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FIRST Chesapeake, dba VirginiaFIRST, is an independent non-profit that brings STEM-based leadership programs to students in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Robotics is the means to teach technical concepts and practical know-how, as well as to build leadership skills and develop teamwork. What makes us unique is our access to the continuum of K-12 programs developed by FIRST. Community and industry professionals work side by side with students to develop a competition robot in answer to a complex engineering challenge that looks and plays like a sporting event. FIRST programs reach more students in our area of service than any other STEM-based organization. Supporting the vision and mission of FIRST, FIRST Chesapeake is providing the platform to build the next generation of technology leaders for tomorrow ’s global workforce.
Throughout the school year FIRST Chesapeake holds several robotics competitions in the Greater Richmond Area, around the Commonwealth of Virginia, and into Washington DC and Maryland. It takes anywhere from 80 - 170 volunteers per event to make these opportunities for the students happen. Our volunteers fill both technical and non-technical roles. During the robotic competitions, two rotating alliances of three robots each compete in a sports based game. There are anywhere from 48 to 65 teams at each event in the Greater Richmond area. When not competing, teams are working on their robots.
We also have a need to both technical and non-technical adults to mentor our teams. Each team operates as a mini-business and our mentors are critical to the success of the students to compete and do community outreach.