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  • Kenneth Swope

An update from FIRST

I received this the other day and felt like I should be posting it more broadly.

Dear FIRST® Community,

You already know FIRST is more than an organization – it’s a family, a movement, a culture for participants, volunteers and supporters. More than a million people around the world engage with our programs each year, including nearly 700,000 young people who, through FIRST, find a place to belong. FIRST participants form lifelong friendships and gain the experience and support system they need to be successful, no matter what path they follow after graduating high school.

That’s why, in these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to deliver the life-changing experience of FIRST to young people around the world. And as schools do their best to figure out how to reopen, we know you are eager to understand how you’ll participate in the 2020/2021 season. As an organization that teaches young people how to solve problems and innovate, we are doing the same in order to ensure we are fulfilling our mission and enabling our community to stay engaged with FIRST programs in the challenging year ahead.

Remote Events for FIRST® LEGO® League and FIRST® Tech Challenge

We have been working on solutions for the 2020/2021 season and would like to share our current plans with you. For regions that continue to be disrupted by COVID-19 and require social distancing, we are planning to offer remote event options for FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge around the world for the 2020/2021 FIRST® GAME CHANGERSSM powered by Star Wars: Force for Change season. While our goal is to make the experience as close as possible to a traditional FIRST program event, modifications will be made as we transition to a remote environment.

To help transition to remote events, we are developing the FIRST Remote Event Hub to provide a comprehensive remote experience for teams and volunteers, inclusive of the following*:

  • Remote robot performance and match scoring

  • Award submission, evaluation, and feedback

  • Video conferencing scheduling for remote judging

*Capabilities vary by program and division

Prior to participating in events, teams will meet in-person or virtually in small groups to build their robot and work on their projects and award applications. We strongly encourage teams to follow social distancing guidance as determined by their local authorities.

Teams will register for events with their local Program Delivery Partner, and the Partner will determine whether the event will be hosted in-person or remotely. If the event is remote, Partners will work with teams and event volunteers to register with the FIRST Remote Event Hub, and provide further instructions for participation.

Additional information will be shared through FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge team blasts regarding remote options for teams. See Frequently Asked Questions for additional details.

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