September 2016
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed. Dig it.

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Did you miss us?
It's a brand new month and a brand new   newsletter! 
And it's more exciting than rollerskating on an ice rink .  

Here we go!  

School is back and it's time to get the team working! We have many great things  to share- Team Grants, FRC Off-Season Events, Alumni Mingles, a Sponsor Spotlight, a Team Spotlight, Upcoming events, calls for Volunteers,   and more- whew !!

So hold on to your composition books-  a nd keep reading for these topics  and more.

And please pass this newsletter on to teams, parents and students.
(a web link is at the top of this email- the "click here")
To subscribe to the newsletter, just fill out this form.

FTCFIRST Tech Challenge Workshops Sponsored by InSource Solutions- Sept 24th
The FIRST Tech Challenge Workshops Sponsored by InSource Solutions are almost here!!  Saturday September 24th, 8:30am- 4:00pm.

Get ready for a jam-packed day of informative classes taught by a variety of experienced volunteers and teams.
View the FIRST Family blog for the latest updates
FIRST Tech Challenge Registration

FTC qualifier registration in Virginia 
opens at noon, October 12th, 2016!!

We moved from the Science Museum into our own warehouse space. Please ask your school bookkeeper or team non-profit organization to change our mailing address for registrations or other payments to:

Virginia FIRST / FIRST Chesapeake
8177 Mechanicsville Turnpike
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

FRCLooking for current FIRST Chesapeake news, information and announcements? 

Some recent topics:
Off-Season and Upcoming Events Calendar
Here are some upcoming FIRST and STEM-related events. Click through the links  for more information or visit the FIRST Chesapeake calendar
  • Oct 1- FRC Smoky Mountains Regional Business Summit (Knoxville, TN)
    • An annual conference that helps FIRST Robotics Competition teams grow their skills in the areas of finance, public relations, branding, team organization, and more
    • Fee is $190 per team to cover 5 members. 
    • Registration closes SEPTEMBER 17th 
  • Oct 8- Hampton Roads FRC Summit (Christopher Newport University, Newport News, VA)
    • Join representatives from other local FRC teams to share ideas and updates
  • Oct 12- FTC Qualifier registration in Virginia opens! (12 noon)
    • More info TBA
  • Oct 22- FRC IROC (Battlefield High School, Haymarket, VA)
    • Discounts possibly applicable- see registration form
    • Offering FREE registration and a robot to drive for pre-rookie teams!
  • Oct 29- FTC Build-A-Bot Day ( FIRST Chesapeake Command Central, Mechanicsville, VA) Details TBA
  • Oct 29- FTC Southwest Scrimmage (J. Henry Kegley meeting room, Bristol Public Library, 701 Goode Street, Bristol, VA)
    • 10:00am- 4:00pm
    • Costume contest with prizes
    • Can accommodate a total of 12 teams 
    • Email Garry or Andrea Wakely to register and/or for help finding a place to stay overnight
  • Nov 5- FRC Rumble in the Roads (Menchville HS, Newport News, VA)
    • Discounts possibly applicable
    • Offering FREE registration and a robot to drive for pre-rookie teams!
  • Nov 19- FTC Meet the Field (VCU, Richmond, VA)
  • Jan 7- FRC Kickoff (Richmond, VA, Hampton Roads, VA, and the District of Columbia)

Learn more about volunteering with FIRST Chesapeake here.
Do you know of local FIRST or STEM-related events or workshops 
that would interest our audience? Please share! 

We need: what, date, time, description, and website or contact info.

Raytheon FIRST Robotics Competition Grants Available
Raytheon logo
Funding for a limited number of FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams in Hampton Roads will be available through a generous grant by Raytheon. The grant places a special emphasis on  Peninsula and South Hampton Roads  FRC teams seeking funding for the 2016-2017 competition season.  Funding levels will not exceed $1,000 and must be used for expenses identified in the grant application.  Applications for FRC teams requesting grant funding must submit their application by 5pmSeptember 30th

For grant details and the on-line application, please go to

Reminder- Open House and FRC Scrimmage

Volunteer Open House and 
Pre Off-Season Sorta  FRC Scrimmage

Date: September 17th - 10am to 3:00pm

Where: FIRST Chesapeake Command Central, Mechanicsville, VA

Open to:  Sponsors,  Volunteers,  Friends and Families

What: You can learn about volunteering opportunities and the 2016-17 competition season, tour the facility, watch a FIRST Robotics Competition scrimmage!!
Would your team like to be a part of the scrimmage? Click here for more information.

