table after passing the compliance check. Any significant modifications to your robot require that you return to the Compliance Check table for another check.

Seeding Rounds Schedule

We hope to have this available on Friday evening, or 1st thing Saturday morning at the latest. We are planning for every team to have 5 matches during the seeding rounds.

The Marketing Presentation tentative schedule for Friday night :

For BEST Award contenders that requested a Friday evening Marketing Presentation time, here is the schedule. All remaining BEST Award teams will have their Marketing Presentations scheduled for Saturday. That schedule should be available on Friday night when you check in your robot.

Time

Room A

Room B

5:30-6:00

Hockaday

Young Women's Acad.

6:00-6:30

Winnsboro HS

Winnsboro MS

6:30-7:00

Martins Mill

Mexia

7:00-7:30

TAG

Robert Hill MS

7:30-8:00

Uplift North Hills

Cornerstone

8:00-8:30

North Mesquite

Harry Stone

8:30-9:00

-n/a-

Kaufman

The schedule for Saturday presentations will be available no later than 1st thing Saturday morning. We hope to have it and the seeding match schedule available Friday night.
Bring your presentation on a USB thumb drive. We cannot count on direct access to the room projector. However, a laptop for back-up purposes may be helpful. Actual room numbers will be provided at check-in but will be near the gymnasuims. Contact Michael Janis at michael.janis@raytheon.com for any changes.


Game Day Info (October 20):

Saturday agenda
7:30 AM Door Open - distant school and Friday's rejected robot compliance check; complete pit and display booth setup
8:00 AM All drivers and spotters should be in the gymnasium
~8:30 AM Drivers & Spotters briefing (exact time to be determined and will be announced)
8:45 AM Opening Ceremony and 1st round robots on the Ready Line
9:00 AM Seeding Matches begin! Marketing Presentations resume. Judging begins.
~noon 1 hour Lunch Break, on your own (see below for local on/off campus restaurant suggestions)
~1:15 PM Return to floor and team participation awards given
~1:30 PM Resume Seeding Matches and then Wildcard Matches (based on notebook scores)
~2:30 PM Semifinal Matches start after Wildcard Matches complete
~3:00 PM Final Matches start after Semifinal Matches complete
~3:30 PM Results Announced and Recognized

Due Saturday morning:
Robot check in for distant schools (by arrangement) and recheck for non-compliant robots rejected on Friday night starting at 7:30 AM.

The Marketing Presentation schedule for Saturday should be available on Friday night.
Bring your presentation on a USB thumb drive. We cannot count on direct access to the room projector. A laptop for back-up purposes may be helpful. First presentations start at 9:00 and the last ones should finish by noon.


Number of Seeding Rounds expected to be played:

We estimate 5 matches per team in seeding rounds, but emphasize that it may get cut to 4 depending on time constraints and any unforeseen delays. That includes how fast we can turn the field around between rounds, so please be at the staging area with your robot ready to go one round before your next scheduled round or you might miss that round (zero score). Also please be ready to exit the field immediately after your round has finished and scoring has been completed and signed.

Lunch
We'll announce the time for the lunch break around 11:00, aiming to take that break starting just before noon, returning around 1:15. Listen to the announcements for more details. For lunch (on your own), you may bring in food, have food delivered, or go out to one of the local restaurants, but be mindful of the game restart time and your next match on the seeding schedule. There will be some limited concessions made available by one of the host school’s student groups. For those that took up the offer from the host school for box lunches, you should have received information on picking them up over lunch.

Leaderboard:
BEST is experimenting with a leaderboard tool for live score updates. This *New* Real-Time Leaderboard App works in conjunction with the hub’s Scoring Manager. If you will have internet access at your Game Day venue, take advantage of this functionality to share LIVE scores to everyone. We are planning to use this, but it may or may not be functional for us on Game Day. We’ll let you know on Saturday. See details on the shared Google Drive at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1T7S64zF17_XEhaEA2oQDJOqJS5VVZ0_e .

Wildcard and Semifinal Rounds:
Will start after the Seeding rounds complete. Due to the large number of teams competing this year there are some differences in the Seeding, Wild Card, and Semifinal rounds. Wildcard candidate teams are identified and compete after the seeding matches, with those chosen from the top notebook scores for teams not already advancing to the semifinal rounds. See the generic rules for more details.


