PDA

View Full Version : Chairman's is in!


Dan Zollman
02-23-2007, 12:15 AM
It's done! Submitted!

I'm not sure, but I think firstawards was faster this year during the last hour before the deadline, when the site usually has the most traffic.

So, today was spent doing this:

http://www.weaponsemporium.com/WE-Valkyries%20Axe%20Steel.jpg

In other words, this year we had three people write different parts of the essay. Since we didn't set an exact character limit for each person (the essay has to be 10,000 characters or less), the essay was 16,000 characters three days ago. This week was editing and revision, but I saved the character cutting for the last day.

So, today I chopped about 6,000 characters out of the essay.

I'll post our essay as a whitepaper tomorrow.

JaneYoung
02-24-2007, 03:50 PM
It's done! Submitted!

In other words, this year we had three people write different parts of the essay.
So, today I chopped about 6,000 characters out of the essay.


Congratulations Dan - you have a gift for cobbling words together, I know that for fact. Good luck with your entry!

Jane

Koko Ed
02-24-2007, 04:03 PM
It's done! Submitted!

I'm not sure, but I think firstawards was faster this year during the last hour before the deadline, when the site usually has the most traffic.

So, today was spent doing this:

http://www.weaponsemporium.com/WE-Valkyries%20Axe%20Steel.jpg

In other words, this year we had three people write different parts of the essay. Since we didn't set an exact character limit for each person (the essay has to be 10,000 characters or less), the essay was 16,000 characters three days ago. This week was editing and revision, but I saved the character cutting for the last day.

So, today I chopped about 6,000 characters out of the essay.

I'll post our essay as a whitepaper tomorrow.

I have in my possesion our '94 Yearbook which we submitted as our Chairman's entry and won with. I'll probably find someplace to put it in our HOF (I;d kill to find our '92 gameboard entry).
It's amazing how much the award has changed. We still have to submit just to particiapte in the HOF and I was watching one of our students trying to submit everything. I couldn't believe how nitpicky the process is! How can any team submit anything of substance when they're more busy watching their word count? It's unbelivable!

JaneYoung
02-24-2007, 04:19 PM
Did you guys have a word limit Ed?

FunkyRatDemon
02-24-2007, 04:28 PM
We submitted a great submission, yes, the servers uploaded really well for Chairmans and Website
Howerver Animation was horrible, the servers sere heavily trafficed and took us forever (1hour and 3min past the time limit :( )

Lil' Lavery
02-24-2007, 04:38 PM
It's amazing how much the award has changed. We still have to submit just to particiapte in the HOF and I was watching one of our students trying to submit everything. I couldn't believe how nitpicky the process is! How can any team submit anything of substance when they're more busy watching their word count? It's unbelivable!

I know. 116 had to leave several things (including two national television appearances!) that we really wanted to put in our submission. We're going to hit as many of them as we can in our presentation and judges materials. But I really wish we had at least another 4,000 characters to play with. :(

wendymom
02-24-2007, 04:42 PM
I know. 116 had to leave several things (including two national television appearances!) that we really wanted to put in our submission. We're going to hit as many of them as we can in our presentation and judges materials. But I really wish we had at least another 4,000 characters to play with. :(


We had to cut out 6000 characters!!! It's really hard. So how did you get 2 national tv appearances?

Koko Ed
02-24-2007, 04:47 PM
Did you guys have a word limit Ed?

I wasn't around in '94 but from the looks of it, no.
This thing is about the size of a high school yearbook (a modest one) with pictures galore in it.

Lil' Lavery
02-24-2007, 04:47 PM
We had to cut out 6000 characters!!! It's really hard. So how did you get 2 national tv appearances?

Our first one was in 2001 on A&Es The Competition series. It was an hour long special focusing on 116 and 388. It was before my time, so I'm not sure th exact process involved in us getting on the show.
Over the summer we filmed a segment for HGTV's I Want That: Tech Toys to promote the Vex Robotic Design System. We were approached because of our success in the FVC competition (won 2005 FVC pilot, 2006 regional finalists), as well as out success with our "squarebots" display/activity/game in promoting both FIRST and Vex. The segment aired this past fall.

Koko Ed
02-24-2007, 04:49 PM
Our first one was in 2001 on A&Es The Competition series. It was an hour long special focusing on 116 and 388. It was before my time, so I'm not sure th exact process involved in us getting on the show.
Over the summer we filmed a segment for HGTV's I Want That: Tech Toys to promote the Vex Robotic Design System. We were approached because of our success in the FVC competition (won 2005 FVC pilot, 2006 regional finalists), as well as out success with our "squarebots" display/activity/game in promoting both FIRST and Vex. The segment aired this past fall.

We have that video! Ellery had put it up on his server but I think it's down right now.

technoL
02-24-2007, 05:21 PM
I'm glad that I wasn't the only one doing some serious editing on Wednesday night. I rechecked the submission guidelines only to realize that we were over the character limit by more than 3000. Then after cutting a page or so out, I realized that I was looking at the wrong character count (not including spaces) --another 2000 characters out the window. Its difficult editing your own work when you think that every single sentence is of major importance.

I'm just glad that I decided to check the rules on Wednesday night instead of Thursday like I originally planned.

