STEM in 30 is an interactive classroom program consisting of 30-minute webcasts that engage middle school students in STEM topics ranging from WWI airplanes to rovers on Mars.  

Their first episode of the season, "Robotics: FIRST There Were People, Then There Were Machines," features FIRST teams from both FIRST Chesapeake and Virginia Washington DC FIRST LEGO League

This episode will be available for viewing beginning Thursday September 13th at 11 am.

Thank you VA-DC FLL for your assistance in the filming of this episode.

This season FIRST Tech Challenge Kickoff and Workshops sponsor ECPI has generously made their technology available for teams to share several of the presentations in an online format. Teams who are unable to attend in person are able to watch the sessions listed below. We are excited to be able to offer this to our teams and welcome your feedback as to what we can do to provide more resources like this to teams in the future. 

FTC Welcome -

10:30am Diversity in FIRST -

12:30pm Programming Java –

2:00pm Fundraising and Sustainability -

3:30pm World Championship Inspire Team Round Table -


For descriptions of the workshop sessions, click here.

For workshop schedule, click here.


Can't make it to a FIRST Tech Challenge kickoff event? Make your own! Grab your #STEMsquad and watch Twitch for the live game reveal. Show starts Saturday September 8th at 11:30 a.m. EDT.

Watch the FIRST Chesapeake blog for more information later this week about Saturday's events!

 The Virginia Dept of Education STEM Competition team grant applications opened for Virginia public schools interested in fielding a FIRST Tech Challenge or FIRST Robotics Competition robotics team. This grant has significant restrictions, but for eligible schools it also offers very generous funding. Here are the highlights, Please read the application requirements thoroughly. 
• Schools that have demonstrated an interest in establishing new STEM competition teams.
Public high schools at which at least 40 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch.
• Grants to qualifying high schools are not to exceed $5,000 per school per year. Total STEM competition team grant awards to a division are not to exceed $10,000 per year.
• Schools applying for first-year grants can use the funds for planning purposes and will be eligible to receive a second-year of funding (initiative expansion) grant in the subsequent year, pending availability of funding. 
• Schools seeking second-year grants and meeting all eligibility requirements will be given priority over other grant applicants.
• Grants shall be evaluated in the order that each completed eligible application is received. 
• The STEM Competition Team Grant Initiative Application is due to the Virginia Department of Education, Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, on or before September 21, 2018.
When applying, please be aware the grant only allows two grants, or a total of 10,000 per school district. In many cases, there are many more than two FTC and FRC teams within a district. If you need assistance coordinating with other coaches in your district to provide consistent messaging and create a cohesive application as a district, please reach out. We are happy to assist you. The best contact is Kristin Clemons, Director of Programs, email 

Please visit the FIRST Chesapeake grants page for other funding opportunities- there are many grants open to private school or community group teams. 
Arconic Foundation is the charitable arm of Arconic Inc. – which works in close partnership with customers to solve complex engineering challenges to transform the way we fly, drive, build, and power. Through collaboration non-profit partners, their, initiatives make quality STEM education opportunities available to students and help to create access for underrepresented individuals to the STEM fields.
Grant Details and Requirements:
This grant is open to rookie and veteran FIRST Tech Challenge teams 2018-2019 season. Eligible teams must be within a 25-mile radius of an Arconic location in the United States or the United Kingdom. If approved, the grant will be awarded as follows:
  • FIRST Tech Challenge rookie team $1,000
  • FIRST Tech Challenge veteran team $500
The grant application will be open August 20, 2018 through September 10, 2018 and will not be available outside of these dates. Applications must be fully submitted no later than 11:59 P.M. ET on September 10, 2018 in order to be considered for a grant. 
Questions regarding this grant opportunity should be directed to Teams are expected to practice Gracious Professionalism™ at all times throughout the grant process and respect the decision(s) of Arconic staff.
Teams will be notified of their grant decision by September 17, 2018.  Please note that completing an application does not guarantee funding, and all teams should be actively fundraising and seeking alternate/additional funding opportunities.

The September 8th 2018 FTC Kickoff and Workshops Sponsored by ECPI University is rapidly approaching!  Here are a few updates:

  • The Manassas location is filled to capacity, but the Richmond location is still open for registration
  • Workshop session descriptions are posted- you will find them under "Special Information" on the workshop webpage


FIRST Robotics Competition Meet the Field is moving to a Virtual Platform in 2019! 

FIRST Headquarters just announced that they will be providing virtual fields to all teams immediately following the FRC 2019 Kick Off. Virtual fields have been available in the past, but this year FIRST is working on different applications that can be used on everything from a common smart phone to a high end headset.  This natural evolution and enhancement of the FRC program will keep our teams up to date using the latest technology. 

FIRST Chesapeake would like to thank our most recent Meet the Field sponsors, Showbest Fixtures and Synalloy, for their considerable contributions of talent and resources over the years. We are grateful for their support and thank them for bringing this tremendous resource to our teams. We are looking forward to exploring new ways that we can continue to partner with our sponsors to build tomorrow's technology leaders.