Qualcomm has generously sponsored a pilot program in Southwest Virginia. This program will provide funding and local support to five or more under-resourced/ needs-based registered FLL and FTC teams beginning in late April 2021. Funds and support will also be provided to veteran FIRST Chesapeake FTC or FRC teams to act as peer-to-peer mentors. The goal of this program is to help grow a more sustainable pipeline of FIRST k-12 programs in Southwest Virginia. 
If you are an FLL or FTC team in or near the New River Valley region that is interested in registering or learning more about receiving support through this pilot program, please sign up here or email Tim Farmer, FIRST Chesapeake RISE Up Mentoring Manager, at . The deadline to register is March 20th, 2021.
If you are a veteran FTC or FRC team in Southwest Virginia that is interested in mentoring an FLL or FTC team, please reach out to the FIRST Chesapeake RISE Up Mentoring Manager, Tim Farmer, at . Peer-to-peer mentoring will begin in late Spring of 2021 and continue through the 2021-2022 academic year. In addition to local FIRST Chesapeake staff support and resources, select veteran teams or organizations will receive stipends for the 2021-2022 season.
The next RISE Up SWVA Mentoring On-Line Forum Sponsored by Qualcomm will be held in late April. This one-hour interactive forum includes updates regarding events and opportunities specific to Southwest Virginia, as well as a chance to meet other teams and mentors from the area. Please watch your emails and the FIRST Chesapeake website for a date and dial-in information coming in March.


 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.


Angela (on the right) doing a demonstration

Name: Angela Moran

Place of Employment: just retired, U.S. Naval

   Academy, now supporting MD schools through

   Engineers on Deck

Job Title: Engineer, Engineering Professor


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

As a Materials and Manufacturing Engineer and Engineering Educator, I have made it a primary goal to support girls and women in engineering academic paths and STEM careers by providing camps, workshops, and internships specifically for them.


What types of obstacles have you overcome in your career? 

There can be a number of obstacles to a STEM career, but I like to look at them as challenges. Coursework can be very difficult , education costs can be overwhelming, breaking into established groups and institutions can be intimidating. The biggest hurdle is staying true to yourself and your aspirations despite contradictory or negative advice. Pushing yourself to not just look for opportunities but to take chances. Try new things, forget what your friends may say. To my college self, don’t be afraid to fail. When you fall the fastest and the hardest, you learn the most but only if you are willing to do so. Don’t blame others, you are responsible for your actions and your failures. Be sure to thank those who contributed to your successes. Seize opportunities even when your heart is pounding, and you are afraid to do so


When did you first get interested in STEM? 

I have loved math and science since grade school. I grew up with five terrific brothers who were tough on me, but treated me as an equal. My parents insisted I could be whatever I wanted to be. I reveled in fixing things, mixing concrete, doing projects with my dad, a civil engineer. For vacations, we went to see dams and tunnels, so technology was appreciated. I like to build stuff, but I also really like to figure out why things break. My husband of many years is a natural educator and scientist, challenges me every day, and I have had the privilege of interacting with him professionally as we are both materials engineers. The interest has never waned.


What advice (big or little) would you give to a young woman or girl who might be interested in pursuing a career in STEM? 

First, learn more about what scientists and engineers do, especially how they make the world a better place through their work. You should realize that engineering and technology touch every aspect of our lives — our cars, our food, electronic devices, environment, and infrastructure. Challenge yourself and take the tough classes. If you like math and science, you are off to a great start, but you need to develop other qualities as well, engineers do need to solve problems and learn how things work, but they also need to be creative, resourceful, good communicators, and team players.


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

Every time I attend a FIRST competition (we hosted regionals at USNA), the energy from the teams would be electrifying and would make me want to get more kids involved.







Dear FIRST Chesapeake Family,

We are pleased to announce that Tim Farmer will be joining FIRST Chesapeake as the RISE (Robotics Inspired STEM Education) Up Mentor Manager for SWVA - Sponsored by Qualcomm.
This position will help support a new peer to peer initiative in Montgomery, Giles, and Pulaski counties (VA) that will bring together mentors from veteran teams, as well as alumni, and the community to assist at least 5 rookie or struggling FIRST LEGO League or FIRST Tech Challenge teams. 
Tim has been a science teacher for 15 and a half years, and a FIRST Tech Challenge coach and mentor for 2 and a half years. He earned a BS degree in Middle School Education from Emmanuel College and a Masters degree in Education from Liberty University.
He first got involved with FIRST through a local community center. Pulaski County Schools steered him to the FIRST program as they had students working on an FTC robot. From there he began coaching a high school and middle school team through the schools, and Tim says he truly enjoyed the experience.
Tim's spare time is spent with his family traveling around looking for Geocaches and biking on some of the trails they have in his area. If not doing this you will probably find him with a cup of coffee or herbal tea or a fishing rod depending on the weather.  
Please join us in welcoming Tim to the FIRST Chesapeake team.


Please join us at a Forum on Thursday, February 25th at 6:00pm to meet Tim Farmer, the new FIRST Chesapeake RISE UP (Robotics Inspired STEM Education) Mentor Manager SWVA - Sponsored by Qualcomm, and learn more about our new initiative. 
This program is a new peer to peer initiative in Montgomery, Giles, and Pulaski counties (VA) that will bring together mentors from veteran teams, as well as alumni, and the community to assist at least 5 rookie or struggling FIRST LEGO League or FIRST Tech Challenge teams. 
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://meetings.ringcentral.com/j/1482695719

We are monitoring the weather across the District. Please continue to check your specific event's schedule for changes and how it affects your team.

*Recent changes*
  • Fairlawn (Sat) - matches will start at 10:30am
  • Fulton (Sun only)- matches will begin at 9:30am
Once the events have started, if we have to make schedule adjustments, we will notify you directly at least 2 hours before you are due to arrive.

Inclement Weather


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