April 2022
A quarterly newsletter to keep you informed. Dig it.

Did you miss us?
It's a brand new quarter and a brand new newsletter! 
And it's more fun than a waterbed full of grits.
So Great To Be Together Again!
The seasons are over but we all are thankful we could gather together again as the FIRST Chesapeake Family this year.

As always, FIRST Chesapeake has important news to share- 
Recap of the FIRST Chesapeake Championships Sponsored by Newport News Shipbuilding, FIRST Championship News, Gold Circle Volunteer Award, Women in STEM Breakfast Sponsored by Leidos, Hails and Farewells, and more- whew!!

So grab a spoon- and keep reading for these topics and more.

And please pass this newsletter on to teams, parents and students.
(To subscribe to the newsletter, just fill out this form.)

FIRST Chesapeake Championships Sponsored by Newport News Shipbuilding

From April 7th- 9th, FIRST Chesapeake offered double the excitement of a FIRST competition to our teams, volunteers, friends, and families by hosting both the FIRST Tech Challenge Championship and the FIRST Robotics Competition District Championship (both sponsored by our longtime partner, Newport News Shipbuilding) under one roof at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA.

During the three days, 140 FIRST Chesapeake teams gathered to compete for a chance to advance to the FIRST Championship in Houston. We were happy to once again invite the public to our event and we had almost 9,000 total attendees at the venue over 3 days!

Over 200 volunteers donated their time and expertise to make a difference in the lives of youth from DC, MD, and VA. FIRST Chesapeake appreciates your enthusiasm and willingness to help support us and inspire tomorrow's technology leaders.

We would like to thank our live feed broadcast sponsor, ProductiveAV, for bringing the competition to those who could not attend. We logged close to 11,000 unique live feed views from around the world between Friday and Saturday!

The Championship also saw the return of the practice field, in-person judging, the machine shop Sponsored by NASA, and Technology Row. Jon Sherman from Newport News Shipbuilding helped us start off our Friday with some inspirational words and a standing ovation for one of NASA's first human computers, Doris Blanchard. FIRST Chesapeake Board member and Senior Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, Cedric Sims, got the audience engaged and revved up during his opening remarks on Saturday.

We especially want to thank our title sponsor, Newport News Shipbuilding, without whom this event would not have been possible. We are grateful for your long-time partnership and support.

2022 FC Championships Sponsored by NNS
2022 FC Championships Sponsored by NNS
2022 FC Championships Sponsored by NNS
FIRST logo
News from FIRST Championship in Houston

Worlds just wrapped up, and we are so proud of all the FIRST Chesapeake teams that traveled to Houston to compete and represent our District April 21-23, 2022.

FIRST Chesapeake had an impressive showing and we want to recognize the achievements of individuals and teams. WAY TO GO!

  • FTC Dean's List Award Winner- Diana O. from FTC 10216 SpiderByte
  • FRC Dean's List Award Winner- Ethan B. from FRC 5338 RoboLoCo
  • Chairman's Award winner- FRC 1629 Garrett Coalition GaCO
  • World Champion Finalist- FRC 4099 The Falcons
  • Division Winners- FRC 4099 The Falcons and FRC 5804 TORCH
  • Division Semifinalist - FRC 1731 Fresta Valley Robotics Club
  • Division Quarterfinalist- FRC 401 Copperhead Robotics
  • 4 of our 16 FIRST Chesapeake FRC teams competed in division playoffs
  • Highest Rookie Seed- FRC 8590 CAVBOTICS
  • Creativity Award- FRC 5804 TORCH
  • Innovation In Control Award- FRC 836 RoboBees

Will-i-am robo lions houston 2022
Will.i.am with FRC 2199 Robo Lions
FRC Team FIRST Championship houston 2022
FRC Teams group photo
FTC and FRC Dean's List winners
FIRST Championship Chairman's Award winner FRC 1629 Garrett Coalition GaCO with Dean Kamen
gold circle pin
A New Tradition: Gold Circle Volunteers

Our volunteers are the heart and soul of FIRST Chesapeake! Each volunteer performs a specific role, but we all work together to create amazing events for the students. The past year has brought out the best in so many FIRST Chesapeake volunteers that it was impossible to recognize just one "Volunteer of the Year.” Instead, we have created a special award celebrating the outstanding contributions of several FTC or FRC volunteers. 

