Please review this grant application carefully changes have been made for 2020 - 2021. 

Deadlines to apply:

John Deere FIRST®  team grants for new and returning teams with the ability to request John Deere mentors including virtually in light of COVID-19  is now available.  The grants available are in support of John Deere's global youth STEM program, John Deere Inspire.  

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 2020 – 2021 season factoring in other support you have already received, 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  particularly those who historically have been underrepresented and underserved in STEM including girls, young women, Hispanic, Latinx, Black, African American, and indigenous youth.  John Deere and FIRST are together committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion which encourages teams to be more innovation, creative, and make better decisions. We encourage your team to support and encourage diversity within your team.  

For FIRST teams that receive a John Deere grant, one of the requirements is to take the free, three part, on-line FIRST  Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training with this link in order to use the strategies for better recruitment and support.   Please note there is training for coaches, mentors, volunteers, partners, and key stakeholders along with separate training for youth.

Team Grant Requirements: 

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.  

  • If your team was supported by John Deere (team grant, Dollars for Doers donation, FIRST Championship support, or team mentor or coach) for the 2019-2020 season, your team must submit a John Deere post season survey BEFORE filling out this new grant application for the 2020-2021 FIRST season.    
  • Note to Returning Teams:  A link to the survey was sent to the  team member that submitted the grant request last season.  If the survey request was not received, please send an e-mail to Inspire@JohnDeere.com including the team number,  city where team met, FIRST program, and if applicable, the new team contacts name, and e-mail address and we will resend the survey link
  • Teams must be associated with a school (public or private) or 501(c)(3) non-profit in the U.S.  (i.e. 4-H, Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs, etc.)  or a registered charity outside the U.S  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 2020-2021 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.
  • Teams must be located within a 40-mile (65-kilometer) driving distance from the nearest John Deere Facility (excludes John Deere Dealers) or have a John Deere employee committed to actively supporting their team for the 2020 - 2021 season in person or in light of COVID-19, virtually regardless of location.   

In the U.S, this includes 17 John Deere Inspire home communities listed below covering 14 states for all FIRST programs.   

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 for FIRST LEGO League and FIRST Tech Challenge including: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, India, and Mexico.  

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
  • Students from economically disadvantaged schools or non-profits
  • Level of diversity - students from historically underrepresented and underserved communities in STEM including girls, young women, LBGTQ+, American Indian, Indigenous, Hispanic, Latinx, Black and African American students, and those with disabilities
  • 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 participation for FTC & FRC.  The grants cover costs normally paid to FIRST by teams such as  official team 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.  If you have questions about the status of your submitted grant after the 3 weeks, send an e-mail to Inspire@JohnDeere.com.  

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Teams that accept a John Deere grant, agree to the following requirements, by program.   

Accepted FIRST LEGO League Discover Classroom with a Class Pack 

  • Classrooms will have up to 30 students working as 3-4 member teams who will be active throughout the season. Members must be age 4-6 as of January 1, 2020.
  • The classroom shall meet a minimum of one hour per week, which can be virtually with COVID-19 completing the 10 lessons.  
  • The team must showcase their work at a celebration event and invite John Deere to attend, which can be virtually by sending an e-mail to Inspire@JohnDeere.com   
  • The coach will be responsible for managing the team and must participate in a post-season evaluation.  
  • Coaches & mentors must complete the three part, free, on-line FIRST Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training with this link and use the strategies for better recruitment and support. 
  • The coach will add John Deere as a team sponsor to the team profile in TIMS (Team Information Management System). 

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Accepted FIRST LEGO League Explore Teams 

  • Teams must have 3-6 members who will be active throughout the season.  Members must be age 6-10 as of January 1, 2020.
  • The team must meet a minimum of one hour each week, which can be virtually for 6 to 8 weeks.  
  • The team must showcase their work at a minimum of one official FLL Explore Event/Expo.   This may be a remote event hosted online by the official FLL Explore partner.
  • 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 applicable).  Teams must use the logo art file provided and follow the guidelines for using the logo correctly.
  • Coaches & mentors must complete the three part, free, on-line FIRST Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training with this link and use the strategies for better recruitment and support. 
  • The coach will add John Deere as a team sponsor to the team profile in TIMS (Team Information Management System). 

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Accepted FIRST LEGO League Challenge 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, 2020.
  • Team must meet a minimum of two hours each week, which can be virtually  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.   Some regional events may be hosted remotely, but participation must occur in an official FLL Challenge event regardless if done in person or online. 
  • 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 applicable).  Teams must use the logo art file provided and follow the guidelines for using the logo correctly.
  • Coaches & mentors must complete the three part, free, on-line FIRST Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training with this link and use the strategies for better recruitment and support.  
  • The coach will add John Deere as a team sponsor to the team profile in TIMS (Team Information Management System).  

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Accepted FIRST Tech Challenge 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, 2020. 
  • Team must meet a minimum of two hours each week, which can be virtually 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.  Some regional events may be hosted remotely, but participation must occur in an official FTC event regardless if done in person or online.   
  • 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 applicable).  Teams must use the logo art file provided and follow the guidelines for using the logo correctly.
  • Coaches & mentors must complete the three part, free, on-line FIRST Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training with this link and use the strategies for better recruitment and support.   
  • The coach will add John Deere as a team sponsor to the team profile in TIMS (Team Information Management System). en
  • Send John Deere a picture to Inspire@JohnDeere.com of your whole team participating in an official FIRST event during the 2020 - 2021 season. 

 Returning Teams 

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

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Accepted FIRST Robotics Competition Teams 

  • Each team must have at least one John Deere employee committed to actively supporting the team as a mentor in person or virtually 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, 2020.
  • Mentors must participate in a training session if a mentor training session is available. 
  • Team must participate in a minimum of one regional event. Some events may be hosted remotely, but participation must occur in an official FRC event regardless if done in person or online.
  • 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 applicable).  Teams must use the logo art file provided and follow the guidelines for using the logo correctly.
  • Coaches & mentors must complete the three part, free, on-line FIRST Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training with this link and use the strategies for better recruitment and support. 
  • The coach will add John Deere as a team sponsor to the team profile in TIMS (Team Information Management System). 
  • Send John Deere a picture to Inspire@JohnDeere.com of your whole team participating  from an official FIRST event during the 2020 - 2021 season.

 Returning Teams  

  • Team encouraged 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

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