“The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers” — Terri Guilliemets
Kori joined FIRST Robotics Competition Team 2903, The NeoBots, in 2009. She was a student team member for 2 years and since graduating in 2011, she has volunteered and mentored since. While in high school,, she didn’t have “motivation toward future academic study; I knew that I liked science and math, but didn’t know how to apply that interest toward my future. One of 2903’s mentors during my involvement worked on software at Boeing, and he told me that he was a physics major in college; he said that physics was a good course of study for people who like to solve problems with math and science. From then on, my college applications featured some variety of physics as my intended major. I also distinctly remember my experience presenting a demonstration of 2903’s robot in 2011 to a crowd of elementary schooler’s in my community.
My mentors received so much positive feedback that was passed on to me–it really strengthened my confidence in public speaking and scientific communication. One of the mentors I was closest with sent me an email with some of the feedback from our district staff and added, “”You should think about becoming a teacher!”” (I still have the email). After high school, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Master of Science Education and am now a physics and robotics teacher while volunteering and mentoring FIRST teams in my community; I feel like I’m constantly using the skills I learned through FIRST in my career.”
In June, Kori was the winner of the Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award for New Teachers from the National Science Teaching Association. To read more about this amazing award go to businesswire.com.
“FIRST Washington is a great organization to get involved with as a student, parent, mentor, or volunteer. One of my favorite things about FIRST is that everyone can find their own way to contribute and learn new things along the way. Being a volunteer and mentor with FIRST has really enabled me to grow my own skill set while helping students grow their own. Volunteering with a team or at an event is a really great way to try new things and learn from others.”
Congratulations Kori, on your award and all your academic success, personally and professionally!
SUMMER STAFF HOURS
How We Ensure
We’d like to update you on steps FIRST Washington is taking to ensure the sustainability of our organization and our programs for the 2020-21 season and many years to come.
The corona-virus pandemic continues to have a significant impact on many organizations, especially non-profits. Our team has been hard at work to plan the 2020-21 season and stay in touch with teams, partners, funders, and FIRST to prepare for a variety of scenarios and contingencies in the year ahead. With most of our typical summer work already complete due to cancellation of events in the spring, and with our usual fall events pushed out to next winter, we have made the difficult decision to furlough all staff positions to 50% reduced salary and hours in July and August.
What this Means for You
We’re still here! We welcome any requests or inquiries you may have over the summer. Due to reduced work schedules for our staff, please be patient if it takes a little longer than usual for us to respond. We have also reduced some of our infrastructure costs including our phone system while we have staff working remotely, so we ask that you please start with an email to your usual point of contact (or to firstname.lastname@example.org if you aren’t sure who to contact) so that we can be ready with an answer when we get back to you. Please make sure to include your phone number, and feel free to let us know if you prefer a call back rather than an email. Every decision we make is grounded in our mission to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, and we intend to do that for many years to come.
Thank you for your support and for your patience during our period of reduced staffing over the summer.
Welcome Erica Beckstrom
I am thrilled and honored to announce that I have recently joined FIRST Washington as President. This organization and community are near and dear to my heart as over the last four years I have volunteered with judging, fundraising, and most recently served as the board Chair of FIRST Washington. You may have also seen me at competitions cheering teams on from the stands or in the field.
Throughout my career I have focused on strategy, planning, teamwork, collaboration with a keen eye toward inclusion and customer centricity. I look forward to bringing these areas of focus to FIRST Washington in partnership with our incredible supporters across the state including coaches, mentors, volunteers, students and donors. Together, I’m excited to build the future for our students and community.I look forward to meeting many of you during the upcoming season and welcome your input or questions at any time.
President, FIRST Washington
SUPPORTING FIRST WASHINGTON IS EASY
Shop with Amazon Smiles
Did you know you can donate to FIRST Washington while shopping on Amazon?
Amazon partners with charities to enable donations during your shopping experience. When completing your order you have the option to round up to the next dollar, sending the difference to your chosen charity, or designate an amount. In order to setup your Amazon account with FIRST Washington, login to www.smile.amazon.com and add “Washington FIRST Robotics” as your charity.
FALL PLANNING & PROGRAM NEWS
What to Expect in Our New Season
FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST LEGO League (FLL)
The FTC and FLL programs have a full suite of contingencies being put in place to respond to the situations as they change. FIRST Washington and FIRST have been working on plans that mesh up very closely and that moving both seasons so they start later is under consideration (both FTC and FLL traditionally start the first week of the school year). FIRST Washington realizes that the opening weeks of school this year are likely to be abnormal as we all get the hang of getting students back into schools safely. At minimum, expect everything to be delayed for at least a month. Competition seasons, usually Nov/Dec, expect to be more like Jan/Feb 2021 year. This will give our schools a break. More details are regarding the schedule will be provided as soon as everything was finalized.
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) 2020 season Congratulations to FRC District Championship Chairman’s Award Winners!
6831 A-05 Annex, Hood River, OR
4125 Confidential, Umatilla, OR
568 Nerds of the North, Anchorage, AK
FIRST and all of the FRC districts have agreed to cancel FRC official and off-season events because of so many unknowns. That means you will experience an interruption in the normal FRC off-season events this fall. This will include Girls Generation, Robo Rewind, etc.
As you have likely heard, the game next year will repeat this season’s game, Infinite Recharge, with a few twists.You are free to work on your robots, however, expect a few twists to the game to arrive at the kickoff event in January 2021. For more information, follow this link to see the communication from FIRST https://www.firstinspires.org/covid-19.
FIRST Washington is planning to run a full event FRC calendar in 2021. What will actually happen? That’s an unknown and won’t know until fall at the earliest. Kevin Ross’ own FRC team is going to continue with the expectation that we will run events – FRC 4089 is taking an optimistic view!
Having said that, FIRST and the PNW district are also working on contingency plans that will allow smaller events to run with fewer teams, fewer volunteers, and various numbers of viewers. The PNW District staff are working to develop a full suite of possible contingencies to match various possible restrictions.
Be well, be safe, and get ready for FIRST in the fall!