Expanding FIRST

FRC 4607 takes pride that we have created opportunities for many students on our team, in our school district, in our community, throughout Minnesota, and beyond through our various programs. These programs and organizations include the JUMPSTART Training Events, Central Minnesota Robotics Hub, The Vermillion League, and partnerships with the Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota United F.C.

C.I.S. has mentored over 50 FIRST teams. We have started 14 FRC teams and 27 FIRST teams overall. Five of the teams we have started have gone on to win Rookie All-Star. From the teams we have mentored many have gone on to be alliance captains, regional winners, regional finalists, state qualifiers, and State Champions. Many times our mentored teams have beaten us both in qualifications and even in playoffs. We take pride in their success.

JUMPSTART Training Events 

C.I.S. founded and operates the JUMPSTART events. The idea behind this initiative is to provide access and opportunities to these training events free of charge.  This means that we are working constantly to find host sites, sponsors, and donors that can make this possible. The event sessions are staffed by other teams that can lend their own expertise in a 30-45 minute ‘infomercial’ where they provide as much information as possible, and then continue the training off-site.  We believe that this helps to create a much more connected community of learners and mentors.

The JUMPSTART initiative started with 1 event in 2015, and in 4 years grew to 7 events. Because of this expansion, we have extended the JUMPSTART initiative to include FLL, FTC, and FIRST Mentors. The 7 JUMPSTART events consist of JUMPSTART events at: SCSU, NDSU, MMR, Medtronic, Becker, Rogers, and for Mentors.  

Mentoring Teams 

FRC 4607 makes it a point to work with new and emerging teams, just as others had helped us get on our way.  Since 2014, we have worked with several different FRC teams; helping to start fourteen teams. Of the teams we mentored as Rookies, four have gone on to win the Rookie All-Star award, and two were Rookie Inspiration teams.  Four of the teams we have worked with have gone on to win Regional Events. 

We have also started and mentored multiple FTC and FLL teams from around the area.  Even in a small town such as Becker, we have four FTC, and five FLL teams. We also work with teams from Elk River, STMA, and surrounding communities.

Central Minnesota Robotics Hub 

We founded the Central Minnesota Robotics Hub with a goal: to raise the bar for all teams in our area..  The CMNRH started with 6 teams in 2015, and has grown to 21 as of January 2019. We work around the Central Minnesota area to help improve all robotics teams. This is made possible by sharing shop space, build resources, and even mentors. 

CMNRH works together are through weekly build season meetings where mentors and students alike discuss their progress and any problems. 

Five years ago, not a single hub team qualified for Champs; in the last two seasons (2018 & 2019), 11 teams qualified for a trip to Detroit.

High Tech Kids FTC Vermilion League 

The Vermilion League was created by 4607 in 2017, and it is the first FTC League in Minnesota. This league consists of 1 FTC scrimmage, 3 league events, and 1 league qualifier, which span over a period of 4 months. These events are hosted at Becker High School and Prairie View Elementary and Middle School. The league allows teams to compete in at least 25 matches, resulting in more chances at re-iteration of design and a way for teams to build relationships. C.I.S. team members volunteer at these events as judges, scorekeepers, and inspectors, as well as setting up and taking down the field elements. 

FRC Kickoff

In 2014, FRC 4607 started our Alumni Pancake kick-off and invited  three other teams to attend. We hosted 23 teams from across Minnesota attended and celebrated the FRC game reveal, INFINITE RECHARGE. Shortly after the game announcement, the remaining FRC teams discussed and debriefed the new game during a large group lunch. The day consisted of two breakout sessions and concluded with a Q&A about strategy and game break down led by Ryan Swanson a 4607 alumni. 

MNFIRST Off-Season Events 

FRC 4607 makes it a point to compete in Minnesota’s various off-season events.  We have been a staple at all of the four open off-season ‘regionals’. These events are important to C.I.S. because it allows for more training of our own students and mentors as well as offers an opportunity to showcase how impactful this program is to all involved.

We participate in all of MNFIRST’s off-season events such as the Gitchi Gummi Get-Together, EMCC, Minnesota Robotics Invitational, and the Minnie-Mini Regional. We provide the opportunity for all our rookie teams to attend one of these events by lending them a robot and paying their registration fee. 

Open Shop, Open Build, Opening Minds 

We are an open-build team which means that we encourage teams to visit our facility. Open build allows teams to use our build space, resources, and materials. This assistance builds strong competition robots. The open build mentality facilitates new pathways for us to mentor other teams.