Focusing upon building STEM-based skills, students use a kit of parts and participate in weekly remote activities to build and program their own robot. Students gain valuable hands-on experience with STEM concepts such as mechanical engineering and coding. Geared Up robotics can be used as a standalone classroom resource or after-school program to enhance STEM learning.

About FIRST Chesapeake

VirginiaFIRST dba FIRST Chesapeake is a 20+ year old 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. Using the robot as the vehicle, FIRST Chesapeake programs reinforce STEM-based concepts while teaching valuable life skills such as leadership, innovation, and self-confidence. FIRST Chesapeake directly serves over 8,000 middle and high school students in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia every year.

FIRST Chesapeake strives to inspire young people to become science and technology innovators by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs. Young people who participate in FIRST Chesapeake programs are 45% more likely to pursue an engineering or computer science degree and report their self-confidence and desire to learn doubled after participating in the program.

What is GEARED Up Robotics?

Geared Up Robotics is an affordable and engaging on-line robotics program for middle and high school students. Focusing on building STEM-based skills at-home or in classrooms, students use a standard kit of parts and participate in weekly one-hour remote activities to build and program their own robot.  All sessions are led by a trained on-line instructor and all materials and tools are provided.  GEARED Up programs are based upon 9 and 18 one-hour sessions and are tied to middle and high school core academic standards for the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (SOLs).

How does it work?

It’s easy!

Because each lesson is tied to core academic standards* , the program can be used to supplement classroom instruction or as an after-school program. We currently offer two programs

  1. GEARED Up Intro Program 

    GEARED Up Intro Program includes

    Cost for Middle or High School Program = $4,250 ($283/student)
  2. GEARED Up Advance Program


"I loved watching my son trying something he’d never done before and then seeing his amazement when he was able to do it."

GearedUp Parent

"I loved building my own robot that I get to keep."

GearedUp Student

"It was amazing to see how much the students learned in such a short period of time and this was a good supplement and hands on activity for remote learning."


FIRST Chesapeake and GEARED Up would like to thank the following sponsors for their support of GEARED Up programs in their communities.

Ready to Sign Up?

Apply today. We strive to make sure that each one-hour session is informative, interactive, and leave plenty of time for questions. We also budget additional on-line hours to assist students who may have fallen behind. It is our goal to make sure all students complete the program with a functioning robot and a new-found sense of achievement

Contact Us.
call 804.572.8454 or

We are here

FIRST Chesapeake
2101 Maywill Street
Richmond VA 23230


Accepting applications for Spring 2022

School Information

GEARED Up requires that all sessions be monitored by a designated adult to address attendance and any possible disciplinary issues. If you are not the designated monitor, please provide their name and contact information

Payment must be received 6 weeks prior to the first program session to allow for kit delivery.

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