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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2021 Championships and how it affects West TN

As announced by FIRST HQ today, the two World Championships have been moved to Mid July (Houston) and Early August (Detroit).

What does this mean for West TN? Well it means we will also be moving events to latter in the season to allow teams more time to prepare given the extra burdens placed on teams due to Covid 19.

West TN FLL Challenge and Explore will be having their Remote Event(s) in Feb and March. FTC TN Championship will be latter in the season (probably a Remote Event – Date TBD). We have yet to hear about FRC plans (but this is to be expected since FRC kickoff is not for some time yet).

Stay tuned to this website for more news on FIRST Events for teams in West TN.

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New FIRST® @ Home Curriculum

Whether in the classroom or at home learning, continue to engage students in STEM learning, skill development, and FUN with a 12 session learning series for teachers, parents, and coaches created by FIRST Education. These free and flexible PreK-12 STEM activities are available for download now.  

There is a different curriculum targeting PreK-1, 2-4, 4-8 and 7-12 grades.

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Additional Challenge and Explore Sets

To assist with remote participation registered teams will be allowed this season to order one additional RePLAYSM Challenge set for $75 and/or one additional PLAYMAKERSSM Explore set for $35 (Your first Explore set is included with $99 registration fee). Applicable sales tax and shipping fees will be added to each order. This function will be available on the FIRST store beginning August 27.

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Did you see

Just wanted to point out that our very own FIRST Senior Mentor (Randall Phillips) was featured at the top of this weeks Volunteer Newsletter:

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Download RePLAY posters, wallpapers, and more

Rally your team for the FIRST® GAME CHANGERSSM, powered by Star Wars: Force for Change, season with posters, wallpapers, and more free, downloadable content!

Here’s a preview of what’s available:

  • Season logo files to create your own shirts and other swag
  • Social media graphics to share your excitement for the season
  • Recruitment posters to help you grow your team
  • Trading card template that your team can design and share with other FIRST teams
  • Approved Star Wars images kindly put together for teams to use on promotional merchandise and materials that are not for sale
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Season Guidance for COVID-19 Interruptions

From FIRST HQ:

We recognize that during the FIRST® GAME CHANGERSSM powered by Star Wars: Force for Change: season for 2020 – 2021 there will certainly be a variety of scenarios and issues that arise that make a normal FIRST experience challenging. The guidance provided allows for an à la carte series of options separated into specific categories from which you can put together to assist with participation this season.

This guide is designed to provide suggestions and options and are not prescriptive; considerations for what is best for your local situation should be prioritized. Local health and safety regulations and guidance should precede any of the recommendations in this guide.  

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Explore Kickoff Video

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West TN STEM Hub to host NASA Virtual Event

Click on image above to register.

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Remote Events for FIRST LEGO League and FIRST® Tech Challenge

From FIRST HQ:

For regions that continue to be disrupted by COVID-19 and require social distancing, we have been working on remote event solutions for the 2020/2021 season. To help transition to remote events, we are developing the FIRST Remote Event Hub to provide a comprehensive remote experience for FIRST LEGO League and FIRST® Tech Challenge teams and volunteers. Read more about our current plan on the Inspire blog.

For West TN Teams:

FLL Discover is done in the classroom
FLL Explore (TBA)
FLL Challenge will be via Remote Events this year for West TN
FTC check with your event’s Program Delivery Partner

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