Dear FIRST® Robotics Competition Teams,

I am writing to share the hugely disappointing news that, as a result of the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and at the direction of our host, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the New York Tech Valley Regional on March 11-14 has been postponed out of an abundance of caution and with the health and safety of our community in mind. The new dates for the New York Tech Valley Regional have not yet been set.

We recognize that teams have put an enormous amount of work into preparing for this event and we regret having to share such disappointing news. FIRST® team support can help your team identify alternative events and can be reached at customerservice@firstinspires.org.

As Regional Director, this is difficult news for me to share. I was looking forward to seeing you all, watching you compete and hearing your stories of challenges and success. I know that you are frustrated. I know that you have questions. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we are all doing our best to make decisions that are in everyone’s best interest both on and off the field of play. I promise that I will share information with you as it is shared with me.

Keep building. Keep learning. Keep meeting. Keep inspiring.

Best,

Janice Martino Regional Director, FIRST®

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Dear New York Tech Valley FIRST® Teams:

Welcome to the 2020 FIRST® Robotics season! We are looking forward to a great competition this year!

The Executive Advisory Board (EAB) of New York Tech Valley FIRST® Robotics is pleased to announce that FIRST® Rookie and second year competition teams from New York Tech Valley counties are eligible to apply for grants to assist with expenses related to the March 12-14, 2020 competition at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. New York Tech Valley includes: Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Ulster, Warren, and Washington Counties.

Grants will be awarded at the discretion of the Executive Advisory Board based upon the number of applications and availability of funds. Rookie teams are eligible to receive a grant not to exceed $6,000 and second year teams are eligible for continuation grants of up to $2500. For the purposes of applying for this grant, a rookie team is defined as:

  • A newly formed team assigned a number that has not been assigned previously
  • Teams with up to one mentor with prior FIRST® Robotics Competition experience
  • Teams with up to five (5) student participants with prior FIRST® Robotics Competition experience.

New teams that are formed as the result of large teams splitting are not eligible to apply for this grant.

To apply, teams must respond to the questions below and attach the responses to a grant request letter. Please email your request letter and responses to:

grants@techvalleyfirst.org on or before November 30, 2019.

  • Why are you entering a team in the 2020 FIRST® Robotics Competition?
  • What will define success for your team?
  • How is your team organized and how will it incorporate faculty, community and business partners?
  • Outline your anticipated budget and how you plan to fund your team's participation. What are your fundraising plans for this season?

Your grant request letter must also include the following information:

  • Team name, number, and school affiliation.
  • Confirmation that your team has registered with FIRST® for the 2020 NY Tech Valley FIRST® Robotics Competition
  • Name and contact information for team captain or other student representative
  • Name and contact information of your team’s primary mentor/advisor
  • Name and contact information of your team’s primary contact within your school district

Student members of the team should be responsible for completing and submitting the application with guidance from team advisors.

Sincerely,

The sponsors of NY Tech Valley FIRST® Robotics Regional