The GOLD CIRCLE VOLUNTEER AWARD recognizes volunteers who have gone above and beyond to support the mission of FIRST Chesapeake. Volunteers were nominated by other volunteers, team members, coaches and mentors.

These volunteers were recognized at the FIRST Chesapeake Championship Events Sponsored by Newport News Shipbuilding, and each was given a limited edition Gold Circle Volunteer pin. We look forward to continuing this new tradition each year. This year’s winners are listed below. Be sure to thank them for their amazing contributions!

2021-2022 Gold Circle Volunteer Award Winners

Pankaj Oberoi

Paul Merkham

Kevin Pardus

Arlene Lantz

Andrew Magaletti

Phil Malone

Steve Shade

Denis Furtalev

clipart panda
FIRST Chesapeake Championships Sponsored by Newport News Shipbuilding PHOTOS
We know you love seeing all the event photos, capturing the excitement and controlled chaos that is a FIRST event.

We are pleased to share with you the FIRST Chesapeake Championships Sponsored by Newport News Shipbuilding photos on our Flickr page.

Click here for the curated Championship album- and check back later to see albums for each individual day.

2022 FC Championships Sponsored by NNS
2022 FC Championships Sponsored by NNS
2022 Reaching for the Stars: Women in STEM Breakfast Sponsored by Leidos- May 3rd
After receiving feedback from our community, FIRST Chesapeake and our major Women in STEM sponsors have decided to pivot from a one-day in-person Reaching for the Stars: Women in STEM Breakfast Sponsored by Leidos to a multiweek celebration of Women in STEM. 

Please watch your inbox over the coming weeks for information as we honor Dr. Patricia Mead as our 2022 Reaching for the Stars: Outstanding Women in STEM Award recipient, our four outstanding young women from FIRST Chesapeake teams who are the recipients of the Dominion Energy Reaching for the Stars: Women in STEM Scholarships Sponsored by Dominion Energy, and other exceptional women from FIRST Chesapeake.

FIRST Chesapeake would like to thank its key Women in STEM sponsors, Leidos, Dominion Energy, and Canon Virginia, for their support this season.
Alumni Spotlight: Jonathan Shulgach

FIRST Chesapeake interviewed Jonathan Shulgach, an FLL and FTC alumnus and a former FRC mentor. We think you will find his STEM path with FIRST fascinating!

"It’s important to lead by example
and that includes the passion you put into your work." 

Jonathan is currently a first-year PhD student at Carnegie Mellon in the Neuromechatronics Lab, researching neural prosthetics and developing methods to improve sensory integration with motor tasks. 

Click here to read more about his history with FIRST, how it influenced his education and career choices, and his advice to other mentors and students.
Hails and Farewells
Ron Therrien will be stepping back from the Director of Programs position effective May 13th. Join us in extending our best wishes to Ron in his future endeavors. Please feel free to reach out to him directly at rtherrien@firstchesapeake.org to share your thanks, as well.

Congratulations to FRC Team 7429 Mentor Paul Lathrop for winning the REB Award from the Community Foundation in November. R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence recognizes public school teachers who distinguish themselves by their inspiring classroom performance.
~In Memoriam~
We lost a member of the FIRST Chesapeake Family. They are greatly missed, but their dedication and contributions to FIRST will be remembered.

Please contact Samantha Ellis if you feel we have left anyone out so they can be included in the next newsletter.
2022-23 season theme
2022-2023 FIRST Season Theme- ENERGIZE
Read more about it and watch the teaser video at https://info.firstinspires.org/first-energize-season
Looking for current FIRST Chesapeake news, information and announcements?

Check our FIRST Family Blog at

Shop at smile.amazon.com using this link and Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to FIRST Chesapeake—no fees, no extra cost.