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Newsletter #4 – Full STEAM Ahead

Dear mentors,


We have a lot to cover in so little time, hence here goes a very long email Please read it all the way through. There are many action items for you and your team, so make sure you read it all before you delete this!


1. Hotels. Our event is during Palm Beach high season. Hotels are expensive, and the room blocks we have are ending, so if you haven’t reserved your hotel nights yet, you will end up with VERY high prices. The hotels that still have rooms for us at discounted prices are: Best Western (2/21), Hilton (2/28), Holiday Inn (2/21), Marriott (2/7 – today!) The dates inside the () are when the blocks are released and we no longer have preferred pricing. Please use our website to do your reservations.


2. Food. There will be food for you to pre-order. Enclosed is the form to do so. Please note that you can NOT bring food INSIDE the Palm Beach Convention Center. However you can eat anything you want outside. There is a beautiful patio to have a picnic but has no benches or tables, and there is also a park right behind us, just make sure you don’t take too long – matches will not be delayed for missing teams.  Also, this year the concession stand inside the Pit area will be open to buy finger foods and other not-so-healthy food, but critical by 4 pm.


3. Volunteers. We are very short on volunteers, therefore it would be very appreciated if each team would help us by volunteering to take care of Safety Glasses and Crowd Control stations. We have divided the the days in blocks, and we ask for teams to provide 6 volunteers for Safety glasses and 10 volunteers for Crowd Control. Please contact Lisa Smith at [email protected] to schedule your time slot. First come first served, and everyone is expected to serve, so do this as soon as possible. Thanks!


4. Student Ambassadors. We will be selecting up to 20 students to serve as Student Ambassadors to meet with company sponsors, media outlets, escort visitors around the Palm Beach Convention Center and serve as an information source at the Information Desk during the Regional. These students also give VIP tours. These students need to be able to comfortably talk with adults in clear and concise terms, covey the values of FIRST and be able to give statistics about the Regional and their own teams.  Please fill the enclosed form and send it to our Ambassador Coordinator Stacey Jones at  stacey[email protected]


5. Team Social. For the first time we are having a team social for the South Florida regional, courtesy of team 1251 TechTigers. They are having an event planned with the City of Palm Beach, which will take place at Clematis by Night – an outdoor concert, right in front of the Palm Beach Inter-coastal waterway – beautiful place to relax and have fun. The City will probably offer transportation to the teams, but they need to know how many teams will participate. So if you think your team will attend the Team Social on Thursday March 2nd, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, kindly contact Karla Chang at [email protected] and let her know how many students will attend. This is not a FIRST sponsored event.

6. CSA. We need a second CSA to help support the teams with control system issues in the pits and who assists teams with Robot Control System-related issues. The CSA works in collaboration with the FIRST Technical Advisor and/or Robot Inspectors, who may direct teams experiencing issues on the field or in the pits to the CSA for assistance. This position requires a high level of technical knowledge and interpersonal skills, and has the ability to affect the quality of the event. Further information on Responsibilities and Training can be found at .

Please pass this information on to the mentors on your team and ask them to consider supporting the regional in this role. In appreciation, the volunteer will receive a volunteer t-shirt, meals during the event and a cool orange CSA hat. Please contact Warren Boudreaux at [email protected]
7. Brothers and Sisters Program. The South Florida FIRST Presidents Club has a beautiful program where they are matching out-of-state and international teams with local teams to make sure they get all the support they need while they are visiting us. Please contact Sid Rath, President of the Club at [email protected] to get matched to a local team if you haven’t done so. Or contact him if you want your team to help welcome an OOS or International team.
8. Seniors Recognition. Please let your Seniors know that they need to register at the VIP table when they arrive.
9. Team picture. We need you team picture ASAP. Thanks!
10. Parking. The Convention Center is building a new parking lot. The cost per day is $10. Load in on Wednesday will not incur parking fees, but you need to stay in your vehicle to move it out of the way for upcoming teams. There is no space for Trucks, RVs or Buses in the new parking garage. If you have an over-sized vehicle they will give you a spot in the old parking area and charge you extra. Please note FIRST has no inference in what they charge for parking. The parking lot is owned by the County.
If you have any questions, comments, or just want to chat, give me a call at 954-281-2202 or email me at [email protected]
Happy building!
Sandra Contreras

Regional Director, FIRST ®  South Florida

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology

200 Bedford Street  |  Manchester, NH 03101  |
C:  954.281.2202

E: [email protected]

W: | @SouthFloridaFRC  |