It’s that time of year again: FIRST is HIRING!

  • Have you been searching for a position in community service?
  • Are you a FIRST alumni member or simply interested in robotics?
  • Do you enjoy working with students in grades 6th-12th?
  • Can you devote one year of your life to community service work?

If you answered “Yes” to all four questions, then you might be a perfect fit for our FIRST VISTA position!

About For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology: FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. With a National Headquarters based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people (pre-K-12) to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills. The FIRSTAmeriCorps VISTA program places VISTA members in strategic locations to support FIRST programs nationwide.

FIRST VISTA Members work to:

  • Support and assist in the recruitment of teams, mentors, coaches and volunteers with an emphasis on securing and sustaining support to the underserved,
  • Target specific underserved schools and communities as locations to establish FIRST teams or sustain and grow existing teams,
  • Support existing teams and mentors to impact student engagement and interest in STEM,
  • Raise awareness of grant and funding opportunities for underserved students or teams and to bring awareness to high school students on FIRST teams regarding scholarship opportunities for post-secondary schooling opportunities,
  • Host/support outreach events, expos and demonstrations to increase awareness of FIRST programs among the underserved/underrepresented,
  • Assist in supporting and organizing regional competitions and events for all FIRST programs, and coordinate training and workshops for teams
  • Track and report out on specific performance milestones and measurements.

Qualifications: Candidates should possess strong organizational skills, proven ability to meet deadlines, have the ability to multi-task, be a team player, and have excellent communication skills. College degree preferred. Reliable transportation required. Familiarity with FIRST programs is preferred but not required.


Program Benefits: Training, Relocation Allowance, use of FIRST VISTA computer during service term, expense account, Health Benefit Plan*, Choice of Education Award or End of Service Stipend upon completion of service, Childcare assistance if eligible, Living Allowance.

*For details about AmeriCorps VISTA Health Benefit Plan, please visit

Applications must be filled out at to be considered for the position. Or go to and search listings for "FIRST VISTA-Nationwide"

FIRST Chesapeake/ VirginiaFIRST is moving offices the week of August 28th. We will still be in the same complex but in a different building (in Mechanicsville, VA). 

We need able-bodied volunteers to help us get stuff from one space to another!

This is a great opportunity to earn needed service hours for orgs such as National Honor Society or Scouts. We'd be glad to sign off on your paperwork. Come out as a team!

Please contact Glen Davis at or (804) 928-3506 if you can lend a hand.


  • October 14th, 2017 - FRC Workshop (Richmond, VA). Keep checking the FIRST Family Blog for info as it becomes available


FIRST Chesapeake District Events 

Week 1

  • March 2-4, 2018 Northern VA Competition: Battlefield High School Haymarket, VA

Week 2

  • March 9-11, 2018 Greater DC Competition: Hayfield Secondary School Alexandria, VA 22315
  • March 9-11, 2018 Central VA Competition: Deep Run High School Glen Allen, VA

Week 3

  • March 16-18, 2018 Hampton Roads Competition: Churchland High School Portsmouth, VA
  • March 16-18, 2018 Southern MD Competition: Oxon Hill High School Oxon Hill, MD

Week 4

  • March 23-25, 2018 Central MD Competition: South River High School Edgewater, MD
  • March 23-25, 2018 Southwest VA Competition: Blacksburg High School Blacksburg, VA

