This Week in Robotics - October 28 to November 3rd

This Week in Robotics!

October 29-November 03, 2018

Dear Young Engineers, Human Parents, & Enthusiastic Supporters,

Three important announcements:  

  1. Our 2nd Qualifier is in Constantine, MI 11/17!  We are three lucky teams. Over 170+ Michigan FTC teams are waitlisted and did not get 2nd competitions.  While we didn’t get our requested date, we are competing!  No bus this time, we will need to coordinate transportation.

  2. We are going to host our first FIRST event this Saturday!  The JR FLL Expo! We will need everyone there to help! Sign up HERE.  Come anyway if the sign up is full.  

  3. Also, we are technically obligated to provide a volunteer per team to the events we attend.  Event Queue Helpers and Field Reset volunteers get the closest vantage point to the competitors - if you want to catch your young engineers match from an unrivalled viewpoint.  Volunteering is fun - meet awesome people, FREE TShirt and pin, AND FREE food! In addition, in the hurry-up and wait - you have something to do! Please let Coach Marka know and sign up HERE.

Parent Help

  1. Sign Up for E. Jackson Event Help

  2. Looking for a lunch coordinator for E Jackson and Constantine.

  3. Transportation Coordinator for Constantine - contact Marka at this email address

  4. Volunteer at the Events - E. Jackson & Constantine & States (thinking positive!)

  5. Sign Up for Constantine Event Help

This Week:

Monday, 10/29, 6-8PM - Build, program, organize presentations

Tuesday, 10/30, 6-8PM - Build Room & Field Open

Wednesday, 10/31 Happy Halloween!  No robotics meeting!

Thursday, 11/1, 6-8PM - Build, program, organize notebooks

Saturday, 11/3, 10 AM - Noon - Inaugural FLL Jr Expo! (see below) LUNCH at 12:30  1-6 Robot meeting

A Look Ahead to November

Saturday 11/3 9-12 @ North Creek  - Chelsea’s Inaugural FLL Jr Expo!!  As good citizens in the FIRST and Chelsea Robotics Community, the FTC will be helping!  We will need Young Engineers to show off our robots and also assist in traffic control and assisting the K-3rd graders in their activities.  Sign ups are HERE.  Participation is expected, Please be at NORTH CREEK at 9AM (and there are less sign ups then FTC-er’s) but we will need additional help transporting bots and setting up, crowd control, and basic good examples.  Afterwards, we will be heading back to our lab from 1-6 for working on our bots/presentations.

Monday, 11/5, 6-8PM - Build, program, organize presentations

Tuesday, 11/6, 6-8PM - Build Room & Field Open

Wednesday, 11/7 6-8PM - Last chance to build, program, organize presentations  

Thursday, 11/8, 6-8PM - Pack up for competition!

Saturday 11/10 6:45AM - 8PM - East Jackson Qualifier!  The super cool news is that we have a BUS!  All young engineers will be provided transportation!  How cool is that?!? There will be a few spaces for parents/mentors.  We will need a few parents to drive to transport bots (and enjoy the peace and quiet of their vehicles).  The bus will depart 7AM sharp from Beach Middle School. We will return after the award ceremony, 7:30-8:00 PM, Sign Up genius for snacks, lunch and supervision is forthcoming.  All young engineers are expected to be on the bus for the trip to and from the venue.

Monday, 11/12, 6-8PM - Build, program, organize presentations

Tuesday, 11/13, 6-8PM - Build Room & Field Open

Wednesday, 11/14 6-8PM - Last chance to build, program, organize presentations  

Thursday, 11/15, 6-8PM - Pack up for competition!

Saturday 11/17 5:30AM - 9PM - Constantine Qualifier!  Calling all early birds!  We will need to leave early - some families are planning hotels!  (I need a transportation coordinator parent! No bus this time!) Constantine is 2 hours away and we need to be there at 7:30 AM.   

Eat. Sleep. Robots!

Coach Marka

2018 Sounds and Sights Festival KidZone

The FTC (First Tech Challenge, grades 6-8) students from Beach Middle School participated in a community engagement event at the 2018 Sounds and Sights Festival Kid Zone at the Clock Tower complex on August 28th.

The FTC Young Engineers set up their new regulation playing field and robots so that participants of all ages could experience the thrill of driving the robots themselves.  It was a high point for many future Young Engineers who left with wide smiles and a spark in their their eyes.   

A special thanks goes out to Jesica Federico and other event organizers to extending such as a gracious invitation to our club.  A another thanks for the mentors, parents and families who helped support our Young Engineers at the event.

We look forward to participating win the Festival in 2019!



Blue Thunder FTC Tournament

Blue Thunder FTC Tournament

Congratulations to all students attending the Blue Thunder FTC Tournament.  It was definitely a great way to finish the season. The Gremlins finished qualifying rounds undefeated (5-0-0) and ranked first.  As first alliance captain, they selected the 4th ranked Glitch (4-0-1) to join their alliance. Crash (3-1-1) became the 4th alliance captain.  All three teams met in the semi-finals, Gremlins continued their undefeated dominance and took both the semifinals and finals in 4 quick games to be crowned tournament winners along with Glitch and Michigan Center’s MC Hammers.  In the last final match, Glitch filled the glyph box, capping off an excellent season.

