Hi Utah FRC Mentors,
See the following message from Doug Hendricks, lead mentor for the AMES Amperes regarding an off-season event in December before Winter Break.
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Hello again fellow Wasatch Front FRC mentors,
Most of you responded with an enthusiastic "yes" to the question I asked recently about whether or not you'd like to participate in a Preseason Robotics Competition in early December.  So let's plan accordingly.
My students are currently working up the rules for this year's game.  That process can take some time.  Even with the rules not yet being finalized, I can tell you enough today so that you and your students can at least get started now designing your robots.  
- As we've done in previous Preseason Robotics Competitions, the rules are being written with the intent that you won't need to make major modifications to your robots from last year's FRC competition if you don't want to, but there will be incentive to make some modifications.  Also, it will be possible to score at least some points if all your robot can do is drive around without doing anything else.
- Points will be awarded for robots shooting the yellow balls from last year's FRC competition into targets.  There will be a high target that'll get you more points, and a low target that'll get you fewer points.  (Heights and sizes of targets are still to be determined.)
-  Balls that miss the target and land on the floor can be picked up by robots for re-shooting, or robots can go to a loading station where they can be manually reloaded.
- Points can also be earned by moving empty 2-liter soda bottles from one place to another.  There will be either a platform or a box with high sides where robots can place soda bottles to get points.  The robot will need to lift the bottles to some not yet determined height in order to get the bottles to the table or into the box.  There will also be an area on the floor where robots can place (or simply push) soda bottles in order to get fewer points.
- The date and location are still to be determined.  We're trying to set something up for either the first or second Saturday in December.  We're trying to set something up in the Cottonwood High cafeteria like we've done in previous years, but it's taking time to get confirmation on that.  We might need to ask one of you if we can do it at your school.  Could any of you possibly host this event at your school if we're unable to book the space at Cottonwood?
More details will be sent out later, but hopefully the information above will let you get started. 
I hope you all have fun with this!  (And if your students can also learn something along the way, then that would be nice too.)

Douglas Hendricks
Physics and Engineering Teacher
Academy for Math, Engineering and Science

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