Week 5

  • March 29-31, 2018 Snow make-up if needed: TBD

Week 6

  • April 4-7, 2018 FIRST Chesapeake District Championship: TBD
  • August 7th- registration for Sept 9 Workshop opens
  • September 9th - FTC 2016-2017 Season Kick Off / Game Announcement / Workshop. Keep checking the FIRST Family Blog for for info as it become available! 
  • October 2nd- Qualifier registration OPENS
Qualifiers  (please note corrections made to November dates)
  • Nov 4th: Central Qualifier @ Cosby High School, Midlothian *NEW DATE AND LOCATION*
  • Nov 11th: North Central Qualifier @ Orange County High School, Orange
  • Dec 2nd: NoVA Qualifier @ Battlefield High School, Haymarket
  • Dec 9th: Southwest Qualifier @ SWCC, Cedar Bluff
  • Dec 16th: Shenandoah Qualifier @ UVA Slaughter Center, Charlottesville
  • Jan 6th: Eastern Qualifier @ Heritage High School, Newport News *NEW LOCATION*
  • Jan 13th: South Central Qualifier @ Virginia Episcopal School, Lynchburg *NEW EVENT*
  • Feb 3rd: Virginia State Championship @ Location TBD
Our mailing address is changing as of September 1st
Please alert your school bookkeeper or team non-profit organization to update our mailing address in their system.
To avoid delayed or lost mail, registrations or other payments should be mailed to:
VirginiaFIRST / FIRST Chesapeake
8161 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Suite I
Mechanicsville, VA 23111
Please note, the suite designation is the letter I as in "ice," not a number
Team FAR 7090 is a community team in Bristol, Virginia and we currently have space available for new team members. If you know anyone looking to join a team in the Southwest Virginia area, please share our info.
We are currently in transition to new coaching and team leadership and working to make Team FAR fun, exciting and educational while preparing to field a competitive competition robot. Last year we went to State next year we hope to progress beyond. All skill levels are welcome.
Also, we are still looking for a team that has a Velocity Vortex robot available for a gameplay demo in July at the Kingsport Makers Faire.
Please contact me at: for more info, check us out on Facebook, or pass along our info to your friends!

Teams, through the generosity of several sponsors, we are pleased to let you know of the following FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) grants available.  Grant criteria, application instructions, as well as deadlines are included.  Please pay careful attention to each as they vary with each grant.  GOOD LUCK!

*REMINDER* - The FTC season starts early this year.  Be sure to get your team(s) registered for the Relic Recovery season so you don't miss out on any of the fun! 


Rookie and Veteran teams can apply for registration grants ($275) through FIRST.  Rookie (new) teams can apply for a $275 registration grant, and another $275 to use in the FIRST product storefront.  This is a needs based grant, and preference will be given to Title I schools. Not sure of your Title I status? Check the Virginia Department of Education website

Application available here.

Very important note:  FIRST grants are applied directly to your team account and are not reimbursable.  If you are planning to apply for a FIRST registration grant DO NOT pay your season registration fee until you are notified of your award status.

II. Rockwell Collins

This grant places special emphasis on rookie and 2nd year teams, particularly those in rural and underserved areas, and those with a high percentage of students on free and reduced lunch programs.  Funds must be used for direct expenses associated with the 2017-2018 FTC competition season. 

Application available here.  Deadline:  September 18, 2017

III.  Newport News Shipbuilding 

Funding is available for teams in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.  Teams must be located in the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Mathews, Surry, York or the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, or Williamsburg.  

This grant places a special emphasis on FTC teams that need assistance with registration fees and/or travel/lodging expenses. Funding levels will not exceed $1,000 and must be used for expenses associated with the 2017-2018 FTC competition season. 

Application available here.  Deadline:  September 1, 2017


Save the date! September 9 - SEASON KICK OFF / GAME REVEAL / WORKSHOP

In order to streamline our communications, we will be focusing our efforts on the FIRST Chesapeake @FIRSTChesapeake Twitter page and deleting the VirginiaFIRST @VirginiaFIRST Twitter account the week of June 26th. Beginning July 1st, the current FIRST Chesapeake Twitter feed will relay information about both the FIRST Chesapeake District FRC program and the Virginia FTC program.

Unfortunately Twitter accounts cannot be merged.

  • If you are currently following the FIRST Chesapeake Twitter feed, you do not have to do anything. Things will stay the same.
  • If you are currently following the VirginiaFIRST Twitter feed, please go to @FIRSTChesapeake and follow that page, as well. This will ensure you will not miss information about the Virginia FTC program via Twitter.

Please tell your coaches and mentors, teammates, friends, families, and sponsors so they can switch as well.

Thank you!