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Quad Cities FTC Kickoff

2018  Quad Cities 
FIRST Tech Challenge Kickoff

Update (6Sep18):  We are excited for having a record 32 FTC Teams from Iowa & Illinois with nearly 400 attendees!  This includes the 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 FTC teams that were the State of Iowa Champions & the 2017 FTC St. Louis FIRST World Champions.  A link has been added to the detailed event schedule below.

Quad City area FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Teams from Iowa & Illinois (students, coaches, and mentors) are invited to attend free of charge, the 4th  annual Quad Cities FTC Kickoff on Saturday September 8, 2018. The event will again be hosted at the John Deere World Headquarters in Moline (One John Deere Place, Moline, Illinois).  Teams and volunteers must pre-register ahead of the event to attend to help insure we have adequate space and food & drinks.

The kickoff offers teams an exciting opportunity to see this year’s game revealed live with the full field setup, network with other FTC teams and key volunteers and strategize about the new season. Breakout sessions will be available to share key knowledge and experiences to help all teams to have a great season.  This is expected to include several returning FTC Teams that have previously participated at the North Super Regional and the FIRST World Championships.

The Winter Soldiers – FTC Team #8813.  2017 State of Iowa Champs with the Inspire Award, North Super Regional Rockwell Collins Innovate Award & 2017 Detroit FIRST World Championship Qualifier 

Team Pre-Registration to Attend:
Sign up here by Wednesday, September 5 to Pre-Register and Suggest/Present Breakout Topics

Volunteer Application:
Sign up here We will continue to accept applications for volunteers until we fill out of the necessary roles.  Most of the volunteer roles don’t require any past experience.  Volunteers are  needed for check-in, crowd control, photos, and experienced judges and mentors for supporting breakout sessions.

The event is hosted by John Deere in partnership with the Quad City Engineering and Science Council, Quad Cities FTC Community, FIRST Illinois Robotics and FTC Iowa.  The 2017 event was attended by 28 teams with an estimated 300 attendees.  


Consent & Release Forms:
A signed QCESC consent form must be provided at check in for all attendees including teams (students, coaches, and mentors) along with event volunteers and speakers. 

For students who are minors (less than 18 years old), the consent form must be signed by one of their parent or guardians.

Link to a blank QCESC consent form which will also be available at the check-in table.

Event Date:

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Overall Schedule:

  • 8:15 – 8:50 AM Check-In

  • 9:00 – 9:20 AM – Opening, Team Introductions, and Keynote  

  • 9:30 – 10:00 AM – Breakout Session #1 (multiple sessions)

  • 10:00 – 10:25 AM – Networking / Break / Snacks

  • 10:25 – 10:55 AM Breakout Session #2 (multiple sessions) 

  • 11:00 AM – 11:30 AM –  Game Reveal  

Keynote: Dick Hurban, John Deere Power Systems

Dick is a native of New Jersey,  receiving a BS and MS degree in Agricultural Engineering from Rutgers University.  He has worked at John Deere as an Engine Engineer for 32+ years.  Dick was introduced to FIRST in 2007 when his daughter Jennifer joined Cedar Falls FRC 525 Swartdogs.  Since that time he has been a top FIRST volunteer  including as a mentor for FRC & FLL, and FTC along with event volunteer.  He was the co-founder for new FTC teams in Waterloo with Upward Bound in 2011 and a new FRC Team 5837  Unity4Tech in 2015.

Among Dick’s recognition’s for his inspiring & passionate support for students in STEM & FIRST include:

  • Hero Award from UNI Classic Upward Bound Program – 2012
  • John Deere Global Inspire STEM Volunteer of the Year Award  – 2015
  • FIRST FRC Woodie Flowers Regional Award Winner – 2016

Click here for the Detailed Event Schedule & FTC Key Resources 

John Deere World Headquarters
One John Deere Place
Moline, Illinois

Link to map with information on parking

2018 QC FTC Kickoff Planning Team:
Rod Brown, Overall Event Coordinator
Pat Barnes 
Rashmi Choudhary
Jason Dennhardt
Audrey Knoll
Sue Kunzeman
Eddie Mercado
Ray Parrish
Sravanthi Vedula
FTC Teams Pre-registered for the event will be added below:

Key Links:

  • Photos from Quad Cities Previous FTC Kickoffs in 2017, 2016 and 2015.
  • Link to Information on FIRST Tech Challenge on FIRST Website
  • Link to FIRST Illinois FTC website
  • Link to FTC Iowa website
  • Link to John Deere FIRST Grant application
  • Link to Rockwell Collins FIRST grant application