Dear FIRST PNW Family –
FIRST in the PNW faces some new opportunities and challenges this year. FLL and FTC are both going to operate remotely at this time. FRC is also going to operate remotely using alternate programs. We are, however, still FIRST and intend to keep as many FIRST things as possible this year.
Our goals for the year are to
- Keep our community connected and engaged.
- Provide our students with opportunities to shine
- Sustain the FIRST eco-system in the PNW
- Includes teams, volunteers, sponsors, and staff
By now you’ve probably had a chance to review the update FIRST HQ released last week highlighting changes being made in the upcoming 2021 FIRST Robotics Competition season. For your convenience, we have included links to the information sent by FIRST HQ.
- For the Sept 24 HQ Update on the 2021 FRC season, click here
- To catch up on the HQ FRC Blogs, click here
FIRST has added 3 exciting new remote engagement opportunities for the 2021 FRC season
- Game Design Challenge
- Innovation Challenge presented by Qualcomm
- Infinite Recharge at Home
The goal is to ensure everyone has a chance to participate and to keep the momentum of the FIRST experience going through continued innovation, teamwork, skills building and FUN. We would LOVE and anticipate to see all PNW FRC teams participate in some way this season to stay connected to our community.
By participating remotely, your team will stay connected with the FIRST community as well as your sponsors. We encourage ALL teams to register and participate this fall.
FIRST Washington is moving forward with preparations for in person events. We don’t expect to run in person events given the current state of the world, but would love to be surprised, and are prepared to run in person events (events would not start before the end of March) if circumstances allow. We do expect remote participation will be the key for this year.
The participation fee for the PNW district will be $4,000 this season and will include the FIRST national registration fee as it has in the past. Since we do not expect to have in person FRC events this year, we have left the costs for events out of the registration fee. Your registration fee will be used to support the PNW FRC District as well as FIRST Washington and ORTOP as we navigate the year and provide great support to our network of teams and volunteers.
If we do end up running in person events, you will have the option to sign up to run Infinite Recharge as district teams. That will incur an additional registration fee to cover our costs for those events. We don’t have an exact number yet, but be thinking something in the $2,000 range (with a 50% margin of error at the moment).
The great news is we believe that there will be enough grant funding available to help most of our teams cover the majority of the registration fees. This is a very important goal for us. We want to apply as many grants as possible to the registration fees this year.
Almost all of the fundraising done by FIRST Washington and ORTOP is done in the form of support to help teams pay their registration fee. The money that we fundraise goes into a restricted account. It is allocated towards paying down the cost of the program for every team.
There are many grants available to your team. NASA for example is granting all teams $450 by doing a very quick NASA grant application. To access that grant click here.
Some additional grants include Boeing, DoD STEM, Argosy, Leidos and Collins Aerospace. There are other grants available from FIRST as well including a sustainability grant which does not show on the FIRST website at this time (https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc/grants) Additionally, we still have PNW District grants from FIRST Washington and ORTOP.
For more specific information on grants for Oregon teams, please contact Debbie Kerr.
A large amount of funding in Washington, is provided by the Washington State Legislature in the form of iGrants (iGrant #424 for FRC, #605 for FTC, and #606 for FLL). These are due on 11/2/20 so get started right away. The state funds us by providing WA state public schools funding to pay our registration fee. We are unable to make use of that funding if you don’t participate.
We don’t want finances to be a barrier to any team this season. If finances are a barrier for your team please:
- Fill out the NASA grant with FIRST
- Look at the FIRST website regularly to see what additional grants become available
- Fill out the Sustainability grant with FIRST when it becomes available
- Fill out the FIRST Washington Grant when it opens up
- Reach out to Debbie and/or Adrienne so that we can help you!
We will be sure to keep you informed as updates become available. Please know we are here to support you, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions, concerns or suggestions.