FIRST Robotics Competition Pre-Season Reminders
Don't forget!!! All teams need to log in NOW to complete the YPP process  (expires after two years, and only 33.8% out of teams have two coaches that have passed YPP).
Be ready to register for your first event on  9/22/16

Expect a call from your director if you have not completed screening.
Dean's Homework 2016- Christa McAuliffe Coin
Dean's Homework 2016
Dean's Homework 2016
At the 2016 FRC Championship, Dean Kamen tasked all of us in the  FIRST  community to  ask our members of Congress to cosponsor The Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act of 2016 . Christa McAuliffe was selected by NASA to be the first teacher in space, but died when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986. Proceeds from any sales of the coin would support  FIRST . The program is designed to be self-supporting and the bill does not request government funding.

Here is a copy to the "Dean's Homework" page:

When you visit that page, you will find most of what you need to make a request of support including a  link to the text of the bill, some  background on the billhow to find your particular representatives, and the names of senators and  representatives who are already cosponsoring. You can also see Dean discussing the assignment on YouTube: In Virginia, our U.S. Senators are  Mark Warner and  Tim Kaine.

If you find the idea of making a request of a Congressperson a little daunting, please remember that they represent you, even if you are too young to vote yet. If you have questions or would like further guidance on how to go about making this request or how to approach political advocacy, Blue Cheese Robotics has been doing a lot of work in this area and would be happy to help. You can reach them at

After you have made the request of your member of Congress, please make sure that you report it on the Homework participation form: If you have a photo to share please consider using social media to #makeitloud and tag @FIRSTweets and @Virginia FIRST if you are using Twitter. You can also use #DeansHomework2016.

FIRST Robotics Competition Teams Spotlight
Look at what our friends did this past Labor Day weekend! Teams 4949, 4464, and The Irrational Engineers worked together to build a Robotics/STEM  float and marched in the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade on Sept. 5th to promote robotics. 

This summer, the  Prince George's Robotics Consortium  formed for the purposes of doing robotics together. They built the float as well as got their robots ready to compete in the Battle 'O Baltimore Off Season Event. 

They have formed a basic website for this group,  where you can find information about their joint activities.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Do you have team outreach or other event photos you'd like to share?
VirginiaFIRST Receives Grant From Mazda Foundation

Virginia FIRST gratefully acknowledges a grant of $10,000 from Mazda Foundation (USA), Inc. These funds will support Virginia FIRST efforts to grow a progression of science and technology based programs for under-resourced schools and communities. These programs prepare youth for success by developing science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and life skills.

"Mazda Foundation is proud to support VirginiaFIRST to help more students in under-resourced communities access STEM education programming. Skills learned from participation in these enrichment programs will set them apart as they enter tomorrow's workforce," said Rob Sheets, Plant General Manager of Mazda's Remanufacturing Facility, located in Chesterfield County, VA. "In less than 10 years, technology-based jobs will outpace non-technology employment by more than 2 to 1 in Virginia. We are pleased to be a part of building tomorrow's technology leaders."
Alumni Updates

Alumni Mingles are on the horizon!! Save these dates:
- 9/21/16, 6:00-8:30pm- College Park, MD
- 9/28/16, 6:00-8:30pm- Richmond, VA
- 10/05/16, 6:00-8:30pm- Norfolk, VA
- 10/13/16,  6:00-8:30pm- Washington, DC
- 10/19/16,  6:00-8:30pm- Charlottesville, VA
- 10/26/16, 6:00-8:30pm- Baltimore, VA
- 11/02/16, 6:00-8:30pm- Blacksburg, VA

I look forward to hearing from you.

Julie Miller, FIRST Chesapeake/ VirginiaFIRST Alumni Coordinator  

Alumni Spotlight- Jemesia Jefferson
Jemesia Jefferson
Jemesia Jefferson
When did you participate in FIRST programs?
The first time I participated in FIRST was in the 10th grade. I was on Team 2998 at Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond.
What are you doing now?
I am currently enrolled at Rose Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, IN) pursuing a civil engineering degree.
Did FIRST help lead you on your chosen path? Can you please tell us how FIRST impacted you in a positive way?
FIRST was my introduction into the world of STEM. I didn't know what it meant to be an engineer or how math and science could be used in a way that wasn't teaching. Being a part of a FIRST robotics team showed me what I was capable of and where I should go for a career. It has also allowed me to work with and learn from some really smart people. It further inspired me to encourage other girls to pursue STEM careers as well. FIRST taught me how to critically think, share ideas and not be afraid of giving my input. It has helped me for life in STEM and in general.

