We know … it’s in the middle of Build Season and you are extremely busy. We are busy as well. We’ve received multiple questions from our teams regarding mentor assistance and available resources. Share your challenges (mentors, materials, travel, etc.) and take advantage of the services listed below.

Team Inquiry Form/Community of Experts

Of course, you can reach out to us anytime by email or by phone, but an online team inquiry form is now available on the FIRST Chesapeake website to submit requests for assistance and resources at https://www.firstchesapeake.org/first-programs/frc/frc-team-support-inquiry. The more details we have, the better service we will provide. All inquiries will be sent to both of us and responses will be tracked. Many experienced and knowledgeable coaches and mentors have joined our Community of Experts, and they are willing and waiting to assist you.

Work and Practice Spaces for Teams

The following locations are available for teams to work, fabricate parts and practice during the FIRST STEAMWORKS season. We are happy to include any teams that open their space for other teams to utilize – let us know!

 

VIRGINIA:

Location: FIRST Chesapeake Command Central - 8177 Mechanicsville Tpke, Mechanicsville, VA 23111

Available resources: Work space, basic machine shop, hand tools, storage space, practice field.

Days/Times: By appointment only.

Contact: Glen Davis gdavis@firstchesapeake.org

 

Location: FRC Team 1418, George Mason High School, 7124 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22043

Available resources: Tools, partial field should be ready by January 14th

Days/Times: Daily until 6pm, Saturdays and Sundays until 6pm

Contact: Cricket Moore cricket.moore@verizon.net

 

Location: FRC Team 2363, Menchville High School, Newport News, VA

Available resources: Probably some mockup practice field components (but we won't know specifics until Week 1 or 2), 6x26 manual milling machine with DRO, lathe, band saw, drill presses, belt sander, grinder, hand tools

Days/times available: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays 6pm -9pm and Saturdays 9am-6pm (or as needed)

Contact: Nate Laverdure nate.laverdure@gmail.com 703-200-2336

 

MARYLAND:

Location: USRA STEMaction Center, 7178 Columbia Gateway Dr, Columbia, MD 21046

Available resources: Bring your own tools. Teams must sign a waiver to utilize dremels, grinders, etc.

Days/Times: Wednesdays 4-8pm

Contact: Mike Kaurich mkaurich@usra.edu

Reservation form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Dh6pEbYDlW6n2v9ChO4ljaybrl4VNXu0XQQFv3D_hFo/viewform

 

Location: FRC Team 4638 Northwest High School Jabots, Northwest HS 13501 Richter Farm Road, Germantown, MD 20874

Available Resources: Tormach PCNC 1100 Mill, Floor Drill Press, Table Saw, 3d Printer, Other MISC Tools

Days/Times: Saturdays 9am - 3pm

Contact: Mike Ames Michael_W_ames@mcpsmd.org 301-873-5067

 

Location: FRC Team 4949 Parkdale HS Robo Panthers, 6001 Good Luck Rd, Riverdale MD 20737

Days/Times: Monday - Friday from 2:30 - 9:00pm

Available Resources: (list specific tools, practice field, etc.) band saw, chop saw, drill press, table saw, dremel, and hand tools.

Contact: karen.bogoski@pgcps.org 734-587-3350

 

Location: FRC Team 836 Robobees - The Stachelczyk STEM Center, 43883 Airport View Dr, Hollywood MD, 20636

Available Resources: 1/2 Practice Field, ask if a specific tool is needed

Days/Times Available: Usually most days

Contact: Steve Page Stevegpage@gmail.com 240-298-1697

 

Location: FRC Team 3941 - Techbrick Robotics STEM Outreach Education Center, Building 4508 Aberdeen Proving Ground, Aberdeen, MD

Available resources: Tools, some field/game elements

Days/Times: Upon request (refer to detailed instructions attached for access)

Contact: Marco 410-960-9003 / Tim 302-383-6759

 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:

Location: FRC Team 1915 McKinley Technology High School, 151 T Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

Available resources: Band saws, drill presses, chop saw, small brake and shear for aluminum sheet and oodles of hand tools

Days/Times: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, though the lab open Monday and Wednesday as well most of the time. If the team works on Saturday, it will usually be 1000-1400 unless otherwise noted.

