May 2017
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed. Dig it.

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

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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 putting leggings on a giraffe .  

Ready for Some Down Time?  

As you will see, we have many great things  to share- Newsletter Changes, 2017-18 Season Info, Off-Season Events, Worlds Results,   and more- whew !!

So hold on to your bumpershoot-  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.

Changes Coming
newspaper Readers, we have heard you! And in light of your suggestions, we are going to make a few changes. 

To enhance your reading experience, we are now going to distribute the majority of information on our 
FIRST Family blog
. The newsletter will be reduced to a quarterly publication. 

This is our last monthly Hear FIRST newsletter, and the quarterly newsletters will begin in July.

Thank you as always for your input!!
ftcFTC 2017-18 Season News
To accommodate teams, volunteers, and staff who participate in both FTC and FRC, we are moving the Virginia FTC build and competition season up in the calendar. The tentative event schedule is as follows. Stay tuned for more information.

- Game reveal and tentative season kick off workshop: Sept. 9.

We are super excited to be adding a new event, South Central, this year.  Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg was such a gracious host for our Championship last year, we are happy to be returning there for this new event. Teams in the southern part of the state now have an option that is closer than 3 hours for at least one event.  Central teams will have the option to go south rather than north, which should free up some extra spots in the North Central event for the NOVA teams.  And we have additional capacity for everyone else!

We are also super excited to announce a new home for our Eastern qualifier.  We felt it was important to move this event closer to the teams.  A huge Thank You to Norfolk State University for being such an incredible host for the past several years, and a warm Welcome (and also many Thanks!) to Heritage High School for offering to be our new host.

We are still looking for just the right location for our Central event, and for the State Championship.  We will be sending out updates throughout the summer months so please keep in touch!

- Tentative Qualifier events and Championship:
  • 11-Nov: Central VA*
  • 18-Nov: N. Central, Orange HS, Orange
  • 2-Dec: Northern, Battlefield HS, Haymarket
  • 9-Dec: Southwest, Southwest Community College, Cedar Bluff
  • 16-Dec: Shenandoah, UVA Slaughter Center, Charlottesville
  • 6-Jan: Eastern, NEW LOCATION, Heritage HS, Newport News
  • 13-Jan: S. Central VA, NEW EVENT, Virginia Episcopal School, Lynchburg
  • 3-Feb: Virginia State Championship*


* location tbd

Please keep up with us over the summer by visiting the FIRST Family blog.  

ftcVirginia FTC Teams Results From World Championship (St. Louis)

Two teams finished in top 10 overall:
7117 - The Blockheads - #6
519 - ED Too - #9

Other rankings:
8498 - Evil Purple Sox - #19
5414 - Tri Robotics - #23
8297 - Geared UP! - #24, Motivate Award finalist
4924 - Tuxedo Pandas - #29
33 - Enigma - #64

2 FTC Dean's Scholars:
Kieran Beaumont, Team 6700, X BOTS, Fairfax, Va.
Marissa Hibbert, Team 8095, Bulldogs, Norfolk, Va.

Congrats to everyone for a job well done!

Evil Purple Socks and Blockheads
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
  • Jun 19-20 FIRST® LEGO® League Global Innovation Award (Wash DC)
    • If you'd like to volunteer, please use the Volunteer Information and Matching System (VIMS).
    • If you have any questions, or for more information, please contact the Global Innovation Award Volunteer Coordinator, JT Yoerger, at
  • Jul 17-18- FIRST GLOBAL CHALLENGE ( DAR Constitution Hall- Washington, DC)
  • Sep 9- Virginia FIRST Workshops (tentative)
  • Oct 21- FRC IROC (Haymarket, VA)
Learn more about volunteering with FIRST Chesapeake here.
STEM Summer Camps and Programs

Here is a listing of STEM based summer camps in DC, MD and VA, as submitted by readers. VirginiaFIRST / FIRST Chesapeake is providing this list as a courtesy and it does not constitute an endorsement of any particular program.  This is also not an exhaustive list. 

Email Julie Miller ( ) to have your camp included in our STEM summer camp list.   
The National Math Festival took place in April in Washington DC, wowing thousands of visitors with mathematics games, puzzles, and activities. Two FIRST Chesapeake / Virginia FIRST teams demonstrated as part of the event.

FIRST Robotics Competition Team 1629 "GaCo" of Garrett County, MD emphasized  how they are driven to help make students in and about Garrett County STEM ready. In addition to demonstrating their FRC robot, they highlighted their "STEM Waypoint" initiatives (including LEGO Top Spinners, Golden Ratio Calipers, VibroBots, and Binary Number Trick) as ways to engage students. FRC Team 1629 is one of two Chairman's Award winners that represented FIRST Chesapeake at the championship in St. Louis.

FIRST Tech Challenge Team 7217 "Hail Hydraulics" of Bristol, VA presented a session entitled "Math and the Holonomic Drive: the Pursuit of a Smooth Ride". (A holonomic drive system allows a vehicle to travel in any direction without changing its orientation.)  FTC Team #7217 has won the Motivate Award, PTC Design Award, and the Control Award over the past few years in regional robotics competitions.  Team members William Barrett (programmer) and Walker Little (team captain) presented, working together to explain the application of mathematics in the development of a functioning robot.

All  FIRST  programs registrations and payments officially opened on May 11th. If your program or school district has funding that they need to allocate before the end of the fiscal year, now is the time at act!

FIRST Chesapeake FRC Teams Results From World Championship (St. Louis)
30 FIRST Chesapeake Teams attended Worlds in St. Louis: 18 Virginia, 10 Maryland, 2 DC (2 teams from DC ranked for the first time in the history)
  • 9 FIRST Chesapeake Teams Advanced to Finals: 6 - VA, 3 - MD
  • 3 FIRST Chesapeake Teams Advanced to Einstein - Sparky 384 (VA - Curie Subdivision Winner), 1885 ILITE (VA - Chairman's Award Finalist), 2537 Space Raiders (MD))
  • FRC Team 1086 Blue Cheese won the FedEx Innovation Challenge ($5K)
Congrats to everyone for a job well done!

Looking for current FIRST Chesapeake news, information and announcements? 

Some recent topics:
This year,  FIRST  Global is holding the inaugural FIRST Global Challenge this July (16th-18th) at the D.A.R. Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. There are 155 nations attending, including 6 continental teams, so it is sure to be an exciting event! Help be a part of 
FIRST  history and  FIRST   Global history by signing-up to volunteer!

Volunteer Thank You

The success of our programs has always been due to the dedication and competence of our volunteers- many of whom take it one step beyond.  Thanks to every one of you.  We are humbled and grateful to all of you who stepped up and stepped in. 

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

To apply to volunteer,  click here  or:
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Our latest disbursement was 50% larger than before!! Keep signing up! THANK YOU

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