Happy New Year!  We are hitting the ground running in 2023, with lots of important information to share.  There are several opportunities for your students included in this email, so we have made a post just for them on our FIN Blog so they can take full advantage of all of the opportunities that come along with participation in FIRST programs!  Please share this link with them.

January Update Highlights

Important Dates

  • December 23-26 – FIN Offices Closed
  • January 1 – Happy New Year!
  • January 2 – FIN Offices Closed
  • January 15 – Dean’s List Nominations Due
  • January 21 – FTC League Tournament – Columbus
  • January 28 – FTC League Tournament – Hammond
  • February 1 – FIRST Indiana Robotics Day at the Statehouse
  • February 4 – FTC League Tournament – Elkhart
  • February 11 – FTC League Tournament – Crane
  • February 11 – Compass & Promote Award Submissions Due
  • February 25 – FIRST Tech Challenge State Championship – Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds
  • February 1 – FIRST Day at the Statehouse
  • February 25 – State Championship, Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds, Lafayette, IN
  • April 19-22 – World Championship – Houston, TX

League Tournament Information

You can find more detailed information including
schedules, maps, and team lists on our website.

January 21 – Columbus Middle School Central
725 7th Street
Columbus, IN 47201

January 28 – Hammond Central High School
5926 Calumet Ave
Hammond, IN 46320

February 4 – Success Academy
3408 Ardmore Trail
South Bend, IN 46628

February 11 – Westgate @ Crane
13598 East Westgate Dr
Odon, IN 47562

FIRST Tech Challenge Indiana State Championship

You can find all the latest information on our website.

February 25, 2023
Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds
1406 Teal Rd, Lafayette, IN 47905

FIRST Day at the Statehouse

On February FIRST, 2023, FIRST Indiana Robotics will once again be having FIRST Day at the Statehouse.  We will be supporting legislation to help us bring FIRST programs to more Indiana students, and we will have a virtual training session prior to the event.  We need teams to attend and show our state government how much these programs benefit our students!

Dean’s List Nominations – Due Sunday!

In an effort to recognize the leadership and dedication of FIRST’s most outstanding secondary school students, the Kamen family sponsors an award for selected 10th and 11th grade students known as the FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge Dean’s List Award.

Similar to the very prestigious National Merit Scholarship Award winners, there are three (3) “categories” of
FIRST Dean’s List Award students:

  1. FIRST Dean’s List Semi-finalists – comprised of the two (2) students in their 10th or 11th grade school year nominated by each team.
  2. FIRST Dean’s List Finalists – comprised of the students 3 (IN) recognized at the State Championship.
  3. FIRST Dean’s List Winners – comprised of the ten (10) FIRST Robotics Competition and ten (10) FIRST Tech Challenge students selected from the applicable FIRST Dean’s List finalists at the FIRST Championship.

The students who earn FIRST Dean’s List Award status as a semi-finalists, finalist or winner, are great examples of student leaders who have led their teams and communities to increased awareness of FIRST and its mission. These students have also achieved personal technical expertise and accomplishment. It is FIRST’s goal that these individuals will continue, post-award, as great leaders, student alumni, and advocates of FIRST. Prestigious colleges and universities have expressed great interest in meeting FIRST Dean’s List’s Award winners and FIRST hopes that each team will take advantage of the opportunity to nominate the most qualified students as FIRST Dean’s List nominees!

For more information click here.

**Nominations are due January 15.**

Promote & Compass Award Submission

These awards will be given at the Indiana State Championship on February 25.  Teams to do not have to qualify for State to be eligible for these awards, and attendance at the State Championship is not required.

Promote Award  – PSA Subject for 2022-2023 season: “How I learned about FIRST”

Required criteria for the Promote Award:

  • Video must follow FIRST branding and design standards.
  • Video cannot be longer than 60 seconds.
  • Video must be of a high quality, as submissions may be used later to promote FIRST.
  • Team must have rights to the music used in the video.
  • Music and permissions must be listed in video credits.
  • Video must have strong production value.
  • Video must be submitted by February 11
  • Team must present a thoughtful and impactful video which appeals to the public.
  • Creativity in interpreting the yearly theme is required.
  • Follow video award submission guidelines.