What do we do if we don't make the semi-finals?

We'd like all the teams to stay and cheer on the other teams through to the final results. If you must leave early, we understand. Whenever you leave, please strip your robot of the returnable kit parts and turn it in (to be inventoried) before you leave, unless your team is advancing to Texas BEST
or you leave an appropriate deposit ($900 by check) with us to hold onto the kit until December for demonstrations and other purposes. Before you tear down your robot - watch at least through the Wildcard Matches right after the last seeding match. You wouldn't want to miss your 2nd chance! (It's happened!!) Also, with the UIL and non-UIL team quotas, it’s also possible that a team that didn’t make the semifinal rounds will still advance based on their BEST Award score. It happened last year, and it can happen again, so a reasonable guideline would be that if you are tapped for one of the Wildcard matches, even if you don’t win it, or you feel you nailed your Marketing Presentation, you might want to check in with one of us after that to get a read on your chances of advancing before you tear down your robot.

Final Rounds and Awards
Top 4 teams play 3 back to back rounds to determine the final rankings. After the last round completes and we have some time to total the scores, we’ll announce the top winners in each category and which teams will advance to the regional/state BEST Robotics contest. Photo ops abound! (We want some, too!)

Teams advancing to the Texas BEST Regional/State Contest
Nov 29 – Dec 1 in Frisco. If you make the cut, plan to attend all 3 days due to the combined nature of the various divisions and many more teams attending overall. Dallas BEST expects to send a total of 8 teams to the combined regional Texas BEST / UIL BEST contest this year, broken down as follows:
top 3 Small School UIL BEST Award teams
top 2 Large School UIL BEST Award teams
top 2 (non-UIL) BEST award winners
top 1 Game contest winners (not already advancing)
If one or more teams are in the advancing positions in more than one category, we have a formula to determine the advancing teams and will announce them with the awards after the final matches. To be clear – 8 teams in total will advance per this break-down, even if any team places high in more than one of the award categories.
Please follow any and all instructions you'll receive and be aware of any deadlines for registering the team, submitting your (revised) notebook, scheduling the Marketing Presentation, and anything else Texas BEST / UIL BEST related. That event is operated by an entirely different group of people, so you'll need to contact them with any regional contest questions. If you have any Dallas BEST hub related kit or other hub questions, contact us.

Miscellaneous Notes
If you have any feedback for us regarding Kickoff Day, Build Sessions, Demo Day, or any other aspect of this contest, we'd appreciate your candid comments and suggestions.

You should have one or more team members reviewing the game specific information on the national website (
bestinc.org ), in particular, monitor the Q&A section as it is live and updated quite frequently. Possible game rule changes will be identified and announced there.

Is your team in a panic? You may send a picture of your robot to joel.graber@gmail.com or 214-926-9502, and Joel will reply with ideas and suggestions for improvement.


If you have a team website or social media link you would like listed on the Dallas BEST website, please provide the link to Jon Spangler by email. Note that there is no website award this year at the local contest level, but showing evidence of a website is a consideration for some of the BEST Award categories. (There should be a website award at the regional/state BEST contest.)

Thanks! Good Luck! Hope to see you all this weekend!!

Your Dallas BEST Robotics Core Team

http://www.dallas-best.org/
http://www.bestinc.org/

#CurrentEventsBESTrobotics

#BESTRobotics
Facebook: BEST Robotics DallasBESTrobotics
Twitter: @BESTRobotics
@BESTTexRobotics

 

 

 

 

 

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Email Blast #5 sent 10/2:

 

Hello teams!

 

So, with 3 full weeks behind you since Kickoff, how are you doing this week?  You ought to have a robot designed and mostly built that may still be missing a few parts but should be able to move.  Or, maybe not!  As always, if you are totally stuck, please don't give up!  Just ask us for some help!  We can work something out so you get something out of this event. We want all 35 teams to have a moving robot on Game Day!  Don’t forget to keep that team notebook current.  Much easier to do as you move along than try to put one together the week it’s due.

 

A few details:

-There are a good number of useful files we’ve collected and put on this Google drive: DBEST 2018 shared Google Drive  

-If you have any feedback for us regarding the Kickoff Session and/or the Build Session, we'd appreciate your comments and suggestions.

