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 3 years has grown to 6 events. Because of this expansion, we have extended the JUMPSTART initiative to include FLL, FTC, and FIRST Mentors. The 6 JUMPSTART events consist of: JUMPSTART SCSU, JUMPSTART NDSU, JUMPSTART Becker, JUMPSTART Rogers, and JUMPSTART for Mentors.
We are excited for the next chapter for JUMPSTART coming in 2019 with at least two more locations!
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 over 30 FRC teams, starting 14 of these. 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 six FTC teams and five FLL teams. We also work with teams from Elk River, STMA, and surrounding communities.
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 the Elk River Handke Center. 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.
In 2014, FRC 4607 started our Alumni Pancake kick-off and invited in three other teams. 2019 marks the 6th annual central Minnesota kick-off. We hosted 33 teams from across Minnesota attended and celebrated the FRC game reveal, Destination: DEEP SPACE. Shortly after the game announcement, the remaining 18 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, founder of COR, FUM board member, and 4607 alumni.
Central Minnesota Robotics Hub
In 2015, we founded the Central Minnesota Robotics Hub. 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.
Another great way CMNRH works together are through its weekly build season meetings; during these meeting coaches and mentors talk about their progress and any problems they are having. Students also attend during the build seas and have strategy/show and tell sessions to help further their designs together.
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.