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Guidance for COVID-19

Hello to the FIRST® Robotics British Columbia family! With the ever-changing world and circumstances surrounding COVID-19 in British Columbia, FIRST® Robotics British Columbia is committed to continue encouraging and supporting our youth to become the science and technology leaders of tomorrow. As always, our priority is the safety of all our students, volunteers, coaches, mentors and community members.  Due to the pandemic and the guidelines from provincial health officials, we anticipate that teams will encounter a number of unique challenges during the FIRST® GAME CHANGERSSM powered by Star Wars: Force for Change season.  FIRST Robotics British Columbia is here to support teams as they navigate these unique scenarios.  

For teachers, coaches, and mentors,: we know you are faced with new guidelines and expectations around cleaning and working with shared materials within the educational and extracurricular spaces at your school or community meeting space. We are sharing ideas for safety practices for teams, but these are intended as suggestions for your consideration.  All teams should adhere to recommendations by your local health authority and the BC Centre for Disease Control, which could change throughout the season.  

This season will be different from past years. We are working on multiple options to allow all our teams to safely participate in the 2020-2021 FIRST GAME CHANGERSSM powered by Star Wars: Force for Change season. For FIRST LEGO® League and FIRST Tech Challenge, we are planning smaller in-person events when they fit provincial guidelines, and are working with FIRST on remote and hybrid (mix of remote and in-person) event options to allow teams across BC to participate in the season. For FIRST Robotics Competition teams, we hope that in-person events can continue with reduced team sizes and single-day events, all of which will follow local public health guidelines and restrictions on events sizes. 

We look forward to connecting with the FIRST community in British Columbia in the fall through online events and weekly workshops. In addition to our events and competition options, the FIRST community has created some engaging initiatives for teams which we will post periodically to our social media channels for you to participate.  Check out what FIRST Canada, the Ontario FIRST partner, has to offer here: https://www.firstroboticscanada.org/events/. One of the early season events is “FIRST Canada Live!” every Tuesday starting September 15th.  

We will keep you updated as the year progresses and more information becomes available. Rest assured, we will be offering  FIRST programs and competitive tournaments this season as either remote, in-person, or a hybrid setup of both. For schools who aren’t sure about participation guidelines, check out the FIRST Class Packs to assist in running FLL or FTC events within your classrooms. 

Best of luck to all teams this season as we navigate these challenging times together. Please be mindful of the safety of yourself, your families and the FIRST family as everyone’s health is of utmost importance.  We look forward to seeing everyone at upcoming events and tournaments and wish you all a safe start to the new season.