Dear FIRST Chesapeake Family,
 
I want to notify you that Rose Young's last day with FIRST Chesapeake is April 5th, 2021. As a valued member of our staff, she will definitely be missed, but she has promised to continue to volunteer as time allows.
 
Rose joined the staff at a time when we could not have needed her more. Her vast knowledge of FIRST programs and her ties to the Maryland STEM community helped bring Maryland and District of Columbia FTC teams under the FIRST Chesapeake umbrella in 2020. In addition to her assigned duties, Rose also jumped in to help with volunteer recruitment and management, the planning and execution of FIRST  Chesapeake Chats, and the development of educational resources for several of our Title 1 schools. You may not have noticed, but she also helped field questions and requests in the comments section of our remote discussions and events this season. 
 
Please join me in thanking Rose for all that she has done for FIRST Chesapeake and wishing her the best in all future endeavors. If you would like to stay in touch with Rose, her email is . If you need to reach someone at FIRST Chesapeake, please email Ron Therrien
We are pleased to announce Accenture Federal Services as our 2021 FIRST Chesapeake Remote Town Hall Sponsor. Accenture has been a longtime supporter of FIRST Chesapeake and its programs. You probably remember them as our event sponsor for FRC District competitions in Maryland over the years, but they also helped develop our updated FIRST Chesapeake introductory video in the fall of 2020. It's the support of companies such as Accenture Federal Services that helps us do what we do best - build tomorrow's technology leaders.  
 
Our next FIRST Chesapeake Town Hall Sponsored by Accenture Federal Services will be held Tuesday, April 6th at 6pm on our Twitch channel.

 

We are enthused to bring you an installment of the "Women in STEM Spotlight Series Sponsored by Leidos." This series highlights women involved in the FIRST community in DC, Maryland and Virginia who are an inspiration for our program's young women and girls.


Name: Rose Young

Place of Employment: Retired

Job Title: Volunteer and Mentor

 What is your specific job in STEM? How would you describe this job to young women and girls?   

Former teacher, engineer, Naval officer, scientist.

 

Who inspired you to choose a career in a STEM field? 

My high school chemistry and physics teacher challenged me and opened a world that engaged my curiosity, intellect and sense of order. At the same time, he let me explore and see connections. I think I was always drawn to what we now call "STEM" long before the acronym was coined, but Mr. Willis surely had a major impact on my life. He gave confidence and helped me find ways to succeed and grow. I went on to the Naval Academy and a career as an Engineering Duty Officer, left active duty to raise my children and then began teaching. I never lost my curiosity and interest in science.

 

What is the coolest thing about your job? 

My many careers have been interesting to me, if not "cool" in the way most would perceive the term. What is most rewarding to me is working to engage my sailors in the Navy and my students in the classroom, to help them see their own potential and open doors for them. Mentoring FIRST Teams is just the best possible way to do this job, the job of growing a new generation of inventors and creators. While I now am officially retired from at least two careers, I feel that I still have a meaningful job as a mentor.

 

What is the coolest thing that has happened while being involved (volunteering or mentoring) with FIRST?   

The most rewarding and memorable moments for me are the clear demonstrations of growth in young people. I can remember the freshman who could barely mumble a response to a question blossoming into a confident spokesperson. I recall young women skittish around power tools later taking the lead in building robots. Seeing alumni come back to volunteer, and to share experiences with others, gives my great joy. And seeing my own sons succeed in their careers and stay connected with teammates is pretty cool.

              

Anything else you'd like to share? 

For this article I chose a photo of me with my two sons at an Alumni event. I was presented with a small token of team appreciation for "Selfless Dedication" and my boys were there for the event. What a special day!

 

From Firstinspires:

 

FIRST President Larry Cohen has decided to retire early so that he can spend more time with his family. Larry joined FIRST in December, 2019, after a distinguished 30+ year career leading information technology and operations efforts at AllianceBernstein, Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Goldman Sachs.

Our thanks to Larry for his successful leadership during a very difficult time, with the pandemic restricting most after-school activities and challenging organizational missions, impacts and finances.

