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First Lego League in Virginia and DC


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"Ilnitzki, Kaitlin - ilnitzks" <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 26 Aug 2021 01:08:12 +0000
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Hello VA-DC FLL community!

We know there are lots of questions about the upcoming season.  We apologize for the long email, but we have several season updates to share with you!  Please read the information below and be sure to reach out to [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> for any questions, comments, or concerns you may have.

Cargo Connect Season:  The Cargo Connect season is here and teams can register with FIRST (<>) in order to get their robot game field kit and all the other materials for a successful season!  We know this will be another crazy season, but our goal remains the same:  to deliver a quality STEM experience to the next generation of leaders, innovators, and thinkers; while keeping our community safe!  Check out our website (<>) to find season resources and updates relating to the status of events in Virginia and D.C.

VA-DC FLL Season Status:  At this moment, we are planning to run in-person or hybrid official regional qualifiers in November and the championship event in December of 2021.  Additionally, we plan to hold unofficial, non-advancing remote events in January and February of 2022 .  Because this is such a “hands-on” program, we are working to deliver safe in-person events, so they will look different from previous years.  We are prepared to pivot to remote events if we are not able to keep all volunteers and teams safe at in-person events.  If we need to make that shift, they will most likely be a shift in the season timeline to accommodate those changes.

As guidance from the CDC and state/local health departments continues to be updated, we will also continue to adjust our plans to accommodate those developments.  Updates will be sent out directly to registered teams as well as through the Listserv, our website, and our bi-weekly Coach Chats.

At this moment we do not have a tournament schedule to share, but we are working to get sites secured and a schedule released.  Additionally, our VA-DC FLL Team Manager site is locked for maintenance.  Again, we will send out an email to registered teams and through the Listserv letting you know when teams can start to register for VA-DC FLL events.  Tournament preference selection will tentatively open at 10am on October 1st, 2021 and will close on October 10th, 2021.

VA-DC FLL Coach Chats:  Last year we held a series of webinars to help keep coaches, mentors, volunteers, and teams updated on the season developments.  This year we would like to continue that community building through bi-weekly Coach Chats.  The first 30 minutes will be dedicated towards certain topics, but the second 30 minutes will just be a time to ask questions and get help from our regional planning committee, as well as fellow coaches and mentors.  Our first Coach Chat will be Thursday, August 26th.  You can register for one or all sessions HERE<>. We hope to see you there, but if not, they will be recorded!

New Leadership:  Last May, we lost a dear member of not only the VA-DC FLL community, but also the global FLL community, our head referee and official FLL Global Head Referee, Steve Scherr.  We plan to make this season even more special in honor of his service and dedication to FIRST LEGO League.

With this new season we will welcome a new regional head referee, Mike Brown ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>) It was in April 2008 when Mike Brown saw his first FRC match with his little kids. He was instantly hooked. The next year with some local friends they made a FLL team called the Wafflebots and they went on to compete for 5 years. Transitioning to volunteering at the same time Mike began refereeing at local Maryland and Virginia events. While no longer coaching, Mike continues to volunteer at local and regional events. In 2019 Michael was honored to be able to referee at the FIRST Houston World Festival.  Mike lives in Richmond Virginia and is a Registered Nurse working in the IT consulting field for HyBridge Solutions.

We are also “officially” welcoming Marty Scherr to the VA-DC FLL regional planning committee.  Marty has been a part of the team for years, but is stepping into a Co-Judge Advisor role alongside Scott Rakestraw.  Marty started on an FLL team during the Mission Mars season in 2003.  Since then, Marty has held almost every event role including Head Referee and Judge Advisor.  He has also refereed and judged at FIRST World Festival.

We welcome both to our Regional Planning Team and we are so excited to get this season started!

Virtual High-Fives
VA-DC Regional Planning Committee


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