Contact: Kenneth Lesley kenneth.lesley@dc.gov

 

Location: FRC Team 4242 Living Classrooms Fresh Start (located near the Navy Yard and United States Department of Transportation), 515 Tingey Street, SE, Building 74, Suite 222, Washington, DC 20003

Available Resources: Mostly just typical woodshop tools- miter saw, band saw, table saw, router, drill presses, tiny lathe, hand drills, handheld band saw, clamps, vices, etc. We do have some practice carpet scavenged from one of last year's events.

Contacts: Dominique Skinner – Administrator dskinner@livingclassroomsdc.org, Andrew Magaletti – Mentor apmagaletti@gmail.com

 

Location: Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School, 704 26th St NE, Washington, DC 20002

Days/Times: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4 to 6pm. Saturday (9 to 1pm) is optional if the school's principal agrees to provide custodial/security personnel.

Contacts: Ms. Hannah Whitaker Hannah.whitaker@dc.gov, Leo Yon – Mentor leo.yon@dot.gov 202-366-7028

 

FIRST Help Now – new resource! If you know of another great resource for teams, please share

Team 3132, BumbleB, Cheesy Poofs, Chop Shop, Griffins, Hawaiian Kids, Magma Robotics and Sultans of Turkiye present FIRST Help Now, a 24/7 call centre hosted on Google Hangouts to help teams during build season. They are working together to create a place where you can get immediate help for all your emergency robotic repairs. The idea is to create a place where teams around the world can have immediate access to help and advice if needed. For more information, please go to their website; www.FIRSTHelpNow.org or "like" them on Facebook.

 

Stay Informed

As always, please make sure to sign-up for the FIRST Chesapeake monthly "Hear FIRST" newsletter http://virginiafirst.formstack.com/forms/virginiafirst_newsletter_sign_up and frequently check the FIRST Family Blog https://www.firstchesapeake.org/news/first-family-blog for current news. These are two important vehicles we use to get information to teams, coaches, students, parents, and volunteers.

 

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need our help.
* Denise Lewis- Director of FRC Program EAST – (301) 814-0331 dlewis@firstchesapeake.org
* Brian Walinski- Director of FRC Program WEST – (804) 690-4040 bwalinski@firstchesapeake.org

The VirginiaFIRST/ FIRST Chesapeake main phone number has changed. It previously was (804) 864-1444- it now is (804) 277-3506

The individual staff member phone numbers remain unchanged.

You can always reach us by email- please see this page https://www.firstchesapeake.org/about/organization for staff email addresses or this page https://www.firstchesapeake.org/contact for the general contact form.

Thank you for your patience during this change-over!

We're very excited to announce that FIRST has partnered with the National Math Festival, which will take place Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 10am til 7pm in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, in Washington, D.C. The exhibit will be all day - high school students and their mentors bring robots and explain the math behind building them.

I am still recruiting high school teams (preferably FTC) to support an exhibit at the National Math Festival. Participating teams must document and present on how they utilize mathematics in the design of their robots, strategies for playing the game and STEM outreach.

As with all FIRST-sponsored exhibit opportunities, teams will be provided with lunch and parking. I will share specific hours and logistics as we get closer to the event.

Take care, and thanks in advance.

Denise

Denise M. Lewis
Director, FIRST Robotics Competition - East
301.814.0331
dlewis@firstchesapeake.org

This information is being shared from Body Electric Team 1389's post- http://team1389.com/please-pick-up-the-phone-and-help-robotics-in-maryland/


FIRST in Maryland Friends we need your help! See Delegate Kirill Reznik's message below. Call your Senators, Delegates, and the Governor to let them know how important state funding for robotics programs is in helping our children prepare for high skill and high paying jobs in Maryland! Please call his office at 410-974-3901.