-Reminder that your team number is also your kit number with 4 digits, so use a leading zero.   It should fall in the range of 0150-0199.

-Use that 4 digit number for registering all participants at the national website [details on Google drive]

-Please direct any R-kit questions (missing or failing parts) to Joel Graber at  joel.graber@gmail.com

-Please direct any C-kit questions (missing or defective parts) to Cissy St. John at melissa.stjohn@att.net

-If your team has a website or other social media handles we could use on our website and Facebook page, please forward the appropriate details.  This is optional.  Current year social media tags are given at the end of this email.  Please use frequently!

-UIL teams are expected to self-monitor all participating students’ UIL eligibility and take any appropriate action per UIL rules.

-If you still could use a volunteer mentor for your team, reply to let us know.  We may have to get creative at this stage, but we won’t leave anyone out in the cold.

-BEST Robotics logo files are now available along with a  letter of permission to use them and can be found on our shared drive and on the national BRI File Manager

-A question was raised asking if water could be used in the team exhibit booth for BEST Award contenders, considering the ocean theme for this year.  We have to say ‘no’ to any liquids in that small gymnasium due to safety concerns and host school rules.  So no water in the team exhibit booths.


Worth mentioning separately:

-You should have one or more team members reviewing the game specific information on the national website (bestinc.org), if not daily then at least a few times each week. That would be In addition to fully reading and understanding the rules. “Read the rules.  Read the rules. Read the rules.”  In particular, monitor the Q&A section as it is a living document and updated quite frequently. Any game rule changes will be identified and announced on the Q&A and it is your team’s responsibility to keep aware of these changes.

-The BEST Robotics competition is a student activity, guided by adult teacher/coaches, engineer/mentors, and parent/volunteers.  Please keep in mind that ALL work done on the robot, from design to building to testing and finally driving on Game Day, is to be performed by the students.  Adults can teach, demonstrate, mentor, and supervise, but any parts going on the robot should be the students’ work product.

 

 

Declare for BEST Award (Oct 6):

Non-UIL teams - If your team plans to compete for the Dallas Hub's BEST Award, as opposed to Game Only Award, please let us know at Demo Day or by email reply no later than this date.  If you've already told us, no need to reply.  If you're a UIL participating team, you are automatically set as a BEST Award team.  We need this information to be able to plan space for Display Booths and schedule judges for the Marketing Presentation.  If we don’t hear from you, we’ll have to assume that you are competing as a “Game Only” team.

 

BEST Award Exhibit Booth table/power request (Oct 6):

If you are putting up a Display Booth, please let us know by Demo Day if you want a 6’ folding table that we can provide, and if you need house electric power run to the booth.  The booth size is 8’ x 8’ x 8’ maximum.


Optional BEST Award Friday Evening Marketing Presentation request (Oct 6):
Entirely at your option, but if your BEST Award Marketing Team will be ready to present their pitch on Friday evening (10/19) of Game Day Weekend, between 6:00 PM and 8:30 PM (start times), please let us know so we can make arrangements.  This will give your team relief from doing this on Saturday during the game, although we do schedule teams Saturday presentations to occur during long breaks between matches (unique for each team).  It makes it much easier for us to do that Saturday scheduling if we have some teams already done with that task on Friday.  Either reply by email with your preference or signup at Demo Day for a Friday Marketing Presentation time.  If not, we’ll schedule your team for some time on Saturday.  So far, only Martin’s Mill, Mexia, North Mesquite, and Uplift North Hills have requested Friday presentation times.  We can take at least 8 more teams on Friday.

 

Graduating Senior Award (submitted by the teacher; due Oct 6):
The Graduating Senior Award will be given to one senior Dallas BEST participant based on recommendations from the team's teacher/coach. Please nominate a deserving graduating senior with a description of some of his/her accomplishments, growth, enthusiasm, and impact on: the team, other individuals, you, and the student (any or all categories that apply). Consideration will be given to those students who plan to choose a STEM course of study in college.  Limit your nomination to 250 words or less.

Please include: student's name, teacher’s name, school name, the number of years the student was involved in BEST. The nomination should be submitted by email to Mary Helmick (new email address: 
mary.helmick@bestinc.org) no later than 11:59 PM Saturday, October 6.  No nominations will be accepted after that time. Use the subject line: Graduating Senior Award. 

