Posted by Frank Merrick on his blog:

Preference System User Guide

You can find the user guide for the new event preference system here.

The system will open at Noon Eastern Time this Thursday, September 21, and close at Noon Eastern Time next Thursday, September 28th. While you will have a full seven days to enter your preferences, we strongly recommend you don’t wait until the last minute.

Events Posted

Except for some District Championships, all FIRST Robotics Competition events for the 2018 season are now posted. As you can’t sign up for District Championships in advance anyway, all events you can sign up for are now available to be added to your preference lists when the preference window opens on Thursday.  This also means you now have the full menu of events to start considering, in advance of the preference system opening.  Make your list, and check it twice, we’re going to find out who’s awesome.*

You can find the events list here, or use this page to search for events by location/distance.


*No time to rhyme

On Saturday September 9th over 300 eager students, coaches and mentors gathered at two ECPI University sites for 2017-18 FIRST Tech Challenge Reveal and Kickoff events in Virginia.

Located at both the Innsbrook and Manassas campuses, the workshops featured many valuable sessions to help both rookie and veteran teams alike. The event sponsor ECPI University provided not only the event sites, but a continental breakfast and lunch, and employee volunteers to lead session presentations. For the first time a session was also simulcasted to both FTC Workshop locations!

A highlight of the day was the reveal of the 2017-18 season game, FIRST Relic Recovery

ECPI University is also the sponsor of the FTC Virginia State Championship, to be held February 24, 2018 at St. Christopher’s School, Richmond, VA. 

Thank you to ECPI University for your support of FIRST Chesapeake and our future technology leaders!


2017 09 FTC Workshop1
2017 09 FTC Workshop2

2017 09 FTC Workshop Glen Allen3

2017 09 FTC Workshop sessiona






FIRST Chesapeake is pleased to announce that Rob Hogan, Vice President of Manufacturing and Material Distribution, Newport News Shipbuilding -a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, has joined its Board of Directors. Rob is a Master Shipbuilder, having achieved more than 40 years of continuous service. He began his career with the shipyard in 1976 as a welder and has held positions at all levels of production and construction leadership.

Rob has considerable board experience. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing and the Virginia Manufacturers Association. In addition, he is active in the American Welding Society, Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the Association for Manufacturing Excellence. He is also a member of The Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School Alumni Association.

With over 20,000 employees, Newport News Shipbuilding is the largest industrial manufacturer in Virginia and the largest shipbuilder in the US. They are a tremendous advocate for FIRST programs in Hampton Roads and have been the Title Sponsor for the FIRST Chesapeake District Hampton Roads (FRC) Event for the past 2 years.

We are honored to have Rob join the FIRST Chesapeake Board of Directors. It is the support of individuals like Rob, and corporations like Newport News Shipbuilding, that help us do what we do best - build tomorrow's technology leaders.

Scott McKay, Chair
FIRST Chesapeake Board of Directors



We are pleased to announce the award of FIRST Tech Challenge grants by Newport News Shipbuilding. Funding was localized to teams in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia for the 2017-18 FTC competition season.


  • Team 9882, Hines Middle School (Newport News)
  • Team 8788, Nansemond Suffolk Academy (Suffolk)
  • Team 201601588, Passage Middle School (Newport News)
  • Team 5527, Landstown High School STEM Academy (Virginia Beach)
  • Team 11991, Norfolk Tech (Norfolk)
  • Team 10570, Heritage Governor's STEM Academy (Newport News)
  • Team 12140, Southside STEM Campostella (Norfolk)


NNS is again working with FIRST Chesapeake to support the FIRST Chesapeake District Competition, March 16-17, 2018, at Churchland High School.

Newport News Shipbuilding is a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries and is the nation's sole designer, builder and refueler of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and one of only two shipyards capable of designing and building nuclear-powered submarines. The shipyard is also home to the nationally recognized Apprentice School that has graduated over 10,000 students in its 96-year history.

Thank you to Newport News Shipbuilding for their generous support of Hampton Roads area FTC teams!

Newport News Shipbuilding

Make sure to check the grants pages often- we post grants for both FTC and FRC teams

See the current list at

The list can also be accessed in the dropdown menu under both programs


Funding for a limited number of FIRST Robotics Competition teams in Hampton Roads will be available through a generous grant by Raytheon. The grant places a special emphasis on FRC teams needing assistance for the 2017-2018 competition season. Funding levels will not exceed $1,000 and may be used to help defray the cost of travel, transportation, and/or lodging, event registration or materials directly relating to the building of the team competition robot.

To receive funding, teams must be located in Hampton Roads, including the cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and surrounding counties, and be associated with a school, Boys and Girls Clubs, Scouts, 4-H, home-school with associated organization, or a non-profit organization.

 Apply here.

Applications must be received by September 29th.



FIRST Robotics Competition workshops are being offered in both Maryland and Virginia locations:


Oct 14th- FIRST Chesapeake FRC Workshops Sponsored by InSource Solutions


Oct 28th- MRA Education Day 2017

  • Cap Tech University-11301 Springfield Road, Laurel, MD 20708
  • Electronic registration MUST be done in advance using our new on-line system (see web page)
  • Cost: $8 per person includes lunch
  • Certain sessions have limited capacity and will fill up- they encourage early registration



The Facebook merger progress is taking longer than expected, so go on over and "like" our active page to see news and updates from FIRST Chesapeake via Facebook.