From Reznik’s office on the Maryland Robotics Education bill that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support:

Dear Friends,

As you may have heard, yesterday Governor Hogan announced that this year's proposed state budget will fully fund all mandated programs, cut virtually nothing, raise no taxes, and come in under last year’s budget in real dollars.
Unfortunately, this miracle budget uses a number of budgetary gimmicks to reach that goal and uses a separate piece of legislation to eliminate a number of funding mandates. Though I have not seen the full budget yet, I have been told that the bill we fought so hard to get last year to provide for a grants program to the robotics programs throughout the State was included as part of his cuts.
Given the enormous power that the Maryland Governor has over the State budget by Constitutional authority I don’t know if we will be able to restore it. I will try my best, but I need your help. Please call your Senators and Delegates, and also please call the Governor’s office (governor.maryland.gov) and tell them how important this funding is to our children and their future. Let them know that in order to create high skill, high paying jobs in the State, we need to invest in STEM education, and not cut those crucial programs.
I hope that by the time this session is over I will be able to report to you that we have restored this program.

Sincerely,

Delegate Kirill Reznik

 

Contact the Governor’s Office- Whether you’re a citizen of Maryland or just visiting our great state, your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Mail:
100 State Circle
Annapolis, Maryland
21401-1925


Phone:
410-974-3901
1-800-811-8336
MD Relay 1-800-735-2258


Email Governor Hogan (General Inquiries or Comments)
Email Lt. Governor Rutherford (General Inquiries or Comments)

A warm thank you goes out to FRC Team 346 RoboHawks for their donation of a very large tool case and tools to Command Central's workshop.

Also, FRC Team 1086 Blue Cheese donated a lathe for use in our workshop- thanks from all those teams that will be able to spin a few things on this lathe this build season.

What wonderful additions to our growing work space!

IMG 20170109 114748976 lathe toolbox 1086 346

A great thank you goes out to a mentor from Atlee High School (FRC Team 1599), John Rawls, for his help in building our work benches for team use here at Command Central.
 
Thank You John!
 
IMG 20170102 123459191

Greetings FIRST Chesapeake FRC teams and welcome to the FIRST STEAMWORKS Build Season. As your FRC Program Directors, we work to support you. Below is a brief update on our actions, next steps and resources that may be useful to your team. We are committed to developing and publishing monthly communications throughout the season. It’s National Mentoring Month – thank you for empowering our youth through FIRST.

Welcome Rookie Teams!
Please join us in welcoming our newest teams to FIRST Chesapeake. Be sure to check out these tips for rookie teams: http://www.firstnemo.org/PDF/18Hints_for_rookie_teams.pdf

6312 Christchurch School - Hippocampinae Christchurch, VA
6313 Christchurch School - Hippocampus Christchurch, VA
6326 Family/Community - Baltimore Bolts Baltimore, MD
6334 Family/Community - Aluminati Midlothian, VA
6504 Falls Church High - FCHS FRC Falls Church, VA
6505 Washington Math Science Tech PCS - ElectroPanthers Washington, DC
6543 Pinnacle Academy - pumaTECH Oakton, VA
6584 Academy of the Holy Cross - AHC Transformers Kensington, MD


Work and Practice Spaces for Teams
The following locations are available for teams to work, fabricate parts and practice during the FIRST STRONGHOLD season. We are happy to include any teams that open their space for other teams to utilize – let us know!


VIRGINIA:
Location: FIRST Chesapeake Command Central - 8177 Mechanicsville Tpke, Mechanicsville, VA 23111
Available resources: Work space, basic machine shop, hand tools, storage space, practice field.
Days/Times: By appointment only.
Contact: Glen Davis gdavis@firstchesapeake.org

Location: FR Team 1418, George Mason High School, 7124 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22043
Available resources: Tools, partial field should be ready by January 14th
Days/Times: Daily until 6pm, Saturdays and Sundays until 6pm
Contact: Cricket Moore cricket.moore@verizon.net

Location: FRC Team 2363, Menchville High School, Newport News, VA
Available resources: Probably some mockup practice field components (but we won't know specifics until Week 1 or 2), 6x26 manual milling machine with DRO, lathe, band saw, drill presses, belt sander, grinder, hand tools
Days/times available: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays 6pm -9pm and Saturdays 9am-6pm (or as needed)
Contact: Nate Laverdure nate.laverdure@gmail.com 703-200-2336

MARYLAND:

Location: USRA STEMaction Center, 7178 Columbia Gateway Dr, Columbia, MD 21046
Available resources: Bring your own tools. Teams must sign a waiver to utilize dremels, grinders, etc.
Days/Times: Wednesdays 4-8pm
Contact: Mike Kaurich mkaurich@usra.edu
Reservation form:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Dh6pEbYDlW6n2v9ChO4ljaybrl4VNXu0XQQFv3D_hFo/viewform

