FIRST® Senior Mentor of West Tennessee featured by FIRST® HQ

On February 28, 2021, FIRST® was also celebrating Black History Month where Mr. Randall C. Phillips was one of our African American (FIRST Senior Mentors) FSMs featured in their Social Media series. Phillips is our FSM covering Western TN, Eastern AR, & Northern MS for 3 years.

On February 16, 2021, Mr. Phillips also took part as a panelist in the FIRST® Innovation Challenge Expert Education Series, Episode 5 which aired on the same date. This was done LIVE and Recorded for reviewing now. Phillips is a very proud to be apart of both!!!

FIRST Innovation Challenge – https://info.firstinspires.org/innovation-content-series
Direct Link – https://info.firstinspires.org/hubfs/MK%20Innovation%20Challenge/Content%20Series/FIRST%20Innovation%20Challenge%20Expert%20Education%20Series,%20Episode%205.mp4

Mr. Phillips is a Business Mentor to a FIRST® Tech Challenge Robotics Team as well as a FIRST® Robotics Competition Team for 12 years. Presently and for the last 5 years, Phillips is coaching a FIRST® LEGO® League Explore Robotics Team and FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge Robotics Team. Mr. Phillips also Instructs in coding & programming as a Teaching Assistant, plus he assists his Curriculum and Instruction Manager at CodeCrew. Lastly, Mr. Phillips is also a contract Instructor for YWCA of Greater Memphis teaching software and computer skills. FIRST, CodeCrew, & YWCA are all non-profit organizations.

Continue to support us!
STEM to STEAM to STREAM
(Science, Technology, Reading/wRiting, Engineering, Mathematics)
Robotics all wrapped inside!!!

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FIRST Innovation Challenge Expert Education Series

As part of the FIRST® Innovation Challenge presented by Qualcomm, FIRST is hosting an expert educational series featuring conversations with innovators and essential tips teams can apply to succeed in the challenge. Topics may include:

  • pitch advice
  • business model education
  • intellectual property
  • careers in innovation
  • product development
  • using CAD to show design

The three-month series will be a combination of informative webinars, Q&As and live panel discussions featuring dynamic FIRST alumni and experts from our sponsors, allowing teams to engage with real-world innovators and entrepreneurs.

For more info and a link to the sessions follow THIS LINK.

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TN Valley Robotics Offering CLASS PACK Grant

Due to Covid-19, TN Valley Robotics (TNVR) is offering to support classroom STEM robotics by offering grants for CLASS PACKS. If you are not familiar with Class PACKS you can read more about them HERE. This is available to schools within the TVA Service Area (shown as cyan in logo above). If you are a teacher and interested, please contact rphillips@firstinspires.org for more information.

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Kickoff for the Innovation Challenge

Remember that the Innovation Challenge part of the Kickoff video also is for FTC Teams!

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How to Watch Twitch (And the FIRST Chanel) on Roku

FIRST does a lot of broadcasts on TWITCH, but last year twitch was dropped by Roku. Since this was my (editor’s) preferred way to watch these broadcasts, I searched for a new way to watch them (for the upcoming FIRST season) and found this video which does allow watching FIRST Twitch Channel on Roku.

This is not an official Roku channel and is not an official TWITCH app, so use at your own risk, but personally, I am using it because I love watching these on my bigger TV vs having to watch on my computer.

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Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship

Click HERE for more info and HERE to go to website. Application is opened from Nov 30, 2020 to Feb 18, 2021.

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FIRST @ Home

FIRST @ Home is a website full of activities and resources about programming, CAD, Artificial Intelligence, STEM and more! It have activities for all grade levels (K-12). Check it out HERE.

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INVITATION: Virtual College Fair

On November 12, FIRST partner Tallo is hosting a free virtual college fair specifically for FIRST students! We will introduce you to colleges who are looking for FIRST students because on your teams you have learned the skills and gained the necessary experience to be successful in the future. We’re using a new app, Ping by Tallo, to match you with colleges based on how your interests and preferences align with theirs. It’s a fast and easy way to learn about new schools who have great programs, choose who you want to connect with, and email their representatives a connection request.

Sign up today! Choose the “FIRST Fair” when you sign up.

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TVA Grant Opened

The TVA Grant is now opened and is accepting applications for the 2020-21 FIRST Season

Team Eligibility:

  • All FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotic teams in the TVA Service Area are eligible for funding, which will cover the following for each program:
    • FIRST Robotics Competition Rookie team – $1,000 towards Registration fees
    • FIRST Tech Challenge – $306 Registration, shipping and tax
    • FIRST LEGO League Explore – $130 Registration, Inspire Set, tax and shipping
    • FIRST LEGO League Challenge – $363 Registration, Challenge Set, tax and shipping
    • FIRST Robotics Competition Veteran team – $500 towards Registration fees
  • Teams must begin the registration process with FIRST and hold a temporary team (if a Rookie team) or team number (Veteran teams), however, teams must NOT pay for registration as it will forfeit their TVA Grant. No exceptions, substitutions or refunds will be made.
  • TVA team grants are available on a first come, first served basis. Funds will be available until Dec 1, 2020 OR until funds for the grant have been utilized.

Next Steps:

  • All teams interested in receiving TVA funds must submit a very short online application to FIRST
  • FIRST will send grant information and the application link to all teams that received TVA funding last season and encourage them to apply for funds if they intend to participate this season.
  • We ask that Partners send the application link to any other teams that are eligible for TVA funds – new/rookie teams or returning teams that did not receive funding last season.
  • You may choose to post the TVA information and application link on your website or social media channels

TVA Grant Process

  • FIRST will review all grant requests.
  • FIRST will send the grant requests to Tennessee Valley Authority to verify the team’s location within their service area. This process usually takes 48 hours.
  • Once FIRST receives the approval back from Tennessee Valley Authority, teams can expect the grant funds to be available within 5 business days.
  • Teams should expect to receive 3 emails during the application process
    1. To confirm that they have successfully submitted the application
    2. To notify them of approval and application of funds
    3. Information about recognizing/thanking TVA and the use of the TVA logo.
  • Any teams that have already paid registration or are outside of the TVA services area will be referred back to the Partner.
  • Any questions regarding this process should be directed to Amanda Pham at apham@firstinspires.org.
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Upcoming webinar hosted by FIRST Education

Our FIRST Education team is hosting a free webinar for FIRST LEGO League and FIRST® Tech Challenge educators at 7 pm ET on October 21 – Hands-on STEM Learning in Varied Learning Environments. The panelists will discuss the resources FIRST has created for the season and how we are continuing to provide education opportunities for students in this time of uncertainty. Join us and share this event with the educators in your area.  

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