The 2024 FIRST Robotics Competition season officially begins on January 6th with over 130 Kickoff events across the United States and all over the world in Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Israel, Mexico, and Turkey. These events not only announce the Game Challenge for the new season, but also provides teams with the opportunity to gather and compare notes, exchange ideas, make friends, find mentoring teams, learn the game, pick up their Kit of Parts, and get geared up for the exciting competition season. In addition, several of the Kickoff events host workshops on a wide range of topics, enabling students, mentors, and coaches alike to learn new skills or increase their proficiency.
In Illinois, we host three main kickoff events. These various events are hosted throughout the state and can be selected through your FIRST dashboard.
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Hosted by the Chicago Robotics Alliance, this Kickoff will take place at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) at 3711 S Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60609. Ample free parking is available in the AIM parking lot.
The reveal live stream will be held in a large hangar among aircraft and helicopters. Afterwards, each team will have access to a private classroom for strategy meetings and lunch. A pneumatics workshop will be held before lunch and is open to all attending teams. Finally, Crescendo field elements will be built after the game reveal and there will be a trivia contest over the rules held along with the Oswego Kickoff.
For more information on the Chicago Kickoff Event, contact Keith Van Rhein and Tessa Parker at [email protected]
10:45 AM to 12:00 PM
Hosted by the Bradley University Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology, this Kickoff will take place at Bradley's Business and Engineering Convergence Center (BECC) at 1500 W Main St, Peoria, IL 61606. Parking will be available in the surface parking lot between the Renaissance Coliseum and the BECC.
This Kickoff will offer an opportunity for registered teams to view FIRST's livestreamed Crescendo game reveal and pick up their Kit of Parts. The livestream will been shown in Room 1260 of the BECC. Kit distribution will take place in the receiving area of the BECC, which is accessbile via Haussler Lane between the BECC building and the Renaissance Coliseum (Haussler Lane is labeled as 'N Glenwood Avenue' on Google Maps). Kit distribution will begin at the conclusion of the livestream and will end promptly at noon; teams who do not pick up their Kits by noon must contact the Kickoff Coordinator to schedule picking up their Kits the following Monday.
For more information on the Peoria Kickoff Event, contact Julie Reyer at [email protected]
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Hosted by FIRST Robotics Competition Team 2338 - Gear It Forward, this Kickoff will be held at Oswego East High School at 1525 Harvey Rd, Oswego, IL 60543. Teams can park for free in the high school's parking lot.
A public program will be presented with a guest speaker from Caterpillar, Inc. and a viewing of the FIRST livestream. After the livestream, teams will be able to brainstorm in classrooms, participate in a pneumatics workshop, compete in a live trivia contest with participants from the Chicago Kickoff, and view a simulated Crescendo field with taped out elements.
For more information on the Oswego Kickoff Event, contact Holly Twardowski at [email protected]
All teams planning to attend Kickoff events must register in TIMS for that Kickoff Event. For those of you who are unable to attend a Kickoff Event or are hosting a Team Kickoff Party, FIRST normally provides an online broadcast. Please see the FIRST website for details.