The Virginia Dept of Education STEM Competition team grant applications opened for Virginia public schools interested in fielding a FIRST Tech Challenge or FIRST Robotics Competition robotics team. This grant has significant restrictions, but for eligible schools it also offers very generous funding. Here are the highlights, Please read the application requirements thoroughly. 
 
ELIGIBLE SCHOOLS
• Schools that have demonstrated an interest in establishing new STEM competition teams.
Public high schools at which at least 40 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch.
• Grants to qualifying high schools are not to exceed $5,000 per school per year. Total STEM competition team grant awards to a division are not to exceed $10,000 per year.
• Schools applying for first-year grants can use the funds for planning purposes and will be eligible to receive a second-year of funding (initiative expansion) grant in the subsequent year, pending availability of funding. 
• Schools seeking second-year grants and meeting all eligibility requirements will be given priority over other grant applicants.
• Grants shall be evaluated in the order that each completed eligible application is received. 
• The STEM Competition Team Grant Initiative Application is due to the Virginia Department of Education, Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, on or before September 21, 2018.
 
 
When applying, please be aware the grant only allows two grants, or a total of 10,000 per school district. In many cases, there are many more than two FTC and FRC teams within a district. If you need assistance coordinating with other coaches in your district to provide consistent messaging and create a cohesive application as a district, please reach out. We are happy to assist you. The best contact is Kristin Clemons, Director of Programs, email  kclemons@firstchesapeake.org 
 

 
Please visit the FIRST Chesapeake grants page for other funding opportunities- there are many grants open to private school or community group teams.