Engineering Inspiration Award

Hello Guys
I wanted To ask you what you need to do to win Engineering Inspiration Award??

From the Awards manual

This award celebrates a team’s outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within their school as well as their community. Criteria include: the extent and inventiveness of the team’s efforts to recruit students to engineering, the extent and effectiveness of the team’s community outreach efforts, and the measurable success of those efforts.

Emphasis mine.

So, figure out ways to reach out to your community. Promote respect and appreciation for engineers. Work to recruit students to engineering, this can be done, among other ways, by fostering other FIRST teams.

Be sure to have measurable ways of documenting your efforts, stats, graphs, photos, news clippings, etc…

Notice that robot performance is not mentioned in the award although a team that advances respect and appreciation for engineering is likely to have a decent robot.

In the long run, if your team fully embraces and engages the philosophy behind FIRST, awards like the Chairman’s Award and Engineering Inspiration come naturally.

Thank you :slight_smile:

The EI award is a tough award to prepare for IMO as compared to the RCA.
With the RCA, you get feedback from a rubric that helps your team look at other areas for improvement, if any.

As with any other judged award, staying true to your strengths, beliefs, and goals for your students in the program is most important.

I agree totally. We have three RCA awards and we still have not figured out the EI. From observing the awards given at events there seems to be quite a bit of latitude in how that is judged.

My team, 1741, was able to take home this award from the Queen City Regional. We weren’t trying for this award specifically, but having won it, and taking a retrospective look at the questions the judges asked our students, I figured I’d offer my thoughts on this award.

I’ve often heard EI referred to as “2nd place Chairman’s” but I think that’s a disservice to the award. While our outreach efforts to promote science and technology went a long way toward the community portion of the award, there’s more to it than that. We worked with our school to integrate robotics lessons in the classroom. The swarm of judges in our pit talked to any student they could grab about our robot, our testing, our technical documentation, our training, our design selection criteria, our process documentation, etc. – We talked the talk, but they were really seeing if we walked the walk, which I am proud to say our kids did. The kids were excited to talk about everything, and it really showed how they’d become inspired about engineering.

I do have a question for you all: Does your team target this award? We’re going to re-tool our Chairman’s presentation to focus on EI for World’s.

I’m bumping this thread due to the same question the OP asked. I’m interested in the EI award, but would like some more information from people who’ve won it. Mainly what you did OUTSIDE of community outreach. We have that all planned out, but would like to know what else to do.


Our team has never done anything significantly different the past several years, concerning interviews with judges that come by the pits or in the interview room for the CA. We have never won that award at a regional, yet, we win it at CMP in 2008.:rolleyes:

We have won the EI twice, Midwest in 2008 and Smoky Mountains this year. Our program works to instill the mission, vision, values of FIRST in all of our team members. Team members is defined as students, parents, and mentors. We have several alumni who have gone off to earn degrees in engineering, education, business, Animation, and Graphic Design and many who are still pursuing their degrees. Over the last 4 years our graphics team as compiled a Team Yearbook that highlites a years worth of team activity. In the fall we have 2 months of training with our team. In Novemeber we volunteer at an annual fundraiser to support the International Adaoption Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. In december we host a mock kick-off for area teams and an FLL Qualifying tournament. Of course the build season and competitions. In the spring we have our awards banquet and in the summer we do several demos and have team building events, paintball, game nights, movies, picnics, lan parties, etc.

All of this is documented and put into a yearbook that is made available for the judges. We always bring 12 or more copies so that each judge leaves with one. We also include this in our RCA presentation as a handout.

This past year we lost our space at the school and everything was put into storage at one of our sponsors warehouse’s and a 16 foot enclosed trailer. But despite this we continued to perform outreach efforts, demos and held a condensed version of our fall training, all while working out of a trailer. Fortunately we was able to find a space and move in about 2 weeks before this past season’s kick-off.

At Smoky Mountains the judges were impressed that we continued to perform outreach and inspire our community and students despite our hardship and awarded us the EI.

Sometimes you never know what the judges will pick up on and run with. Most judges only FIRST experience is the regional they judge. So you really have to hook them in and give them your A game.