FIRST Announces 2018 STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant Winners

Twelve Communities Receive Grants to Provide Hands-on Learning and Problem-Solving Opportunities to Underserved and Underrepresented Students


MANCHESTER, N.H. – August 29, 2018FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) today announced 12 grants to address inequities in access to science and technology. The grants will support communities with underserved and underrepresented students and help them develop new, innovative approaches to tackle the education gap.

New Vice President of Programs and FIRST TV Episode

Aug 28, 2018 Written by Frank Merrick.

Please join me in welcoming Chris Rake as the new Vice President of Programs at FIRST. And tune in tonight, 8/28 at 7pm ET, for another great episode featuring Matt Pilotte, Electrical Engineering Manager, and me!

FIRST Tech Challenge Volunteer Resources Oct. 17 2018| 0 KB

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This section contains resources for FIRST Tech Challenge volunteer training and development. Learn more about becoming an FIRST Tech Challenge volunteer or view the complete listing of volunteer opportunities at FIRST. All volunteers must be screened as part of the FIRST Youth Protection Program.

If you would like to volunteer for a FIRST event, sign up or login to Volunteer Registration, located in the top right corner of this page. 

After the volunteer has applied to their role, FIRST Tech Challenge will send an email to the volunteer with access instructions to training and certifications (if applicable). Emails with access to the training and certifications will be sent within one business day from applying to the role. If you have applied for a role but have not received access to the training, please email FTCTrainingSupport@firstinspires.org.

For a complete list of volunteer role descriptions for the FIRST Tech Challenge program please view this document: FIRST Tech Challenge Volunteer Role Descriptions

Control System Advisor
Dean's List Interviewer/Reviewer
Event Coordinator

For additional resources please log in to our Event Coordinator folder on Schoology 

Field Manager
Field Resetter
Field Technical Advisor
Game Announcer/Emcee
Inspector
Judge
Mentor/Coach
Pit Administration
Queuer
Referee
Scorekeeper
   
Volunteer Coordinator
Wi-Fi Technical Advisor
Stay Connected

Control System Advisor Oct. 2 2018| 0 KB

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The Control System Advisor (CSA) for FIRST Robotics Competition is a Key Volunteer position. The CSA assists teams with Robot Control System-related issues. Works in collaboration with the FIRST Technical Advisor and/or Robot Inspectors, who may direct teams experiencing issues on the field or in the pits to the CSA for assistance. This position requires a high level of technical knowledge and interpersonal skills and can affect the quality of the event.

Responsibilities

  • Assist teams in correcting Robot Control System Issues such as those related to the roboRIO, support boards such as the Pneumatics Control Module, wiring, programming, sensors, driver station, and laptop-roboRIO interface
  • Assist teams with obtaining additional support as required
  • Be aware of problems that arise and be ready to take steps to quickly diagnose and correct, with the goal of getting teams' robots running and on the field
  • Obtain a radio from event management office to keep aware of event information and issues, return it to office at end of day
  • Participate in training opportunities offered by FIRST and other parties

Experience and Skills Needed

  • Recent hands-on experience with the FIRST Robotics Competition Control System and diagnostic tools required
    • Team mentors or alumni strongly encouraged
  • Must be post-high school or equivalent (minimum age of 19 at time of service)
    • Exceptions may be granted by event Volunteer Coordinators after review and approval by FIRST Headquarters
  • Understanding of basic Control System wiring guidelines and rules
  • Proficiency in at least one of the FIRST Robotics Competition software languages (LabVIEW, C++, or Java)
  • FIRST Robotics Competition team mentoring experience desired, but individual must be available full time at event as a resource for all teams present
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Strong time management and prioritization skills
  • Strong interpersonal/communication skills in a high stress environment
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time and move about the pit area
  • Knowledge of the competition game and robot rules

Volunteer Time Commitment

  • Pre-event Training calls
  • Minimum 2 full day commitment (Districts)
  • Minimum 3 full day commitment (Regionals)

Note: Event schedules vary. Please check the event schedule and talk to your Volunteer Coordinator for detailed information on when you are expected to arrive. Volunteers should arrive on site 15-20 minutes prior to the start of every shift to allow time to check in at the Volunteer Registration table.

Training

   CSA Trainer: Kevin O’Connor

   Training Schedule: CSA’s should plan to attend all webinars and review all training materials provided on the 2019 FRC CSA Training Schoology page.

Training Sessions - Introductory Training Materials provided within Schoology by Feb. 19, 2019

Follow up Sessions - Follow up webinars will be held on: 3/4, 3/11, 3/18 and 3/25 from 8:00pm-9:00pm ET using GoToWebinar. To access these, please find the link in Schoology. 

   Joining Schoology

        Note: All CSA communication and trainings occur through Schoology. This requires CSA’s to create an account on Schoology and then join the 2019 FRC CSA Training Course.

       Creating A Schoology Account:

  1.  “Sign Up” for a FREE “INSTRUCTOR” account on Schoology (https://www.schoology.com).

        NOTE: DO NOT sign up as a “STUDENT”

       Joining the 2019 FRC CSA Training Course:

  1. Log into Schoology using your Schoology Account.
     
  2. In the top menu, select the COURSES menu item, which drops down a window shade containing a list of groups you are a member of (if you’re not yet a member of any groups, this will be noted within the window shade).
     
  3. Click the “My Courses” link in the upper-right of the COURSES window shade.
     
  4. In the new page, click the “Join Course” button in the right-hand pane of the “My Courses” tab.
     
  5. In the new pop-up window, use the Access code RNXS3-CRJ67 and click the “Join” button.
  • Please note that if you get errors about an incorrect or invalid access code, be sure to use the COURSES menu drop-down and NOT the GROUPS drop-down.

