February 2017
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 a pocketful of cornflakes .  

Up, Up and Away!  

As you will see, we have many great things  to share- Event Reviews, Grant Announcements, Build Space Availability, Upcoming events, FLL Jr Expos,   and more- whew !!

So hold on to your parachute-  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.

FTC News and Information

  Click here to read more about qualifier photos, a team TV appearance, and other FIRST Tech Challenge news!

FTC Virginia State Championship- New Venue!!

The FIRST Tech Challenge VA State Championship is right around the corner, and the excitement is building!

Championship will take place on February 25th, and we are thrilled to be in a new location, Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, VA. 

Winners from the VA State Champonship will be eligible to go to the Super-Regionals in PA.
calendarOff-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
Learn more about volunteering with FIRST Chesapeake here.
Looking for STEM Summer Camps

Does your organization sponsor a STEM summer camp? If so, we'd love to feature it on our website. 

Email Julie Miller ( jmiller@firstchesapeake.org ) to have your camp included in our STEM summer camp list.   
Don't miss out on this opportunity to win money for your team!

We are collecting senior/ alumni data from our teams in order to keep our alumni informed and engaged with FIRST after graduation.

For each new or updated Senior, Alumnus, or Parent of Senior/ Alumnus contact you send us (email to jmiller@firstchesapeake.org) between now and
5PM on March 15, we will enter your team's name into a drawing to win one of three prizes: $250 Grand Prize, $150 First Prize, $100 Second Prize. 
(The more contacts you send us, the more entries you'll have.)
Funds will be awarded by April 1, and the winners will be posted on the FIRST Chesapeake Webpage, as well as featured on our Facebook page.

HERE is a link to the spreadsheet template (and instructions) that should be used for your entry.  You can make additions to your entry any time before the deadline. Please email all entries to me at the address below. 

Always feel free to call or email with any questions.
Thanks for your help. Good luck!

Julie Miller, Alumni Coordinator jmiller@firstchesapeake.org

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. This is in addition to the FIRST Consent form in STIMS and 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 please make sure they all know your email address.

You may also print VirginiaFIRST Consent and Release forms and attach to the team roster. You can download the printable form here. 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.

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

FRC News and Information  
Click here to read more about grant opportunities, pre-season events, the team inquiry form, and other FIRST Robotics Competition news and information.
Streaming FIRST Robotics Competition District Events
All FIRST Chesapeake FRC District Events will be streamed live!! 
Visit each event page for the link.

Boys & Girls Club Honors FIRST Chesapeake Staff Members

FIRST AmeriCorps VISTA Christina Lee and Director of FRC Program-EAST Denise Lewis were recognized by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington at their Donor and Volunteer Luncheon in January for their support of the FBR Branch/Best Buy Teen Tech Center in the District of Columbia. 

Photo: Denise, with Erin Martin (center) the director of the FBR Branch, and Christina.
We are still getting a few team payments at our old Science Museum office.  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 Updates

Are you a FIRST Alumnus(a)? Join the Alumni Association today, 
and be sure to join our FIRST Chesapeake Alumni Facebook group!

Volunteer Spotlight-   Joe and Joey
Joey Pontieux and Joe Bouchard
We see people at FIRST events, and we volunteer with them, but sometimes don't have the time to get to know them. 

Here are two familiar faces- Joey Ponthieux and Joe Bouchard- you probably know.

Thanks guys for all your years of service to us and to the kids of Virginia!

Hails and Farewells

One of our VirginiaFIRST/ FIRST Chesapeake Board Members, Dean Roberts, just had a book published! Congratulations to him for this remarkable achievement.  

FLL Jr. Expos
We are happy to announce that there will be FLL Jr. Expos at many upcoming FIRST Chesapeake  FIRST Robotics Competition events. Click an event below to learn more!

Looking for current FIRST Chesapeake news, information and announcements? 

Some recent topics:
Have YOU Been Thinking About Volunteering for One of Our Upcoming Competitions?


Grab your calendar!  There's a FIRST Tech Challenge or FIRST Robotics Competition event coming your way, and there is no time like the present to get signed up.  Volunteers are needed across the gamut of technical and non-technical positions.  Try something new!  Bring a friend.
To apply to volunteer: 

* Go to the Volunteer Information Management System on the FIRST website:   https://my.usfirst.org/FIRSTPortal/Login/VIMS_Login.aspx 
* If a returning volunteer, you must agree to the Terms and Conditions for your application to be processed. 
* New volunteers must create an account and be screened, under the FIRST Youth Protection Program.  You will then be able to apply for an event. 
* Once your profile is created or updated, you will be able to search for the FTC or FRC event that you are interested in, and sign up.  (NOTE:  you have to sign up for at least one event for your application to go on to screening)
* You will be able to leave comments and additional information, as needed.
See the calendar above for the remaining competitions for the FTC in Virginia, and the FRC in the FIRST Chesapeake District! We'd love to see you!

If you have any questions, please contact me at dtomczak@firstchesapeake.org .

Dee Tomczak, Director of Community Engagement, 
FIRST Chesapeake/VirginiaFIRST

New Main Phone Number for Command Central
The VirginiaFIRST/ FIRST Chesapeake main phone number has changed. It previously was (804) 864-1444 - it now is (804) 277-3506.

The individual staff member phone numbers remain unchanged.

You can always reach us by email- please see this page https://www.firstchesapeake.org/about/organization for staff email addresses or this page https://www.firstchesapeake.org/contact for the general contact form.

Thank you for your patience during this change-over!
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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 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!!

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