We are pleased to appoint Chris Rake as Interim President, effective March 29. Chris is the Vice President of Programs for FIRST and leads the largest organization within FIRST. Chris has demonstrated outstanding technology and operational leadership skills. Chris is a true FIRST enthusiast and, as a volunteer, mentors several FIRST teams.

The awards for the FIRST Chesapeake FIRST Tech Challenge Championship events February 27-28, 2021 are posted online here and here for your convenience. (information is the same on both pages)

There are tabs for both the event awards as well as Dean's List finalists/Compass and Promote awards.

All events on the https://events.firstchesapeake.org website have been updated to include the awards from each event on the "Team/Event Details" page.

We thank all the guests who appeared in our "Today's Women in STEM" Series Sponsored by Leidos this season. 

We thank Leidos for helping to provide insights into career opportunities for our team members and recent alumni and for providing role models and inspiration for young women in STEM.

Click here to visit our Chats page archive and to watch all the "Today's Women in STEM" broadcasts.

 

From firstinspires https://www.firstinspires.org/community/inspire/2021-first-championship-update

 

Dear FIRST® Community,

This season, we have explored new and exciting ways to deliver our programs with your safety and wellbeing as our top priority while ensuring all students can participate in meaningful ways. What has remained constant is our mission to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators. We are grateful to our entire community for their flexibility and patience as new information becomes available and we adapt to changing conditions.

Previously, we announced an extension of the FIRST® GAME CHANGERSSM powered by Star Wars: Force for Change season to provide additional time and flexibility for build seasons and local and remote events. As part of that extension, we hoped to move our season-culminating 2021 FIRST Championship events from April to a July/August timeframe.

These past few months, we have continued to evaluate the scale and viability of hosting 2021 FIRST  Championship events that meet health, safety, and international travel guidelines. Due to conditions created by the ongoing pandemic, we are unable to host the events as planned and have made the decision to cancel the 2021 FIRST Championship events in Houston and Detroit. We share in your deep disappointment that we will not be gathering as a global community in person this season. However, the safety of our community is our overarching priority.

Fortunately, the FIRST GAME CHANGERS season continues. Around the world, many teams are still working diligently on their robots and projects as they prepare for judged FIRST activities. Additionally, we are still planning remote global celebrations to recognize the amazing accomplishments of FIRST teams this season, such as showcasing our teams’ innovative, real-world solutions on June 28-30, 2021, at the 2021 FIRST Global Innovation Awards powered by Star Wars: Force for Change. Stay tuned for details about additional season-culminating celebrations.

For more information on the 2021 FIRST Championship events cancellation, read our FAQ.

Dear FIRST Chesapeake FRC Team Members and Volunteers,
 
Every year we look forward to the FIRST Robotics Competition season. We realize that it’s not just a time to compete. It’s also a chance for old friends to reconnect, for teams to share ideas and practice coopertition and gracious professionalism, and most of all, it’s a time to celebrate the accomplishments of thousands of outstanding high school students from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. While this season has been challenging, it has been our most sincere wish to bring unofficial remote/in-person FRC events to our teams this spring, in addition to the official remote challenges offered by FIRST this season. Unfortunately, due to continued concerns at FIRST Headquarters, they will not be approving any unofficial FRC events in North America held prior to June. Because of this, we will not be able to move forward with our proposed plans for our unofficial hybrid events this month.  If you have any questions about FRC and FIRST for this season, please email .
 
We realize that this will come as a disappointment to some of our teams, and especially the seniors who have been unable to compete in-person for the past two seasons. Please understand that the FIRST Chesapeake staff and volunteers put in countless hours to try to develop the best and safest events possible, but this time it was not meant to be. We hope that you will take advantage of the remote challenges that FIRST has developed and that you will continue to participate in our interactive FIRST Chesapeake Chats Sponsored by Newport News Shipbuilding and our on-line Town Halls.
 
We are so grateful for the ongoing support of our teams, our volunteers, and our sponsors over the past year. Though we will not be able to host events as we had hoped, we will continue to move forward with planning engaging and exciting FRC events for the 2022 season while supporting the mission and vision of FIRST.  
 
Stay safe and healthy, my friends,
 
Leighann
 
Leighann Scott Boland
President, VirginiaFIRST/FIRST Chesapeake

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