Reporting Relationships and Supervision

Supervision: FIRST Technical Advisor (FTA) provides support and advice during the event

 

* Must read and comply with the FIRST Volunteer Rights and Responsibilities

Awards Assistant Sep. 18 2018| 0 KB

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Awards Assistants for FIRST Robotics Competition assist the Event Manager with preparations and presentation of competition awards to teams at the Awards Ceremony. FIRST experience not required.

Responsibilities

  • Work with the Event Manager to ensure correct distributions of awards
  • Unpack, clean, and prepare team awards
  • Set up awards table; organize items in the order they will be presented
  • At ceremonies, assist presenters with distribution of awards to teams
  • Break down awards table at end of ceremony, pack up remaining awards

Experience and Skills Needed

  • FIRST experience not required
  • Self-directed individual
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to take direction

Volunteer Time Commitment

  • Can be divided among multiple volunteers for the duration of the event
  • Training provided on site
  • 2 half day commitment (typically afternoons)

Note: Event schedules vary. Please check the event schedule and talk to your Volunteer Coordinator for detailed information on when you are expected to arrive. Volunteers should arrive on site 15-20 minutes prior to the start of every shift to allow time to check in at the Volunteer Registration table.

Training

Training will be conducted on site.

Reporting Relationships and Supervision

Direct supervision: Event Manager

 

* Must read and comply with the FIRST Volunteer Rights and Responsibilities

Alumni & Scholarship Attendant Sep. 18 2018| 0 KB

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The Alumni & Scholarship Attendant for FIRST Robotics Competition will oversee promotion of the FIRST Alumni Programs, and specifically the FIRST Scholarship Program to Participants, Parents, Mentors and others attending a FIRST Robotics Competition event. The Alumni & Scholarship Attendant will locate and set up the Alumni/scholarships table using provided materials, and man the table during hours of operation. The Alumni & Scholarship Attendant will speak with students and parents about FIRST Alumni engagement opportunities and the FIRST Scholarship Program.

Responsibilities

  • Locate the alumni & scholarship table and materials
  • Unpack the FIRST Alumni Programs information from pallet, package, or Roadcase 13 and set up display per the included instructions
  • Staff the table; Speak with Students, Parents, and Alumni about the FIRST Scholarship Program and other Alumni engagement opportunities
  • Breakdown and pack up table at the end of the event
  • Inform the FIRST Alumni Relations Manager at scholarships@firstinspires.org of any deficit or issues with materials

Experience and Skills Needed

  • FIRST Alum preferred
  • Ability to "take charge"
  • General knowledge of FIRST, Alumni opportunities and/or the FIRST Scholarship Program
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to collaborate with others, work as a member of a team
  • Self-directed and motivated individual
  • While talking points will be made available on event-day, the ideal volunteer will familiarize themselves with the FIRST Alumni engagement opportunities and FIRST Scholarship Program prior to the event, and contact the FIRST Alumni Relations Manager with any questions beforehand at scholarships@firstinspires.org
  • Ability to stand or sit for long periods; walk the length of the facility  

Volunteer Time Commitment

  • Can be divided among multiple volunteers for the duration of the event
  • Maximum 2 full day commitment


Note: Event schedules vary. Please check the event schedule and talk to your Volunteer Coordinator for detailed information on when you are expected to arrive. Volunteers should arrive on site 15-20 minutes prior to the start of every shift to allow time to check in at the Volunteer Registration table.

Training

Training materials available on site as well as online at https://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/alumni-scholarship-resources

Reporting Relationships and Supervision

Direct supervision: Volunteer Coordinator
Oversight by: FIRST Volunteer Resources Department Staff and FIRST Alumni Relations Manager

* Must read and comply with the FIRST Volunteer Rights and Responsibilities

 

Chris Rake

Chris Rake

Vice President of Programs

Chris joins us from National Instruments, a FIRST Strategic Partner, where he most recently served as a Chief Engineer. As part of his responsibilities in that position, Chris managed and owned the FIRST Robotics Competition control system program for over ten years, commencing with the inaugural National Instruments FIRST Robotics Competition controller that started development in 2007.  Chris has also been a FIRST Tech Challenge World Judge Advisor and World Championship Judge, a FIRST LEGO League Referee and Affiliate Partner Steering Team Member, and a FIRST LEGO League Jr. coach to four teams.

Along with his passion for FIRST, Chris brings with him an impressive background in leadership and technical excellence. In the prestigious position of Chief Engineer at National Instruments, he led complex cross-team architectures and initiatives in the areas of Data Acquisition, Embedded Control, and Industrial Systems.  Chris also created curriculum for a strength-based talent development program at National Instruments, now part of the R&D Learning and Development initiative. Chris received his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering, with Highest Honors, from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

In his role at FIRST, Chris’s primary mission will be to champion the growth of the FIRST Progression of Programs worldwide. He and our Programs team will be responsible for strategic planning and development of the overall content and experience of all four of our programs, supporting their current forms while driving future changes and improvements.

More Chances to Work at FIRST

Aug 22, 2018 Written by Frank Merrick.

We have lots of openings here at FIRST! Come join our team!

Fundraising and Sponsor Thanks

Aug 17, 2018 Written by Frank Merrick.

Did you know that FIRST has a fundraising toolkit to help you raise the money you need for your team? Plus, public or public charter school teachers in the USA should check out the latest opportunities at DonorsChoose.org! And once you get the support you need, be sure to thank your generous sponsors!