The 2017 FIRST Tech Challenge Championship results have been posted on the FIRST Chesapeake FTC 2016-17 results page: 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19AgGKDWjziWI0qlkwyfFIPTDxnleGzatnkBegqhx-Xw/pubhtml

FRC teams, Local Committees, and Alumni:

Please see the link below for a press kit that can be distributed to local media to promote the FIRST Chesapeake District Competitions.
http://files.constantcontact.com/d70c700d001/d2a1a1d7-6eb3-4821-bd9e-44e29febf6bd.pdf?ver=1487775921000

We encourage you all to share this information and PLEASE cc: us at contactus@firstchesapeake.org if you get any coverage. We love to see the word spread about FIRST and FIRST Chesapeake!

 

Teams,

In the past we have been fortunate to have some of our US Senators and Representatives visit our competitions. This both demonstrates support for all of our efforts to advance STEM engagement and has helped us with federal legislation that should make it possible for more students participate in FIRST. This year FIRST Chesapeake would again like to engage your efforts to invite Members of Congress to FIRST Chesapeake events.

Please use the following form letters and charts to develop your invitations.

1. Form letter to be mailed to your Senator

2. Form letter to be mailed to your Representative

3. Form email to be sent to congressional staffers

4. Contact information for all Congressional representatives and their staff. If you do not have a community outreach or communications manager, we ask you to select one to be responsible for communicating with your Senator and Member of Congress. The form letters need to be completed and mailed to the address in this spreadsheet.

5. List of Teams and their Congressional reps. 

The text of the letter can be changed, if you feel you can make it more personalized from your Team.
However, a couple of pointers in writing Congress.

  • Keep it brief – note the form letter is only 2/3rds of a page. No letter to a Member should exceed one page.
  • Always be respectful. For those of you writing to Senators Mikulski, Cardin, Kaine and Warner and Representatives Norton, Edwards, Comstock, and Brat, please insert the following at the end of the first paragraph: “We have very much appreciated your visiting our competitions in the past and hope you will find the time to attend again this year.”
  • Staff is key. This chart lists each member’s DC Aides and District Aide. DC Aides are responsible for supporting the Member in Washington and are assigned issue areas. The Legislative Assistant listed is the one responsible for education issues (among six or more other issues) and the second aide – the Scheduler – controls the Member’s schedule. In the chart, the District aide listed is usually the senior aide in the District office. These “staffers” are the ones who usually decide how the Member will spend his time and what issues are important. While the Member may read your letter and tell them she wants to attend a competition, the staff will recommend and the Member will usually follow their advice. Therefore, you need to communicate with the staffer as well. Here is a suggested email to send to the staff – Don’t forget to attach an electronic copy of the letter you have mailed to their Congressman.

 

  • Please consider inviting your local lawmakers as well. Click here for the Maryland House of Delegates. Click here for the Virginia General Assembly. Look under Member Listing for your House and Senate representatives.

 

Thank you so much in advance for your help in raising FIRST Chesapeake awareness among decisionmakers in Washington, DC and in your community. If you have any questions, please contact Leighann Boland at lboland@firstchesapeake.org.

Sincerely,
The FIRST Chesapeake Staff

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!

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)

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

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