I can sleep a little better now that I know everything is submitted and the robot has been shipped.

OZ_341
02-25-2007, 12:31 AM
I know. 116 had to leave several things (including two national television appearances!) that we really wanted to put in our submission. We're going to hit as many of them as we can in our presentation and judges materials. But I really wish we had at least another 4,000 characters to play with. :(

Experienced teams doing great things ( like 116) can't even come close to describing their activities in 10,000 words or a 5 minute presentation. So much gets left on the proverbial "cutting room floor".

It comes down to a choice:
If you itemize everything you do, your submission reads like a laundry list.
Or you write from your heart and cut out half of what you did the last few years.

We always choose to write with some heart, but I always worry about the things that we have left out of our submission.

The choice is very difficult.

Lil' Lavery
02-25-2007, 12:37 AM
Experienced teams doing great things ( like 116) can't even come close to describing their activities in 10,000 words or a 5 minute presentation. So much gets left on the proverbial "cutting room floor".

It comes down to a choice:
If you itemize everything you do, your submission reads like a laundry list.
Or you write from your heart and cut out half of what you did the last few years.

We always choose to write with some heart, but I always worry about the things that we have left out of our submission.

The choice is very difficult.
We certainly know that feeling. We planned/wrote/rehearsed our presentation tonight, and we had to leave out several pretty cool things from that too. At least we have most of our major topics covered in the submission and/or presentation.

And I was mistaken earlier, we did manage to sneak in one sentance (but that's it) about the television appearances. But we had to reserve our recent visit to capitol hill to our exec summary and presentation.

WEHickok
02-25-2007, 04:34 AM
This thread asked about the length of submissions in the past. In 1997, our first year, there were no restrictions as to what you submitted. Some of our earlier submissions included a book that we created (like 191), a video, and pleanty of "stuff" (like newspaper clippings, things we handed out, programs to events that we attended, etc.) As the number of teams grew, restrictions appeared, until it was only a 10 minute video. Then, several years ago, it was changed to the 10,000 characters--again due to the time it took judges to go over the material. I would not be surprised to see it shortened again in the future as the number of teams submitting grows.

To me, 10,000 characters is plenty. Most people put in too much non-relevant stuff. You need to be precise and tell the judges the story. Remember they were not there. You must tell them what happened...and why. Remember in your submission and presentation to talk about the six primary things listed in the rules. The most important is--What makes your team unique...why are you special. One of the six items is "Document an innovative way that your team has spread the message of FIRST." Another is "How has your team demonstrated that they should be a role model in FIRST?" Don't just tell what you did--tell how that demonstrates leadership. The Championship Chairman's Award winner is a team that demonstrates leadership. This is why a small team can win the CA. They don't have to do many things by themselves, they need to demonstrate leadership to get stuff done.

As to the TV stuff, that is great. We were on ESPN coverage of FIRST in 1998 at the Championship. But that wasn't too important. We did not harass ESPN until they told our story. We were one of the final four that year and they interviewed all four teams. This was great, but not, in my opinion, Chairman's material. It didn't demonstrate leadership, just being in the right place at the right time.

Good luck to all teams that submitted for the Chairman's Award. Prepare well for the presentation to the judges. Remember to leave the room by having made them believe that you have the best team at that regional or Championship. Tell the story of what makes your great.

Rich Kressly
02-25-2007, 07:47 AM
I wasn't around in '94 but from the looks of it, no.
This thing is about the size of a high school yearbook (a modest one) with pictures galore in it.

I'm not sure about 1994 Ed, but I do know that the rule in 2001/2002 was that the whole submission needed to be "viewable" in 10 minutes and you carried it with you. In those years with Team 103 we did a yearbook and still had to make the tough choices you all are talking about. In 2003, submissions were cut down to four pages which is a very close cousin to what we have now. That year, I remember sweating pictures, layout AND words.

For me (or at least the 2007 version of me), here's the bottom line:

1. I see this "issue" as the same issue we encounter with robot weight. Even if we get 150 pounds, we'd still be weighing in at 149 on the day before ship.
2. A Chairman's submission, by itself, will win nothing. Formal judging in the interview room, informal judging of the team in the pit area, and Q&A with the rest of the teams at a regional all can play a part.
3. While some of these choices are indeed difficult, that is what FIRST is all about. As crazy as this may sound, ENJOY the struggle. The learning experience may land a student a job some day. I hear that job applications, resumes, and interviews can be way too short too. :)

OZ_341
02-25-2007, 10:16 AM
I agree with mostly everything that Rich & Walt have said here, with one exception.
A TV spot can be important if it was totally generated and coordinated by your team. NBC10 put us on the news and commercials because of our two day interactive FIRST display. This example goes beyond just being on TV.

But with that being said we cut it out of our submission for other things we felt were more important to communicate to judges. Hence, Rich's robot weight analogy.

My only point being that it is a difficult task to decide. I actually don't want any more characters, just like I don't want 8 weeks to build our robot.

My point is that you have a choice to make between volume and heart. We always choose heart over volume. We want the judges to connect with our team, like you connect with a person. The problem is that you may encounter a judge that is floored by big numbers, from a big team.

That is the challenge and the choice of direction upon which you must decide.

Good luck to all at regionals on and "off" the field. ;)