The hub core team will review the nominations and announce a winner at Game Day, to include a monetary award to be used for the winning student's higher education needs.


The Pete Lohstreter Outstanding Teacher Award (please provide this to your students; due Oct 6):
Your teachers put in a lot of time being the sponsor and coach for your BEST Robotics team and this year we want to recognize that teacher who is the BEST! It’s up to you to tell us why your teacher deserves the recognition of the BEST Teacher. There are no defined requirements to meet, we just want you to tell us why you think your teacher should get the award. Organize your thoughts and put it all together. This is the information we must have: school name, teacher’s name, subjects taught, years in BEST, other activities your teacher sponsors
 
Other things you might want to include when writing your nomination: why does your teacher deserve this award above all the other teachers; what has your teacher done that is special for your team; how do they get you enthused for robotics;  how many hours did your teacher put in to be your sponsor; what did they have to give up to do BEST; what makes your teacher special;  include anything you think will make us choose your teacher to receive this annual teacher award. Put some real thought into convincing us that your teacher is special!  Limit your nomination to 250 words or less.

Please include: submitting student's name, nominated teacher’s name, school name, the number of years the teacher was involved in BEST. The nomination should be submitted by email to Mary Helmick (new email address: 
mary.helmick@bestinc.org) no later than 11:59 PM Saturday, October 6.  No nominations will be accepted after that time.  Use the subject line: Outstanding Teacher. 

The hub core team will review the nominations and announce a winner at Game Day, to include a plaque and monetary award.

Demo Day (Saturday, Oct 6; team schedule below):

Our next milestone event is Demo Day at the end of week 4 on October 6 at Gilliam Academy, 1700 E. Camp Wisdom Road, Dallas 75241, starting at 8 AM, with the last 90 minute time slot starting at 2:45 PM, leaving by 4:15.  We've always had some difficulty getting all of our teams to participate at Demo Day.  It's worth the trip to try your robot on the actual game field, and take notes of your competition, much like a trade show where you can legitimately gather intelligence on your opponents.  (They probably won't show you everything, but you can ask!)  If nothing else, try to send a few folks as a "scouting party" to check out any concerns you have about your game plan as it relates to the game field.  It also gives you an extra week to do some final tuning of your robot design and game strategy.  We're all in this to learn something, so make the opportunities!  See team schedule at the end of this email.  If your time slot won’t work for your team (we did ask for preferences), let us know and we’ll try to work out a swap. School drop-off and parking map can be found on the DBEST 2018 shared Google Drive  

Dallas ISD Schools:  work with Joseph Schelanko at the district central admin. for your bus scheduling.  He may have to swap DISD school slots to work better with the transportation.

 

Notebook Submission (Saturday, Oct 13):

Your team notebook is due by email no later than 11:59 PM on Saturday, October 13.  No exceptions!  All teams must submit a notebook to be eligible to compete on Game Day.  Plan for this!!  Don’t forget to keep it up to date frequently.  This year you will convert and/or scan all of your notebook pages to a single PDF file, with a team appropriate file name, and submit it by email.  Please also include your Demographics Form that can be found on the bestinc.org website, "Participants" > File Manager >  MAIN / 2018 Game Files / Rules / Team Demographics Forms  Email your PDF Notebook with Demographic Form as an attached file to:  michael.janis@bestinc.org.

 

 

Game Day Eve Check-In (Friday, Oct 19)  at Newman Smith High School, Carrollton:

All robots are expected to be brought in for a rule compliance check and left overnight unless failing that check.  Exceptions to allow check-in for some distant teams may be considered with prior arrangements.  We cannot possibly check in more than a few of the robots on the morning of our Game Day, so please plan accordingly.  It is not necessary for your entire team to show up at Check-in.  Pit tables for all teams, and display booths for BEST Award teams (including UIL) may be set up that evening.  UIL/BEST Award teams that indicate they’ll do their Marketing Presentations on Friday evening will be accommodated.

 

T-Shirt Award  (Friday, Oct 19):

Your team's optional t-shirt entry (an actual t-shirt, any size) should be turned in Friday evening before Game Day at robot check-in (delayed to Saturday for distant teams with prior approval)
 

Game Day (Saturday, Oct 20):

We’ll provide more details on Game Day in general as we get close, but you can plan on doors opening at 7:30 AM, first match starting at 9:00, and our goal is to be finished before 5:00 PM.  Clean up help after the event is also appreciated. 

