Ends on April 1, 2020

Please review this grant application carefully as several key changes have been made for 2019 - 2020.

Funding for new and returning FIRST® teams along with John Deere employee mentors are available through John Deere's FIRST team grants.  The grants are part of John Deere's global youth STEM program, John Deere Inspire.  Please submit one application for each team you wish to be considered for a grant. If individual grant applications are submitted with multiple team numbers, the grant will be declined.  

John Deere’s desire is to help provide access to FIRST to all students in our home communities based on financial need. We are requesting your help by indicating your team's true financial need for the 2019 – 2020 season factoring in other support you have already received and expect to receive including from the John Deere Dollars for Doers program. 

Thanks in advance for your gracious professionalism to help us further grow FIRST so more students have access including by supporting diversity with girls and young women and/or students of color on your team! 

John Deere and FIRST are together committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion which fosters teams to be more innovation, creative, and make better decisions. We encourage your team to support and encourage diversity within your team.  Consider accessing the free three part, FIRST on-line Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training modules and using the strategies for better recruitment and support. 

Team Grant Requirements:

  • If your team was supported by John Deere (team grant, Dollars for Doers grants, FIRST Championship support, or team mentor or coach) for the 2018-2019 season, please submit a John Deere post season survey using this link BEFORE filling out this new grant application for the 2019-2020 FIRST season.
  • Teams must be associated with a school (public or private) 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 (paying for) registration for the 2019-2020 FIRST season. You can register with FIRST, but SHOULD NOT PAY for your registration as you may potentially forfeit your grant.
  • Teams that apply and receive a rookie grant are expected to participate and utilize the grant supported materials for two years or more.

The grants are available for participants within a 40 mile driving distance from the nearest John Deere Facility (excludes John Deere Dealers).  In the U.S, this includes 17 John Deere Inspire home communities listed below covering 13 states for all four FIRST programs.  

Alternatively , teams can apply for a grant in any U.S. location if they have a John Deere employee committed to actively supporting their team for the 2019 - 2020 season in person regardless of location.

 
Deadlines

FIRST® LEGO League Junior (FLLJr) Deadline:  February 14, 2020
FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) Deadline:  September 27, 2019
FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC) Deadline: October 11, 2019
FIRST® Robotic Competition (FRC) Deadline:  November 22, 2019  

Current U.S. John Deere Inspire Home Communities

  • California - Torrance (Must have John Deere confirmed mentor to apply)
  • Georgia - Augusta   
  • Illinois - Champaign & Quad Cities
  • Iowa - Des Moines, Dubuque, Paton, Ottumwa, Quad Cities, & Waterloo
  • Kansas - Coffeyville  
  • Louisiana - Thibodaux 
  • Missouri - Springfield
  • North Carolina - Raleigh-Durham  
  • North Dakota - Fargo & Valley City
  • Tennessee - Greeneville 
  • Wisconsin - Horicon

Outside the U.S, John Deere supports FIRST teams using a separate grant process including in:  Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Mexico and Russia.

Key criteria used for selecting and prioritizing grant requests 

  • John Deere Mentor or Coach supporting the team or requested (John Deere dealership employees are not eligible at this time) 
  • Supporting Low income students as measured by % of free and reduced lunch program
  • % of underrepresented students including minorities and/or females participating 
  • Need or criticality of team grant
  • Supporting First-time FIRST participants
  • Returning teams that support community outreach including partnering with John Deere  

For approved grants, funding levels will vary for new and returning teams based on team financial need and if the team has diversity ( females and/or people of color) participation for FTC & FRC.  The grants cover costs normally paid to FIRST by teams such as for registration, robot kits or parts, and field setup kits. Examples of costs that are not covered with the grants include registration for local FIRST events, travel costs, and team shirts. 

The goal is to notify teams on their grant status within 3 weeks of submission. Please note: it will take additional time for an approved grant to appear on the team's account.  

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For teams that accept a John Deere grant, they agree to the following requirements, by program.

Accepted FLL JR Teams

  • Teams must have 3-6 members who will be active throughout the season.  Members must be age 6-10 as of January 1, 2019.
  • The team must meet a minimum of one hour each week for 6 to 8 weeks.  
  • The team must showcase their work at a minimum of one official FLL JR Event/Expo.   
  • The coach will be responsible for managing the team and must participate in a post-season evaluation.  
  • If the team has team shirts, the shirt must include the John Deere name or logo. The logo must also be included on the team’s website or social media page (if they have one).  Teams must use the logo art file provided and follow the guidelines for using the logo correctly.

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Accepted FLL Teams

  • Teams must have 5–10 members who will be active throughout the season.  Members must be age 9–14 (in North America) or age 9-16 (outside North America) as of January 1, 2019.
  • Team must meet a minimum of two hours each week throughout the season.  
  • The coach must participate in a training session, if a training session is available.
  • The team must participate in at least one tournament, which may be a regional or championship event.  
  • The coach will be responsible for managing the team and must participate in a post-season evaluation.
  • If the team has team shirts, the shirt must include the John Deere name or logo. The logo must also be included on the team’s website or social media page (if they have one).  Teams must use the logo art file provided and follow the guidelines for using the logo correctly.

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 Accepted FTC Teams

  • Team must have 5–15 members who will be active throughout the season.  Each team member must be age 12–18 as of January 1, 2019. 
  • Team must meet a minimum of two hours each week throughout the season.  
  • The coach must participate in a training session, if a training session is available.
  • The team must participate in at least one tournament, which may be a regional or championship event.    
  • The coach will be responsible for managing the team and must participate in a post-season evaluation.  
  • The John Deere name or logo must be included on the team shirts and robot, in the team pit, and on the team website or social media page (if they have one).  Teams must use the logo art file provided and follow the guidelines for using the logo correctly.

 Returning Teams

  • Must participate in at least 3 community outreach activities throughout the year.

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Accepted FRC Teams

  • Each team must have at least one John Deere employee committed to actively supporting the team as a mentor in person for a minimum of 40 hours or more during the season.  The best opportunity to receive a grant from John Deere is to a confirm a John Deere employee mentor before applying for grant.  Otherwise, you can apply and John Deere will try to line up a mentor.   
  • As part of the approval process, a team requesting a grant from John Deere for the first time must give a brief presentation to the John Deere Inspire team in their community.  
  • Rookie teams must have a minimum of 10 members and returning teams must have a minimum of 15 members who will be active throughout the season.  Members be age 14–18 as of January 1, 2019.
  • Mentors must participate in a training session if a mentor training session is available. 
  • Team must participate in a minimum of one regional event. 
  • The mentor will be responsible for managing the team and must participate in a post-season evaluation.  
  • The John Deere name or logo must be included on the team shirts and robot, in the team pit, and on the team website or social media page (if they have one).  Teams must use the logo art file provided and follow the guidelines for using the logo correctly.

 Returning Teams  

  • Team must participate in at least three community outreach activities throughout the year.  
  • Team must apply for either the Entrepreneurship or Chairman's Award at a regional event. 

Note:  John Deere's recommendation is that FRC teams that have existed for 5 years or more should apply for the Chairman's Award.

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If you have questions regarding your team's account or registration at FIRST, please contact Operations at (800) 871-8326 or e-mail one of the following:
firstlegoleaguejr@firstinspires.org
firstlegoleague@firstinspires.org
firsttechchallenge@firstinspires.org
firstroboticscompittion@firstinspires.org