Location: FRC Team 4638 Northwest High School Jabots, Northwest HS 13501 Richter Farm Road, Germantown, MD 20874
Available Resources: Tormach PCNC 1100 Mill, Floor Drill Press, Table Saw, 3d Printer, Other MISC Tools
Days/Times: Saturdays 9am - 3pm
Contact: Mike Ames Michael_W_ames@mcpsmd.org 301-873-5067

Location: FRC Team 4949 Parkdale HS Robo Panthers, 6001 Good Luck Rd, Riverdale MD 20737
Days/Times: Monday - Friday from 2:30 - 9:00pm
Available Resources: (list specific tools, practice field, etc.) band saw, chop saw, drill press, table saw, dremel, and hand tools.
Contact: karen.bogoski@pgcps.org 734-587-3350

Location: FRC Team 836 Robobees - The Stachelczyk STEM Center, 43883 Airport View Dr, Hollywood MD, 20636
Available Resources: 1/2 Practice Field, ask if a specific tool is needed
Days/Times Available: Usually most days
Contact: Steve Page Stevegpage@gmail.com 240-298-1697

Location: FRC Team 3941 - Techbrick Robotics STEM Outreach Education Center, Building 4508 Aberdeen Proving Ground, Aberdeen, MD
Available resources: Tools, some field/game elements
Days/Times: Upon request (refer to detailed instructions attached for access)
Contact: Marco 410-960-9003 / Tim 302-383-6759


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:

Location: FRC Team 1915 McKinley Technology High School, 151 T Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
Available resources: Band saws, drill presses, chop saw, small brake and shear for aluminum sheet and oodles of hand tools
Days/Times: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, though the lab open Monday and Wednesday as well most of the time. If the team works on Saturday, it will usually be 1000-1400 unless otherwise noted.
Contact: Kenneth Lesley kenneth.lesley@dc.gov

Location: FRC Team 4242 Living Classrooms Fresh Start (located near the Navy Yard and United States Department of Transportation), 515 Tingey Street, SE, Building 74, Suite 222, Washington, DC 20003
Available Resources: Mostly just typical woodshop tools- miter saw, band saw, table saw, router, drill presses, tiny lathe, hand drills, handheld band saw, clamps, vices, etc. We do have some practice carpet scavenged from one of last year's events.
Contacts: Dominique Skinner – Administrator dskinner@livingclassroomsdc.org, Andrew Magaletti – Mentor apmagaletti@gmail.com

Location: Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School, 704 26th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Days/Times: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4 to 6pm. Saturday (9 to 1pm) is optional if the school's principal agrees to provide custodial/security personnel.
Contacts: Ms. Hannah Whitaker Hannah.whitaker@dc.gov, Leo Yon – Mentor leo.yon@dot.gov 202-366-7028


FIRST Help Now – new resource! If you know of a great resource for teams, please share.

Team 3132, BumbleB, Cheesy Poofs, Chop Shop, Griffins, Hawaiian Kids, Magma Robotics and Sultans of Turkiye present FIRST Help Now, a 24/7 call centre hosted on Google Hangouts to help teams during build season. They are working together to create a place where you can get immediate help for all your emergency robotic repairs. The idea is to create a place where teams around the world can have immediate access to help and advice if needed. For more information, please go to their website; www.FIRSTHelpNow.org or "like" them on Facebook.


FIRST and Local Motors Brainstorming Forum
This season we are fortunate to partner with Local Motors National Harbor who will host a brainstorming forum with a Local Motors designer/engineer on Saturday, January 14, 2017 12pm – 2pm. While we are at capacity for onsite participation at the National Harbor location, we still have a few slots available for the interactive live video stream via Zoom. Contact Denise Lewis if your team would like to participate.
In addition, the excellent tips and resources shared in a presentation by Anne and Steve Shade (The Shade Strategy Hour) last season are available – just ask!

Team Inquiry Form
An online team inquiry form is now available on the FIRST Chesapeake website to submit requests for assistance and resources at https://www.firstchesapeake.org/first-programs/frc/frc-team-support-inquiry. All inquiries will be sent to both of us and responses will be tracked.