Compass Award  – We want to hear what sets your mentor apart.

Required criteria for the Compass Award:

  • Video must follow FIRST branding and design standards.
  • Video cannot be longer than 60 seconds.
  • Video must be of a high quality, as submissions may be used later to promote FIRST.
  • Team must have permission from the copyright owners for the music used in the video.
  • Music and permissions must be listed in video credits.
  • Video must be submitted by February 11.
  • Video highlights the mentor’s contribution to the team and demonstrates what sets the mentor apart.

Submission Instructions

Please upload videos to YouTube and fill out the appropriate form, providing a private video link.  These forms will close at 11:55 pm on Saturday, February 11.

Submit Promote Award Videos here.
Submit Compass Award Videos here.

**Submissions due February 11**

More Information

FIRST Championship Housing: Alert!

FIRST® Championship attendees have received emails or phone calls from housing or travel companies regarding booking hotel reservation for 2023 FIRST Championship. The e-mails are from non-approved housing agencies. They may look legitimate, but please beware. Each year, thousands of event attendees book rooms through unofficial entities only to find they do not have rooms when they arrive. Even if another housing agency is legitimate, their fine print often has terms that are not favorable.  We are proud to partner with ConferenceDirect as the only approved Official Housing Provider for the 2023 FIRST® Championship event.   FIRST® and ConferenceDirect work to ensure that we have a variety of price points, quality products, and amenities all situated in a prime location to ensure that we meet the needs and desires of 2023 FIRST Championship attendees and exhibitors. Only ConferenceDirect, the Event’s contracted Official Housing Company is authorized to use any likeness of the Event, claim partnership with and allowed to book within the Event Official Hotel Block. Reservations made through any company other than ConferenceDirect, are at your own risk. If you are contacted by anyone other than ConferenceDirect, please notify the   immediately.  Do not provide any personal or financial information to another housing vendor claiming to have rooms for the Event. Only FIRST and ConferenceDirect will contact your team regarding housing for the 2023 FIRST Championship. You can monitor updates and information on our main  FIRST Championship site here;  as we plan on releasing more details early 2023.

Solidworks Training

Take advantage of Solidworks Training!

Lessons include:

  • SOLIDWORKS Basics & the User Interface
  • Introduction to Sketching
  • Basic Part Modeling
  • Patterning
  • Revolved Features
  • Using Drawings
  • Bottom-Up Assembly Modeling
  • Using Assemblies

Check out the Flyer

Scholarship Opportunities!

Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship ProgramThe Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship Program is now open and this life-changing opportunity will last a lifetime! The Program awards 400 high school seniors who are planning to pursue an undergraduate degree in engineering or computer science with a $40,000 scholarship for college, plus a guaranteed paid internship at Amazon. Applications are open until January 20, 2023. 

Learn how to apply.
FIRST Scholarship Portal Open – Find your seniors money for school!

Please share with your students.  www.firstinspires.org/scholarships

Governor’s STEM Team: Indiana high school students are invited to apply for the 2023 Governor’s STEM Team. This program honors four outstanding high school students for their exceptional efforts and accomplishments in one or more of the STEM disciplines. Winning students each receive a $1,000 deposit into an Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings plan and letterman jackets identifying them as members of the Governor’s STEM Team. Applications may be submitted via this JotForm through Friday, February 3.

Student Board of Directors:  Accepting Applications!

The FIRST Indiana Robotics Student Board of Directors is made up of student representatives from all across the state who create, support, and participate in a variety of community initiatives. The board is established to allow students to have a voice in the initiatives and decisions that would directly impact the state’s youth.  These students also take part in additional leadership training and networking opportunities that will strengthen their resumes.