 

Our Newman Smith High School hosts are offering a box lunch option for teams if desired.  Each team will have a signup spreadsheet to allow sandwich options that will be returned to the contact person. You can find the spreadsheet on the above mentioned DBEST 2018 shared Google Drive  .  Please forward your team’s list by email to Meaghan DeLong at:  delongm@cfbisd.edu

 

Remember – no liquids in the gymnasiums, which includes the Team Exhibit Booth for BEST Award teams.

 

 

Regional Texas BEST and Texas State UIL Robotics - BEST Division Contest (Nov 29 – Dec 1): 

For the top teams from our local contest, a number of teams will advance to represent Dallas BEST at the regional contest in Frisco (and only in Frisco this year!).  This will again be a combined contest for the regional Texas BEST and state UIL Robotics Championship – BEST Division.  If your team makes the cut, plan to attend all 3 days due to the combined nature of the various divisions and large number of teams attending overall.  We should have our team quotas soon but we expect it to be around 10 total, like last year.  Advancing teams of any category (Texas BEST, UIL BEST Division, or Game Only) will need to get their notebooks updated (recommended) and turned in some time before the regional competition dates.  More details will be provided as we get closer.

 

 

———————————
Email Blast #4 sent 9/24

:

Hello teams!

 

So, with 2 full weeks behind you since Kickoff, how are you doing?  You ought to be working on the tactical details of your robot design and making at least a few parts.  Or, maybe not!  As always, if you are totally stuck, please don't give up!  Just ask us for some help.  We can work something out. We want all 35 teams to have a moving robot on Game Day!  Don’t forget to keep that team notebook current.  Much easier to do as you move along than try to put one together the week it’s due.

 

A few details:

-There are a good number of useful files we’ve collected and put on this Google drive:   https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1T7S64zF17_XEhaEA2oQDJOqJS5VVZ0_e

-If you have any feedback for us regarding the Kickoff Session and/or the Build Session held that afternoon, we'd appreciate your comments and suggestions.

-Reminder that your team number is also your kit number with 4 digits, so use a leading zero.   It should fall in the range of 0150-0199.

-Use that 4 digit number for registering all participants at the national website [details on Google drive]

-Please direct any R-kit questions (missing or failing parts) to Joel Graber at  joel.graber@gmail.com

-Please direct any C-kit questions (missing or defective parts) to Cissy St. John at melissa.stjohn@att.net

-If your team has a website or other social media handles we could use on our website and Facebook page, please forward the appropriate details.  This is optional.  Current year social media tags are given at the end of this email.  Please use frequently!

-Scheduling requests for Marketing Presentations (UIL/BEST Award only) on Check In Friday evening of Game Day weekend (11/3) can be accepted at any time.   We anticipate around 26 teams needing to present, so the more we can do on Friday evening, the better for us all.   The remaining teams will be scheduled during open times during the Saturday contest.

-UIL teams are expected to self-monitor all participating students’ UIL eligibility and take any appropriate action per UIL rules.

-If you still could use a volunteer mentor for your team, reply to let us know.  We may have to get creative at this stage, but we won’t leave anyone out in the cold.

 

C-kit missing IGUS parts delivered:

The missing IGUS materials at Kickoff Day should have been delivered to all teams.  Let us know if you did not receive a complete IGUS kit this past week.


Worth mentioning separately:

-You should have one or more team members reviewing the game specific information on the national website (bestinc.org), if not daily then at least a few times each week. That would be In addition to fully reading and understanding the rules. “Read the rules.  Read the rules. Read the rules.”  In particular, monitor the Q&A section as it is a living document and updated quite frequently. Any game rule changes will be identified and announced on the Q&A and it is your team’s responsibility to keep aware of these changes.

-The BEST Robotics competition is a student activity, guided by adult teacher/coaches, engineer/mentors, and parent/volunteers.  Please keep in mind that ALL work done on the robot, from design to building to testing and finally driving on Game Day, is to be performed by the students.  Adults can teach, demonstrate, and supervise, but any parts going on the robot should be the students’ work product.

