Absolutely Confused

Team #5402 is a rookie team and we are really pushing to get whatever awards we can. We are looking at Rookie All-Star and Rookie Inspiration the most. Which leads me to our problem:
None of us (even I, the magical communications fairy) have been able to figure out exactly how we can get these. How do we show judges our community outreach? Is there an essay? A presentation? What about a form? Do we have to fill one of those out?
We are struggling to understand and would really appreciate some solid answers and info. Whatever anyone has to offer, we are interested in!:yikes:

Our team won rookie all-star last season in San Diego out of 65 teams or so. we were a bit surprised by being chosen in fact I as a mentor left before the finals we were not chosen in thinking that was it. Then we won. We were not the best of the rookie robots in San Diego, nor the most polished team but we did score in the top 30 and had spunk with our KISS robot We were solely a simple low goal /high goal blocking robot…but had a personality…and were different.

What I think put us over the top was the Interview they conduct during the competition and the outstanding business plan the kids wrote, the kids started the First FRC team in our school district .The kids took great pride in their robot and went into great detail how we chose a design, how we fundraiser first year, what every persons role was, they all knew the parts of the robot and specs. We had stickers and a nice table set up…

…and we made it to St Louis…had a blast. there you see the top robots in the World!

There we found what I knew up front we were not top-notch in the world placing #93…way too slow and limited but we learned so much that I believe we have a very good robot which we will need to reach St. Louis again…we are giving it our best shot again this time knowing more what it takes…we are not slow! We are capable! Another year makes a huge difference.

Guess the moral is it depends on how your team impresses the judges and have a solid plan. So for Rookie All stars that is what it took for us.

Good Luck

Agree with boltman. The judges will be able to tell how into it your team is when they come by to talk to you guys so be into it. You must remember that first isn’t just about the bot!!

Thank you so much, guys!

All judged awards except ones where you submit online (Chairman’s Award, WFA, DLA, and Entrepreneurship all have submissions online) are primarily judged by “pit interviews” where typically a pair of people in blue polo shirts will come around through the pits and interview team members about the robot and the team to help them in deciding who will win the awards at the event. This isn’t to say that you will be judged solely on your pit interview, as on-field and off-field performance are components weighed in all circumstances.

So for the Rookie All-Star Award, judges are looking for a rookie team that is “exemplifying a young but strong partnership effort, as well as implementing the mission of FIRST to inspire students to learn more about science and technology.” As I am not nor have ever been a judge adviser or judge, or a member of a rookie team, I can’t tell you exactly what they are looking for or why the definition of the award is vague.

I can say that RAS winners in the past have been teams that understand the values of FIRST and are considered to be a sort of blue-chip stock for winning the Chairman’s Award in the future. Preparing students to be able to talk to judges about things you have done that show your team’s understanding of FIRST outside of just the robot (like community service, creating a business plan, generating enthusiasm among outside members of your school and town/city, executing on the ideas of gracious professionalism) helps. Being able to SHOW judges these kinds of things is even better. I recommend creating some kind of documentation you can informally give the judges to show them what your team has done (since you cannot submit for the RCA). This binder will also be beneficial to you when your team moves from this competition season going forward.

Judges will also be looking at how you interact with other teams at the event, and I also can’t say I’ve seen an RAS winner that didn’t put on a good show with their robot.

Good luck!

As another step to meet these goals in your rookie year, and chairman’s and design awards in future years, you may wish to implement a plan that we (in our fourth year) are just now trying to do - a “pit voice”, or “pit ambassador”. This should be filled by two or three students in rotation who (in order of importance):

  1. Can speak clearly, articulately, and preferably passionately.
  2. Understand your robot. Not only how many CIMS and spikes and pneumatic solenoids, but have a solid clue as to why
    these specific decisions were made.
  3. Know the team well enough that when a really technical question is asked (beyond what they know), they know to whom the question should be directed.
  4. Are not (at least at that time) critically important to robot performance.