Candidate Requirements

FIRST Indiana Robotics Student Board candidate must be a student who embraces the FIRST Core Values, is hardworking, and wants to make a difference in their community. Candidates must be rising 10th, 11th, or 12th-grade students and actively participating in one or multiple FIRST programs.

Student Board Expectations

The Student Board expects members to:

  • Embody the FIRST Core Values
  • Support their fellow council members and their initiatives
  • Attend monthly meetings
  • Lead at least one initiative
  • Attend two FIN outreach events per year
  • Attend one FIN fundraising event per year

More InformationQuestions? Contact Chris Osborne – cosborne@firstindianarobotics.org or reach out to the council itself at studentbod@firstindianarobotics.org


Are your students on Tallo?

This is a FREE to use platform for students to create a resume that includes opportunities to earn badges (FIRST participation), search for scholarships, connect with internship opportunities and universities.

Have your students start their profile today at www.tallo.com/first – this platform is open to any Indiana student for free thanks to a grant from Ivy Tech.

Students can sign up as young as 13. This is NOT a social media platform. There is no cross communication between students. However, they can connect with universities, trade schools, employers, etc.


FIN Blog

We have a blog! – Share with your students, parents, and community!We post these emails as blog posts, as well as other important FIN communications.

You can easily share our updates with your students, parents, administrators, other mentors without them having to subscribe to our emails.

Agile Work Profiler

New Training Opportunities at FIN EventsFIN is excited to announce that we will be providing training events at our upcoming FTC League Tournaments, FTC State, and FRC events for administrators, counselors, and teachers.

The sessions will focus on the new Agile Work Profiler that is being used by the state of Indiana and will be rolling out to schools. We will also provide a quick glimpse at Tallo also available to all Indiana students.

This training will also include how FIRST aligns with Indiana graduation pathways, standards, and how school personnel can become champions of FIRST programs in their schools.

Invite your administrators, counselors, teachers, etc. to sign up for one of these sessions here:


PGP Certificates will be distributed at these sessions.

AndyMark Video Contest – Submissions due February 1!

AndyMark, Inc. is partnering with FIRST Indiana Robotics (FIN) to conduct a contest among FIRST teams in Indiana to create informative, quick, five (5) minute videos. Prizes will be awarded to 6 entries. Indiana FLL, FTC and FRC teams are eligible for prizes, each being an AndyMark team sponsorship in the form of an AndyMark store credit.

The intent of this contest is to build a video library covering topics related to FIRST teams, such as how they are supported, how robots are successfully built, how students and mentors are most productive and supported, how teams impact their communities and schools, to name a few topics.

All teams providing video entry will be given AndyMark merchandise.  (3 t-shirts per team, regardless of the # of video entries)

Awards Include

Best FTC video – This video is focused on an FTC team and/or program and is the most impactful, important, informative, or entertaining.  Prize = $400 in AndyMark credit

Best technical advice – This video describes, informs or demonstrates an important technical topic within a FIRST program (FLL, FTC or FRC) to help other teams learn about this technical aspect of their program.  Prize = $600 in AndyMark credit

Best team advice – This video describes, informs or demonstrates important aspects of starting or running a FIRST team (FLL, FTC or FRC) in a clear manner with lasting impact on the viewer.
Prize = $600 in AndyMark credit

Best video – This prize is this contests’ top award.  This video is focused on any FIRST program and is the most impactful, important, informative, or entertaining.  Prize = $1000 in AndyMark credit

Complete list of rules and submission information

Season Resources

Check out these resources available on the FIRST Inspires website.

Who should I talk to?

Connect with Trisha Thompson about

  • FTC Team Support
  • Registration
  • Training
  • ​​​​Consent & Release Forms
  • Growth (start a new team!)

Schedule a call with Trisha

Connect with Dan Leathers about

  • FLL, FTC, or FRC Competitions
  • Volunteers
  • Equipment
  • ​​​​Purchasing