Team Legacy Grant
Our generous sponsor, Showbest Fixture Corporation, has provided $10K for a "team legacy grant" award. Three cash prizes will be awarded to FRC teams in our district that submit the best plan for "leaving their team better than when they found it." Click here to see the award description and guidelines.


Preventing Mentor Burnout
Over the past few months, we have reached out to each main and alternate team contact, visited rookie and at-risk teams and facilitated discussions with coaches and mentors during off-season events and workshops. With our focus on sustainable team growth, we thank everyone who participated and shared suggestions during these discussions.

 

Telltale signs of struggling at-risk teams:

• Rookie teams lacking a strategic/business plan
• 2nd Year teams (received grant in rookie year without a strategic/business plan)
• Teams without administrative/school support, or resources/funding tied to curriculum
• One key person running the team with a few or no mentors registered in RIMS
• Team loss of a significant sponsor, team lacks financial support from the community
If you have concerns that your team may be facing one or more of these challenges, the sooner they are addressed, the better opportunity you have for success. Please feel free to contact one of us for ideas and guidance on how to strengthen your team.

What we are doing this season:

• Reached out to teams by phone early in the season (Completed: 9/28/16)
• Distributed “Is Your Team Ready to Compete” checklist with top 7 criteria for success (Completed: 9/20/16, link was shared in October newsletter)
• Developed a “Community of Experts” resource (Completed 11/2016)
• Initiated a Mentor Resource initiative through AmeriCorps VISTAs (ongoing through May 2017)
• Connected 9 out of 9 rookie teams with experienced teams/advisors, working with new teams from the start to identify problems early, focusing on business plan development, funding strategies (ongoing)
• Conducted open, accessible discussions about team challenges and possible solutions:

o 10/16/16 - MENTOR BURN-OUT: What's a Team to Do? Command Central, Mechanicsville VA 2pm – 6pm (teleconference available)
o 10/22/16 – IROC, Haymarket, VA
o 10/29/16 - BAA Education Day, Glenelg, MD
o 11/5/16 - Rumble in the Roads, Newport News, VA
o 11/19/16 – FRC Workshops at VCU, Richmond, VA
o 12/10/16 – FRC Workshops at George Mason HS, Falls Church, VA

Where we are going (great solutions generated from our meetings with teams):

• We anticipate modest team growth next season (7% - 10%), with a goal of retaining 97% of veteran teams and expand to an 8th district event (2017-2018 season)
• Our goal is to encourage collaboration among teams (better communication of needs) and advancing the best FIRST Chesapeake teams to the national championship (ongoing)
• Continue direct meetings with team leaders, provide incentives and rewards for participation in programs designed to help teams help themselves (ongoing)
• In addition to a blog and event information, we need to refine the FIRST Chesapeake website to provide more resources for teams, including:

o Mentor resources and training (showcase partnerships with local universities, sponsors) (Target date for completion of VISTA Collaborative: May 2017)
o Funding resources (e.g., state resources, sports leagues) (Target date for completion: May 16, 2017)
o Fabrication resources (workspaces, tools, practice fields at Command Central: (Target date for completion; January 2017)
o Team Inquiry Form/Help Line (Completed: 12/20/16)
o Travel resources, consolidating needs of teams and leverage resources to obtain better pricing on transportation, hotels (Target date for completion: May 2017)

• We will work to identify potential rookie teams and equip them for success (business plan, community asset mapping, match with a veteran team, shadowing, participation in off-season events) (ongoing)
• We will visit at-risk teams and help them develop plans to resolve specific issues (ongoing)

Have an awesome Build Season, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you need our help.
* Denise Lewis- Director of FRC Program EAST – (301) 814-0331 dlewis@firstchesapeake.org
* Brian Walinski- Director of FRC Program WEST – (804) 690-4040 bwalinski@firstchesapeake.org

A pdf document with team specifics for the FIRST Tech Challenge Shenandoah Qualifier Sponsored by UVA Engineering on December 17th has been posted to the event webpage https://www.firstchesapeake.org/first-programs/ftc/virginia-first-tech-challenge-events/shenandoah-qualifier .

There is also a Robot Inspection List to download as well.

Please watch the blog page for further updates https://www.firstchesapeake.org/news/first-family-blog.