Declare for BEST Award (Oct 6):

Non-UIL teams - If your team plans to compete for the Dallas Hub's BEST Award, as opposed to Game Only Award, please let us know at Demo Day or by email reply no later than this date.  If you've already told us, no need to reply.  If you're a UIL participating team, you are automatically set as a BEST Award team.  We need this information to be able to plan space for Display Booths and schedule judges for the Marketing Presentation.  If you are putting up a Display Booth, please let us know if you want a 6’ folding table that we can provide, and if you need house electric power run to the booth.  The standard hub size is 8’ x 8’ x 8’ maximum.

 

Demo Day (Saturday, Oct 6; schedule below):

Our next milestone event is Demo Day at the end of week 4 on October 6 at Gilliam Academy, 1700 E. Camp Wisdom Road, Dallas 75241, starting at 8 AM, with the last 90 minute time slot starting at 2:45 PM, leaving by 4:15.  We've always had some difficulty getting all of our teams to participate at Demo Day.  It's worth the trip to try your robot on the actual game field, and take notes of your competition, much like a trade show where you can legitimately gather intelligence on your opponents.  (They probably won't show you everything, but you can ask!)  If nothing else, try to send a few folks as a "scouting party" to check out any concerns you have about your game plan as it relates to the game field.  It also gives you a week to do some final tuning of your robot design and game strategy.  We're all in this to learn something, so make the opportunities!  See team schedule at the end of this email.  If your time slot won’t work for your team (we did ask for preferences), let us know and we’ll try to work out a swap. 
Dallas ISD Schools:  work with Joseph Schelanko at the district central admin. for your bus scheduling.  He may have to swap DISD school slots to work better with the transportation.

 

Notebook Submission (Saturday, Oct 13):

Your team notebook is due by email no later than 11:59 PM on Saturday, October 6.  No exceptions!  Plan for this!!  Don’t forget to keep it up to date frequently.  This year you will convert all of your notebook pages to a single PDF file, with a team appropriate file name, and submit it by email.  Email recipient address will be provided soon.  Please also include your Demographics Form that can be found on the bestinc.org website, "Participants" > File Manager >  MAIN / 2018 Game Files / Rules / Team Demographics Forms

 

Graduating Senior Award (submitted by the teacher):
The Graduating Senior Award will be given to one senior Dallas BEST participant based on recommendations from the team's teacher/coach. Please nominate a deserving graduating senior with a description of some of his/her accomplishments, growth, enthusiasm, and impact on: the team, other individuals, you, and the student (any or all categories that apply). Consideration will be given to those students who plan to choose a STEM course of study in college.  Limit your nomination to 250 words or less.

Please include: student's name, teacher’s name, school name, the number of years the student was involved in BEST. The nomination should be submitted by email to Mary Helmick (
mary@ti.com) no later than 11:59 PM Saturday, October 6.  No nominations will be accepted after that time. Use the subject line: Graduating Senior Award. 

The hub core team will review the nominations and announce a winner at Game Day, to include a monetary award to be used for the winning student's higher education needs.


The Pete Lohstreter Outstanding Teacher Award (please provide this to your students):
Your teachers put in a lot of time being the sponsor and coach for your BEST Robotics team and this year we want to recognize that teacher who is the BEST! It’s up to you to tell us why your teacher deserves the recognition of the BEST Teacher. There are no defined requirements to meet, we just want you to tell us why you think your teacher should get the award. Organize your thoughts and put it all together. This is the information we must have: school name, teacher’s name, subjects taught, years in BEST, other activities your teacher sponsors
 
Other things you might want to include when writing your nomination: why does your teacher deserve this award above all the other teachers; what has your teacher done that is special for your team; how do they get you enthused for robotics;  how many hours did your teacher put in to be your sponsor; what did they have to give up to do BEST; what makes your teacher special;  include anything you think will make us choose your teacher to receive this annual teacher award. Put some real thought into convincing us that your teacher is special!  Limit your nomination to 250 words or less.

Please include: submitting student's name, nominated teacher’s name, school name, the number of years the teacher was involved in BEST. The nomination should be submitted by email to Mary Helmick (
mary@ti.com) no later than 11:59 PM Saturday, October 6.  No nominations will be accepted after that time.  Use the subject line: Outstanding Teacher. 

