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

         Looking for news just about your program? Click the name below.*

The jump will only work if you are viewing this email in it's entirety, not a truncated version.*
Did you miss us?
It's a brand new month and a brand new   newsletter! 
And it's more exciting than Philip Glass music .  

Are You Ready?  

Teammates unite! We have many great things  to share- Event Reviews, FTC Announcement, FRC Resource Article, an Alumni Spotlight, Upcoming events, calls for Volunteers,   and more- whew !!

So hold on to your whiskers-  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.

Have you given to the Annual Fund? 
Your generosity will help us continue to build tomorrow's technology leaders in DC, Maryland and Virginia. 

It's easy to make your tax deductible contribution. 

ftcFTC Central VA Qualifier Sponsored by Capital One and Other News

Click here to see photos and read more about the first event of the season, the Central Virginia Qualifier Sponsored by Capital One (Chesterfield, VA), held on Dec. 3rd, and other FTC news.

FTC Championship Announcement
Due to a scheduling conflict, the site of the FTC Virginia State Championship 
has been moved to Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, VA.

The date remains the same (February 25, 2017).

Please watch the  Championship web page and the FIRST Chesapeake blog for more information.

FRCOff-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
  • Jan 7- FRC Kickoff (District of Columbia; Hampton Roads, VA; VCU, Richmond, VA)

Learn more about volunteering with FIRST Chesapeake here.
All participants in VirginiaFIRST / FIRST Chesapeake competitions, including teams (students, coaches and/or mentors) and volunteers, must fill out the 2016-17 season VirginiaFIRST Consent and release form before attending/participating in events, in addition to the FIRST form on STIMS or VIMS.

This includes both the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) program in Virginia and FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) program in DC, MD and VA.

We are happy to tell you that the form is now available online for your convenience. And as an added bonus, as each student submits the form, his/her coach will receive an automated confirmation of that student's form completion, so long as the student put the coach's email address on the form.

Coaches: please share this form link with your team members and/or their parents, and please make sure they all know your email address.

A limited number of paper forms will be available at events, but we strongly urge participants to complete the online form ahead of time or print and bring a paper copy to your initial event. The printable version is here: .

*Please note- whether online or paper, minors' forms require the signature of a parent or guardian.*

*All students must have both the FIRST and the VirginiaFIRST signed Consent and Release forms (online or paper versions) or they will not be allowed in the pits or on the playing field.*
FRC Team 1629- Making a Difference  
FRC 1629  
Chuck Trautwein with FRC Team 1629 GaCo has some neat math resources that might benefit other FRC teams as they build their robots and plan strategies. 

Check out his article here to learn about these resources and how GaCo uses them to make a difference in the lives of other students.
FRC Events Review

Click here to find out more about recent FRC gatherings- like Rumble in the Roads 2016 and two recent FRC Workshops- one at VCU School of Engineering and one hosted by Bechtel.

FRC Robot Inspectors Wanted- Looking at you Coaches and Mentors
FIRST Chesapeake FRC Coaches and Mentors,
We are in need of Robot Inspectors, and we are asking you, our coaches and mentors, to consider volunteering for this role at one of our upcoming district events. You are highly valued because

1) you know the rules like the back of your hand, ~and~
2) you have FRC experience.

Our goal is to make sure that each FIRST Chesapeake team has the best experience possible, and competes with a safe reliable robot that does not violate the rules, and one that will not damage the playing field or other robots.

Being a robot inspector does not pose a conflict of interest, and it will provide a way for you to engage with other coaches and mentors during events. As a former coach, the best FIRST training I have ever received is through volunteering at events. Inspecting robots gives you a unique and wonderful perspective on the innovation and variety of approaches in designing robots.

You will be trained by our Lead Robot Inspector, Rick Smith, and he is available to respond to any questions or concerns you have about this role. In addition, you will be eligible for all of the volunteer perks (free shirt, free food).

Need more details on the robot inspector role? Visit .

Definitely interested in volunteering?  Email  with questions about becoming a robot inspector.  And thanks in advance for your support!
We are still getting a few team payments at our old Science Museum office, and our mail forwarding has expired!!   Please make sure your school bookkeeper or team non-profit organization changes our mailing address for registrations or other payments to:
Virginia FIRST / FIRST Chesapeake
8177 Mechanicsville Turnpike
Mechanicsville, VA 23111
Alumni Spotlight- Ajmeeta Sangtani
Ajmeeta Sangtani
Ajmeeta Sangtani

"It was due to FIRST that I am on my career path. When I entered high school, I was sure I wanted to be a doctor. After joining an FRC team, I learned the joys of science and engineering outside of medicine.

I then received a $10,000/ year scholarship to attend Case Western Reserve University as well as a $1,000 1-year scholarship from Raytheon all thanks to FIRST. Without these two scholarships, I would not have been able to attend CWRU and obtain a degree in bioengineering. I am now in the second year of my PhD program in bioengineering."
Hails and Farewells

"Congratulations" to FTC teams Tech Busters and the Bionic Penguins, who each won a $50 gift certificate from Actobotics in the drawing for completing the Workshop Feedback survey. 


Interested in a part-time job starting in January? FIRST Chesapeake is hiring! Learn more about applying to be a part-time instructor for after school programs here

Want Ads- Technical and Supervisory Volunteers
newspaper Interested in trying something new?  Looking for a place to stretch your wings?  

The growth of the FTC and the FRC District events have created the need for dozens of technical and supervisory volunteers to ensure the success of our competitions.  

Training is provided, hands-on mentorship is assured, and your advancement potential is limited only by your desire to learn.

Click here for a detailed list and more information.  Questions?  Concerns?  Need more nagging?  Contact Dee Tomczak, Director of Community Engagement, at 804 677-7995, or

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
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 free to you! 

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!!

amazon banner

Click the above photo or this link:

Quick Links:   Website   Donate   Volunteer   
    Science Matters      YouTube