The FIRST Robotics Competition NASA grant deadline is MONDAY Nov 16th- this is an easy $450 for veteran or rookie teams to be applied towards your initial team registration fee for the upcoming 2021 season.

Don't wait- apply here now!


Applications are being accepted for the annual Women in STEM Scholarships Sponsored by Dominion Energy. Scholarships will be awarded to three outstanding women (high school juniors and seniors) currently registered with a FIRST team in the FIRST Chesapeake District (FTC or FRC in DC, Maryland, and Virginia). The top scholarship is $3,000 with two $1,000 scholarships also available. Applications are due no later than 5:00PM on Sunday, November 15, 2020. Finalists will be notified no later than December 1, 2020 and must attend a virtual interview with the selection committee (date and time TBD). Scholarship recipients will be notified no later than December 15, 2020.
Important update: Because of virtual learning and COVID 19 restrictions, if you were registered with an FTC or FRC team in the District of Columbia, Maryland or Virginia during the 2019-20 academic year, but your team is not competing this season, you are still eligible to apply.
Scholarships will be presented at the annual Reaching for the Stars: Women in STEM Breakfast Sponsored by Leidos on January 27, 2021. Additional details can be found here. Questions? Contact Katarina Spears at .
This week the FIRST Chesapeake Chats Series Sponsored by Newports News Shipbuilding features an installment of the "Today's Women in STEM" Series Sponsored by Leidos. The five-part series, featured the first Thursday each month through March 2021, will provide insight and inspiration from leading female STEM professionals about their careers, aspirations, and challenges.
Thursday, November 5th, 6:00pm - Today's Women in STEM Series Sponsored by Leidos. "Cool Jobs: Discussion with Canon Virginia Employees - Presented by Canon Virginia." Hear what inspired these Canon Virginia employees to explore the engineering field and what challenges they have faced as female engineers.
  • Featuring Belinda Donavant, Sr. Director of Product Engineering; Linda "Lynn" Miller, Sr. Engineer, Advanced Continuous Improvement; Angie Coulton, Engineering Systems Specialist III, Product Engineering; and Cynthia Popernack, Sr. Engineer, Advanced Continuous Improvement.


Deadlines Approaching! Don’t miss out on these grants:
  • Equity & Access Grant: Application submissions are due by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, November 6. Apply today!
  • New Team Grant: This grant is open to FIRST® Robotics Competition Rookie Teams and New Veteran Teams. Application submissions are due by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, November 9. Apply today! If you have any questions regarding this grant please send an email to .
See the FIRST Chesapeake grants page for more opportunities for both FRC and FTC teams.
It is with mixed emotions that we are announcing longtime FIRST Senior Mentor, Angie Fontanilla, will be stepping back from her position at the end of October. As so many of us know, Angie's dedication to FIRST teams truly knows no boundaries. She has spent countless weekends and evenings attending community events and outreach, recruiting and supporting teams, and working innumerable FIRST  competitions and Championships. She has done all of this with gentle good humor and incredible attention to detail. 
Angie has been an FSM for the Greater DC area for 6 years. She has been involved with FIRST since 2008, with all 3 of her children taking part in the program and also as a coach and mentor with various FLL and FTC teams. While she remains committed to the mission of FIRST and hopes to return in some capacity at a later date, she has made the decision to focus on her family for the near future. While we understand and respect Angie's decision, she will be greatly missed by many staff, volunteers, and teams. Her knowledge of all things FIRST, her work ethic, and her kindness has made FIRST Chesapeake and VA-DC FIRST LEGO League much stronger and better organizations.
We will be looking to fill the Greater DC area FSM position this fall, so stay posted for more information.  Please join us in wishing Angie the best.

If you were unable to tune in live, links for the recordings of the Oct 15th FIRST Chesapeake Chats Sponsored by Newport News Shipbuilding (and prior Chats) can be found on the Chats webpage.


Other FIRST Chesapeake recordings can be found on our YouTube page-

Do you have 10-15 hours available a week and would like to get more involved in FIRST programs?  FIRST Chesapeake and VA-DC FIRST LEGO League are looking for a qualified candidate to fill the FIRST Senior Mentor Position for the Greater DC area. 
FIRST® Senior Mentors (or FSMs) are a group of highly skilled and talented, technical and non-technical individuals whose main focus is on recruiting, supporting, and expanding FIRST programs at the local level.  This position would report to FIRST Headquarters but will also work closely and collaboratively with FIRST Chesapeake and VA-DC FLL.  FIRST Senior Mentors have many opportunities to provide critical support to teams, volunteers and local partners, including identifying and recruiting volunteers to be mentors, coaches, and event volunteers, attending community outreach events, and supporting existing teams, mentors, and coaches.
If you are interested in learning more about or applying for this paid position, please contact Ron Therrien, Director of Programs for FIRST Chesapeake or Kaitlin Ilnitzki, Assistant Director, VA-DC FLL. Here is a short video about the position. A description of the FIRST Senior Mentor Program can also be found here

The 2020 Women in STEM Scholarships Sponsored by Dominion Energy application is now open for submissions!
Deadline: November 15, 2020 at 5:00PM
Eligible: High school junior and senior females, current members of FTC and FRC teams in DC, Maryland and Virginia
For more information or for questions contact Krystian Jones at 

Inclement Weather


In case of Inclement Weather the day of
a FIRST Chesapeake Event,
Please call 804.464.8945
after 5am for updates