The hub core team will review the nominations and announce a winner at Game Day, to include a plaque and monetary award.

Game Day Eve Check-In (Friday, Oct 19)  at Newman Smith High School, Carrollton:

All robots are expected to be brought in for a rule compliance check and left overnight unless failing that check.  Exceptions to allow check-in for some distant teams may be considered with prior arrangements.  We cannot possibly check in more than a few of the robots on the morning of our Game Day, so please plan accordingly.  It is not necessary for your entire team to show up at Check-in.  Pit tables for all teams, and display booths for BEST Award teams (including UIL) may be set up that evening.  UIL/BEST Award teams that indicate they’ll do their Marketing Presentations on Friday evening will be accommodated.

 

Game Day (Saturday, Oct 20):

We’ll provide more details on Game Day in general as we get close, but you can plan on doors opening at 7:30 AM, first match starting at 9:00, and our goal is to be finished before 5:00 PM.  Clean up help after the event is also appreciated.  Our Newman Smith High School hosts are offering a box lunch option for teams if desired.  Each team will have a signup spreadsheet to allow sandwich options that will be returned to the contact person. You can find the spreadsheet on the above mentioned Google Drive.  Please forward your team’s list by email to Meaghan DeLong at:  delongm@cfbisd.edu

 

Regional Texas BEST and Texas UIL Robotics - BEST Division Contest (Nov 29 – Dec 1): 

For the top teams from our local contest, a number of teams will advance to represent Dallas BEST at the regional contest in Frisco.  This will again be a combined contest for the regional Texas BEST and state UIL Robotics Championship – BEST Division.  If your team makes the cut, plan to attend all 3 days due to the combined nature of the various divisions and large number of teams attending overall.  We should have our team quotas soon but we expect it to be around 10 total, like last year.  Advancing teams of any category (Texas BEST, UIL BEST Division, or Game Only) will need to get their notebooks updated and turned in some time before the regional competition dates.  More details will be provided as we get closer.

 

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Email Blast #3 sent 9/17:

 

Hello teams!

 

So, with 2 weekends under your belts, how are you doing?  Hopefully you have your gaming strategy worked out and are working on the tactical details of your robot design.  Or, maybe not!  As always, if you are totally stuck, please don't give up!  Just ask us for some help.  We can work something out. We want all 35 teams to have a moving robot on Game Day!

 

Your Action – please reply with a preferred Demo Day practice time between 8 AM and 3 PM, or reply to let us know that you have no preference, or, if it can’t be helped, that you won’t be attending Demo Day.

 

A friendly reminder:

The BEST Robotics competition is a student activity, guided by adult teacher/coaches, engineer/mentors, and parent/volunteers.  Please keep in mind that ALL work done on the robot, from design to building to testing and finally driving on Game Day, is to be performed by the students.  Adults can teach, demonstrate, and supervise, but any parts going on the robot should be the students’ work product.

 

A few details:

-Some training materials from Kickoff Day are attached.  Also see this Google drive for more notebook guidance:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sTm53SMc2niXExXPHtEV3iMNbhAd_PGP/view?usp=sharing

-If you have any feedback for us regarding the Kickoff Session and/or the Build Session held that afternoon, we'd appreciate your comments and suggestions.

-Reminder that your team number is also your kit number with 4 digits, so use a leading zero.   It should fall in the range of 0150-0199.

-Use that 4 digit number for registering all participants at the national website [details below]

-Please direct any R-kit questions (missing or failing parts) to Joel Graber at  joel.graber@gmail.com

-Please direct any C-kit questions (missing or failing parts) to Cissy St. John at melissa.stjohn@att.net

-All teams should be able to access any of the provided programming software tools.  The links and codes to access the were provided in email blast #1 sent before Kickoff.

-If your team has a website or other social media handles we could use on our website and Facebook page, please forward the appropriate details.  This is optional.  Current year social media tags are given at the end of this email.  Please use frequently!