FTC, FLL & FLL Jr, Prepare for FRC Team 1502 Technical Difficulties Appreciation Day


Students from FLL Jr, FLL Cakensteins, the FTC Crash, Gremlins and Glitch got together Monday night to create signs to support their FRC Team, Technical Difficulties 1502 who are competing this Saturday at their second qualifier at Lincoln HighSchool.   (Event info)

It wasn't all work though!  Spontaneous dance practice errupted throughout the night and much fun was had by all!

Come cheer on Technical Difficulties this Saturday at Lincoln High School!




FTC 2017 Year In Review

Congratulations to our Young Engineers at Beach Middle School Robotics for the completion of their 2017 FTC Competition year.  For a second year team, we could not be more proud of our accomplishments.  These are just some of the awards garnered from competitions:

  • Compass Award Winner (Anne Findlay)

  • Promote Award Winner (Gremlins)

  • Promote Award Winner (Crash)

  • Motivate Award Winner (Crash)

  • Motivate Award Finalist (2 Times!! Gremlins)

  • Connect Award Finalist (Gremlins & Glitch)

  • Mentor Award (Kepler Eberle)

  • Innovate Award Finalist (Crash)

  • Think Award Winner (Glitch)

  • Think Award Finalist (Crash)

  • State Championship Competitor (Glitch)

However, the success of our Young Engineers is not solely judged by our accolades, but by the substantial growth and excellent Gracious Professionalism of our students.  Enjoy the video above showcasing this season.

Additionally, the Gremlins received First Place for their Promote Award and Compass Award, honoring their FRC Student Coach Anne Findley.

BMS Robotics - East Jackson Qualifier Report

Dear Awesome Young Engineers, Supportive Parents and Partners,

East Jackson 17 - 14.jpg

What a day!  The Qualifier at East Jackson Secondary School was a great showcase for all the hard work and effort our teams have put in. I am so proud of our young engineers. BMS robotics had strong finishes in both match play and awards.  I can’t believe we are State Championship bound once again!

East Jackson 17 - 1.jpg


Team Glitch finished 3-1-1, 10th out of 36 teams.  They had a strongest finish of any BMS team.  They were awarded the Think Award for the quality of their Engineering Notebook and how it documented the design process.  This award is in the advancement list and won Glitch an invitation to the State Championships in the Kellogg Arena, Battle Creek.

East Jackson 17 - 3.jpg


With a few bad matchups, the Gremlin Bot fell to 2-3 in match play.  However, they cleaned up on the awards.  They won both video awards: The Promote Award - a 40 second video commercial for FIRST - with a rap music video.  The Compass Award -  a video tribute to Anne Findlay, their mentor.  (Anne is a current FRC mentor and CHS senior who is an integral part of the mentor team.  This was a well deserved recognition for her dedication and hard work since the FTC was formed at Beach. Meep, meep, Anne is Awesome.)  They were also Finalists for the Connect award for outreach to engineering and STEM professions in the community and the Motivate award for outreach to the community at large.


East Jackson 17 - 2.jpg


Crash placed 12th in match play, 3-2, and made the Semifinals as the 4th alliances 3rd selection.  This is the first time any BMS team made it to the Elimination rounds in any tournament.  A big shout out to the Crash for adding Ian Carter (Gremlins) and Andrew Hilbert (Glitch) to their pit crew so it would be an all BMS event.  In Awards, the Crash had their turn in Bedford and Mason to pick up trophies.  They were finalists in the Innovate Award, for innovation in design.  Additionally, they also were Finalists in the Connect and Motivate awards.

It is hard to reiterate how proud I am of all our BMS Robotics’ engineers.  They have put in huge blocks of time to build a robot, program a robot, plan a presentation and to reach out to others.

Eat, Sleep, Robots!  Coach Marka


BMS Robotics Crashed into the Bedford Qualifier!

Bedford High School, Temperance MI

Saturday, November 4, 2017

What a day!  I couldn’t be more proud of every one of the young engineers who participated in this event (and the few unable to come but helped make some incredible robots)!  We had some exciting matches and a few frustrating ones.  Several quick stops in the pits to make sometimes radical changes.  It was a good first start to the Robotics season.  What better way to end the night than jumping up and down to “Chelsea! Chlesea!”

The Glitch

The Glitch started off strong,  winning its first match.  Software and battery problems sent them back to the pits more than once, frustrated.   They are looking forward to making their mark in Mason next week.  They still wow’d everyone with their teamwork and graciousness.


The Gremlins quickly took over the pits and the FLL jr tournament with their gremlin mascots.  Everyone seemed to be carrying a wee Gremlin mascot around.  The Gremlins finished the strongest in match play of all the Beach Middle School Teams (3-2-0).   The also were the 1st Finalist in the Motivate Award.  The Motivate Award is awarded on the base of  team outreach and sharing Robotics and FIRST with their local community.

