"To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders."

Dean Kamen, Founder

Mission

Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

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Ends on 2/1/2016

Funding for a limited number of new and returning  FIRST teams is available through John Deere FIRST grants as part of the John Deere Inspire STEM program. 

The grants are available for participants within a 50 mile radius of 14 U.S John Deere home communities for all four FIRST programs:

·         Junior FIRST® LEGO League (Jr.FLL) Deadline: Monday, February 1, 2016

·         FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) DeadlineMonday, August 31, 2015  

·         FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC)  Deadline Monday, September 28, 2015

Note:  Iowa FTC Teams need to apply by Friday, August 28 (League Play).

·         FIRST® Robotic Competition (FRC) Deadline Friday, November 6, 2015

If you have a John Deere employee or retiree as a mentor or coach confirmed to support your team, you can be located more than 50 miles from a John Deere home community.Current US John Deere Inspire home communities include:

*  California - Torrance (Must have John Deere mentor/coach already assigned to apply)

*  Georgia - Augusta   

*  Illinois - Champaign

*  Illinois - Quad Cities

*  Iowa - Des Moines

*  Iowa - Dubuque

*  Iowa - Ottumwa

*  Iowa - Quad Cities

*  Iowa - Waterloo

*  Kansas - Coffeyville  

*  Louisiana - Thibodaux 

*  North Carolina - Raleigh-Durham  

*  North Dakota - Fargo

*  North Dakota - Valley City

*  Wisconsin - Horicon

Teams must be associated with a school or 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations (4-H, Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs, etc.) in order to be eligible

Teams must apply and get approval for the John Deere / FIRST grant prior to completing registration for the 2015-2016 FIRST season.

To be eligible for a new John Deere FIRST grant, returning FIRST teams that received a John Deere grant in 2014-2015, must have filled out the post season survey before applying for a 2015-2016 grant.

Additional key criteria for consideration includes:

*  Mentor or coach is a John Deere employee or retiree (can be more than a 50 mile radius). Staff from John Deere dealers are not eligible at this time.

*  Low income students as measured by % of free and reduced lunch program

*  Number of underrepresented students including minorities and/or females

*  First-time FIRST participants

*  Teams that support community outreach including partnering with John Deere

Grant funding levels will vary for new and returning teams and will cover costs normally paid to FIRST by teams such as for registration, robot kits or parts, and field setup kits.  

Teams will be notified of their grant status within 10 business days of submission

Accepted Jr.FLL teams are required to:

Please note, by accepting this grant, recipients agree to the following:

1.  Teams will consist of 3-6 members age 6-9 as of January 1, 2015.

2.  Teams will meet at least weekly for at least one hour per week for 6-8 weeks 

3.  Teams will showcase their work at at least one Jr. FLL Event/Expo (must be official FIRST Event)

4.  The coach will be responsible for managing the team and for participating in a post-season evaluation.

5.  Display the logo provided by John Deere on team shirt, website and/or team materials.  

Accepted FLL Teams are required to:

1.  Teams will consist of 5-10 members age 9-14 as of January 1, 2015.

2.  Teams will meet at least weekly for at least two hours throughout the season.

3.  Coaches will participate in a training session for coaches if available and will sign and abide by the FLL Coach’s Promise (included in FLL Coach’s Handbook).

4.  The teams will participate in at least one tournament, which may be a regional or championship event.

5.  The coach will be responsible for managing the team and for participating in a post-season evaluation.

6   Display the logo provided by John Deere on the team pit, website and shirts.

Returning Teams (encourage new teams to apply also):

7.  Apply for the Global Innovation Award

Accepted FTC Teams are Required to:

1.  Teams will consist of 5-15 members between the ages 12-18  as of January 1, 2015.

2.  The team will meet at least weekly for at least two hours throughout the season.

3.  Coaches will participate in a training session for coaches if available.

4.  The teams will participate in at least one tournament, which may be a regional or championship event.

5.  The coach will be responsible for managing the team and for participating in a post-season evaluation.

6.  Display the logo provided by John Deere on the team robot, pit, website and shirts.

Returning Teams:

7.  Participate in at least 3 community outreach activities throughout the year

Accepted FRC Teams are required to:

1.  One or more volunteers (mentors) actively supporting the team must be a John Deere employee or retiree.

2.  FRC Teams that are requesting a grant from John Deere for the first time will be requested to give a brief presentation to the John Deere Inspire team in their community as part of the approval process.

3.  Teams will consist of 10 or more members ages 14-18 as of January 1, 2015.

4.  Mentors will participate in a training session for mentors if available.

5.  The teams will participate in at least one regional event.

6.  The mentor will be responsible for managing the team and for participating in a post-season evaluation.

7.  Display the logo provided by John Deere on the team robot, pit, website and shirts.

For returning Teams:

8.  Participate in at least 3 community outreach activities throughout the year.

9.  Apply for FRC Chairman's Award at regional events attend.

Should you have any questions regarding John Deere FIRST Team grants, please call Meredith O'Hara, FIRST Team Grants Coordinator, via e-mail at mohara@usfirst.org.

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