-Please reply (to me only), if you haven’t already done so, with either a couple of time slots of your preference for Demo Day between 8 AM and 3 PM for 90 minutes, or to let us know that any time is OK with your team.  If your team cannot attend, please let us know that.  We understand, but you'll be missing a significant practice opportunity.  We’ll send out and post a tentative schedule on the Demo Day section of our website soon.  (www.dallas-best.org )

-Scheduling requests for Marketing Presentations (UIL/BEST Award only) on Check In Friday evening of Game Day weekend (11/3) can be accepted at any time.   We anticipate around 26 teams needing to present, so the more we can do on Friday evening, the better for us all.   The remaining teams will be scheduled during open times during the Saturday contest.

-UIL teams are expected to self-monitor all participating students’ UIL eligibility and take any appropriate action per UIL rules.

-If you still could use a volunteer mentor for your team, reply to let us know.  We may have to get creative at this stage, but we won’t leave anyone out in the cold.

 

C-kit missing IGUS parts:

The IGUS materials were not delivered in time for our Kickoff Day, but we have them now.  Please use the new IGUS parts when you receive them and for those that did get some IGUS parts at Kickoff, you can do as you please with them.  But remember that your robot can only use the items on the kit lists, so just because you might have 2 IGUS tracks doesn’t mean you may use both of them.  Here’s the plan to get the IGUS materials to the teams:

 By mail (sent over the weekend): Frankston, Hawkins, Mexia, Winnsboro (MS & HS)

 Please arrange to pick up at Kaufman HS: Kaufman, Scurry-Rosser, Canton, Martin’s Mill, Fruitvale. Should be in Steve Bucholtz’s hands later today  [sbucholtz@kaufman-isd.net}

 Meadowbrook- Joel will bring with the C-kit and R-kit

 All others: Cissy will drop off your IGUS parts at your school’s front office, and they should call you when that happens.

Our apologies for the delay and confusion.  “Supplier issues”

 

BEST National Participant Registry:

See attached flyer to follow up on the Kickoff Day information.


Worth mentioning separately:

-You should have one or more team members reviewing the game specific information on the national website (bestinc.org), if not daily then at least a few times each week. That would be In addition to fully reading and understanding the rules.  In particular, monitor the Q&A section as it is a living document and updated quite frequently.  Any game rule changes will be identified and announced there and it is your team’s responsibility to keep aware of these changes.

 

Declare for BEST Award (Oct 6):

Non-UIL teams - If your team plans to compete for the Dallas Hub's BEST Award, as opposed to Game Only Award, please let us know at Demo Day or by email reply no later than this date.  If you've already told us, no need to reply.  If you're a UIL participating team, you are automatically set as a BEST Award team.  We need this information to be able to plan space for Display Booths and schedule judges for the Marketing Presentation.  If you are putting up a Display Booth, please let us know if you want a 6’ folding table that we can provide, and if you need house electric power run to the booth.  The standard hub size is 8’ x 8’ x 8’ maximum.

 

Demo Day (Saturday, Oct 6):

Our next milestone event is Demo Day at the end of week 4 on October 6 at Gilliam Academy, 1700 E. Camp Wisdom Road, Dallas 75241, starting at 8 AM, with the last 90 minute time slot starting at 3 PM.  We've always had some difficulty getting all of our teams to participate at Demo Day.  It's worth the trip to try your robot on the actual game field, and take notes of your competition, much like a trade show where you can legitimately gather intelligence on your opponents.  (They probably won't show you everything, but you can ask!)  If nothing else, try to send a few folks as a "scouting party" to check out any concerns you have about your game plan as it relates to the game field.  It also gives you a week to do some final tuning of your robot design and game strategy.  We're all in this to learn something, so make the opportunities!

 

Notebook Submission (Saturday, Oct 13):

Your team notebook is due no later than 4 PM that day.  No exceptions!  Plan for this!!  Don’t forget to keep it up to date frequently.  This year you will convert all of your notebook pages to a single PDF file, with a team appropriate file name, and submit it by email.  Email recipient will be provided soon.  Please also include your Demographics Form that can be found on the bestinc.org website, "Participants" > File Manager >  MAIN / 2018 Game Files / Rules / Team Demographics Forms

Thanks!  Good Luck!  Hope to see you all at Demo Day!!

 

Game Day (Saturday, Oct 20):

We’ll provide more details later, but we wanted to let you know that our Newman Smith High School hosts are offering a box lunch option for teams.  Each team will have a signup spreadsheet to allow sandwich options that will be returned to the contact person. We’ll follow up later, but we wanted to get this word out early.

 

 

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