The Crash

The Crash had the most trouble in matches,  tipping over twice.  They made radical changes to the software and amputated their robot’s relic delivery arm righting the balance.  

However,  The Crash “crashed” into the awards ceremony with mentions and received 2 trophies!  They won the Motivate Award! The judges really noticed the Beach Robotics efforts to bring notice to the Chelsea community, with one team winning this award and its sister team, Gremlins, coming in as Finalist.  

The Crash were also 1st Finalists in the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award.  Their Mentor, Kepler Eberle, also received the Mentor/Coach Award.  For a high school junior to beat out the experienced coaches and adult mentors, to be considered to be having a positive impact on young people, was awesome and surprising, but not undeserved.   

Next Up, Mason!

Next up is the Mason Qualifier, this Saturday!  

Competition Dates Confirmed!

So awesome news!  FIRST in Michigan has allowed teams to pick up a THIRD event.  What an opportunity!  Not only do the kids get an extra 5+ matches, more experience, and fun; it allows us an extra 60% more chances to make States!  Unfortunately, our choices were Bedford on the 4th of November (a week earlier than planned) or Houghton in the Upper Peninsula (ha, ha, ha, ha! No way!) So Bedford it is!  I apologize for the limited notice.  

So our competition schedule has been confirmed as follows

November 4 - Bedford Qualifier

Bedford High School
8285 Jackman Rd
Temperance, Mi 48182

November 11 - Mason Qualifier

Mason High School
1001 S Barnes St
Mason, Mi 48854

December 9 - East Jackson Qualifier

East Jackson Secondary School
1566 N Sutton Rd
Jackson, Mi 49202

December 15-16 - States! (Fingers and toes crossed!)

Kellogg Arena
36 W Hamblin Ave
Battle Creek, Mi 49017

FTC attends 2017 Season Kick Off at U of M

The Chelsea Robotics FTC Teams, Crash, Gremlins and Glitch attended the FTC Season Kickoff, hosted by FAMNM at the University of Michigan!  It was an amazing day full of excitement, education and team building. A special thanks goes out to our hosts and the University of Michigan.


For those that missed it, here is the reveal video:  

Game Materials such as the game manual and field design can be found at the First Website.




[FTC@BMS] TWIR, September 4th

Hello everyone - parents, rookie engineers, veteran engineers, and perspective engineers,

     This is mostly a repeat from last week, but we've added quite a few interested parties.  

Weekly Challenge - 



     Look over the new BMS Robotics Handbook.  I am excited to announce (almost) everything is in one place  on how the season is run and what everyone must do to make the season a success.  

9/6 First Meeting and Parent Meeting

The first meeting will be Wednesday, September 6th from 6-8PM in the Tech Room at BMS.  The last half of the meeting will be a parent info session that will start at 7PM.  Since registration is still open,  please RSVP via Sign Up Genius so I can make sure there are enough copies of the handbook and other items.

9/9 Kick-off and GAME REVEAL!

Kick off and Game reveal will be on North Campus of University of Michigan from 10AM to 2:30 PM.  Please RSVP via Sign Up Genius and bring $3 for pizza lunch.  Meet at 9AM in the BMS parking lot to caravan in.


Eat, Sleep, Robots,

Coach Marka

[FTC@BMS] This Week in the Robotics

Hello Everyone!!  

This week robot.png

This includes returning engineers, rookie engineers, perspective young engineers and all parents.  I know everyone is gearing up for the start of BMS Robotics Competition Season! (and the start of classes, too!)  Here are some dates and announcements as we prepare for Relic Recovery!

Registration is still open

Registration Deadline is extended to September 15th! To Register, please turn in the following documents, located here:

  1. FTC 2017-2018 Registration form

  2. FIRST in Michigan Consent form

  3. Emergency contact form

8/26 Fair Parade

Any young engineer that participated in Competition or Team Building seasons is welcome to march.  Meet at 10AM at East & Park.  Bring Candy!

8/30 Beach Middle School Open House

Any veteran engineer is welcome to assist at our table.  Please RSVP via Sign Up Genius. There are 2 shifts (3:30-5:30) and (5:30-7:30).  Please wear your shirt!

9/6 First Meeting and Parent Meeting

The first meeting will be Wednesday, September 6th from 6-8PM in the Tech Room at BMS.  The last half of the meeting will be a parent info session that will start at 7PM.  Since registration is still open,  please RSVP via Sign Up Genius so I can make sure there are enough copies of the handbook and other items.

9/9 Kick-off and GAME REVEAL!

Kick off and Game reveal will be on North Campus of University of Michigan from 10AM to 2:30 PM.  Please RSVP via Sign Up Genius and bring $3 for pizza lunch.  Meet at 9AM in the BMS parking lot to caravan in.


That is a lot!  Phew! Can’t wait to see everyone!

Eat, Sleep, Robots!

Coach Marka