Thank you for sharing with us Jemesia!!
Internships and Scholarships for High School and College Students Now is the time to start researching and applying for internships- many have fall and winter application deadlines. 

Scholarships too- many are due in January.

Don't let these opportunities pass you by!

Wanted: Experts
The Community of Experts Project is a new program that FIRST Chesapeake is launching. It is intended to support FRC and FTC teams in our area. This online resource would allow teams to connect to other teams in the area who are experts in specific fields. If your team would like to be a part of this, please email .
NREIP/SEAP 2017 Summer Internships
NREIP/SEAP 2017 Summer Intern Applications - Open 22 August- 30 November 2016
The application period for both the 2017 college level Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP) and the 2017 high school level Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP) is 22 August - 30 November 2016.
These programs provide an opportunity for students to participate in research at a Department of Navy (DoN) laboratory during the summer.  NREIP provides competitively selected research internships for 475 college students (400 undergraduate students and 75 graduate students) each year and SEAP provides 265 competitively selected research internships each year.
SEAP is open to high school students.  It pays $3,300 for new students and $3,800 for returning students for the 8-week summer internship.  More information and details about eligibility can be found at .
NREIP is a 10-week internship open to both undergraduate and graduate students.  The stipend levels for NREIP are:
.Level 1 ($5,400): 31 - 60 credit hours.
.Level 2 ($8,100): 61 or greater credit hours
.Level 3 ($10,800): Proof of enrollment in graduate school
More information and details about eligibility can be found at .
Applications must be complete, including all supporting documentation, no later than 30 November at 5:30 p.m. EST

Hails and Farewells
Thank you to Andrew Caudell for his hard work as this year's VirginiaFIRST intern. Andrew's diligence and attention to detail was greatly appreciated. We wish him the best of luck at VCU this coming fall! 

  Virginia FIRST is grateful for the donation from Clifford Barcliff and matching donation from  VERITAS, that funded the summer internship. Thank you for your continuing dedication to young people!

Christina Lee
Christina Lee
Welcome  Christina Lee  as our FIRST AmeriCorps VISTA for the District of Columbia. Christina previously served with AmeriCorps as a Corpsmember for the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. During her service, she and her crew partnered with the US Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, and National Park Service on a variety of intensive conservation projects around Vermont, Virginia, and North Carolina. She is excited to shift her focus to FIRST teams in the District of Columbia, and will be instrumental in supporting   the  Sustainability Project for the 2016-2017 season.

- We also welcome Jessica "JT" Hughes as our FIRST AmeriCorps VISTA for Virginia. She will be focusing her efforts on outreach to under-resourced schools in Metro Richmond. JT has a background in early childhood education and is a FIRST alum!

Wanted: Volunteers
Bold, brave, adventurous souls to accompany me on an exciting voyage.
  • Final destination? HOME.
  • First few stops? Uncertain, but probably off the maps and charts.
  • Length of journey? Unknown.
  • Hazards and dangers? Many.
  • Cost to you? Your time, money and maybe your life itself.
  • Rewards? God alone knows, but God alone decides.
  • Opportunity? The one of a lifetime!
 ~advertisement attributed to Christopher Columbus, 1491

Just like Columbus,  FIRST Chesapeake / Virginia FIRST needs many dedicated volunteers. Right now we especially need new REFEREES to fill the shoes of outgoing volunteers.

To learn about all the different roles we have and to start the registration process, please go to our website .

2016-2017 FLL Season is Here!

The game has been announced- Animal Allies!
Click here to learn more.

Visit to learn more about FLL in the District of Columbia and Virginia.
Do you live in Maryland, but are interested in volunteering for FTC, FLL or FLL Jr.?

contact  Jenny Beatty, Volunteer Director, for more information.

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Did you know we have TWO Facebook pages and a Twitter feed? 
Keep up with all things VirginiaFIRST and FIRST Chesapeake by liking and or following all our social media accounts! 

Support FIRST Chesapeake / Virginia FIRST!

Fundraising that's easy and costs you nothing! 

Just use the Kroger Plus card you already have, and update your Community Rewards setting.

When prompted to select a charitable organization,  please select   

Funds raised through this program will be earmarked for emergency team support. The more who sign up, the more teams we can help. Let's make this huge!!

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