Engineering Inspiration Award

I realize that teams do not apply for the Engineering Inspriation Award. However, have any teams in the past either geared their Chairman’s presentation or even had displays in their pits which were geared to showing judges inspiration of engineering in the the community. All this in an effort to recieve the Engineering Inspiration Award?

I ask because, while putting together Chairman’s materials, our team’s activities have been geared more to engineering/STEM advocation in the community than just Chairman’s/Charity events.

What sorts of materials have teams used either in the pits or given to judges geared towards the Engineering Inspiration Award? We’d appreciate any advice you have to offer!

I’m fairly certain engineering/STEM advocation qualifies as outreach and what is expected of a role model Chairman’s team. It’s a subjective award, but from what I’ve seen teams that win Chairman’s don’t necessarily do work for charities, not STEM related orgs etc, that’s only a small part of what they do. The bigger part is how well they inspire others to recognize STEM. If your team is heavily advocating engineering/STEM that definitely fits under the Chairman’s criteria.

Unfortunately, I have no experience in specifically going for EI award, but in my experience it seems to be a lead-up to Chairman’s. Chairman’s is given to a team that deserves to be a role model, and EI (in my view) is given to a team that is an inspiration but not quite yet a role model. When I was on the team, my team won EI awards back to back years and then after another year won the Chairman’s award, as we worked on becoming a more professional looking team with better documentation etc. Between the two years of EI and Chairman’s our outreach/[engineer/STEM advocation] was likely about the same.

Team 1629 here in Maryland has twice won the EI award at Worlds as well as at many regionals over the years. They have posted a lot on their website. Check it out.

As the Engineering Inpiration Award falls essentially as a subset of the Chairman’s Award, if you focus on how your team fits the stated goal of the Engineering Inspiration award, you should be golden.

At some Regionals, Engineering Inspiration is essentially treated as second place Chairman’s, in others, it’s treated completely separately. If you know how judges at your regional treat the ward, you put yourself in a better position to win it.

Just emphasize your Engineering outreach, maybe with a scrapbook of the events your team has run/taken part in.

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Thank you for all the helpful advice! I love the scrapbook Idea!

Quick question, since we won EI this year at TVR, can we place the NASA logo on our robot? (I realize this may sound ridiculous)

Digging up an old thread… I know 2220 has never added NASA to our sponsors list for that year, but it seems fairly reasonable to for the remainder of that year.

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I mean technically they just sponsor the award not the team

Our team won the Engineering Inspiration award this year at the Del Mar Regional. We didn’t do a whole lot of absurd things to get it (IMHO) — we try to attend community outreach events when we can, we’ve mentored 2-3 FLL teams every year for the past 5-6 years, and we put together a rookie education program that basically consisted of a bunch of different types of activities and lessons to help get our rookie members up to speed on FRC stuff & things. We had pamphlets describing both in judge’s packets we handed out at the event.

What I think did it for us was the fact that we were able to show that what we were doing was genuine — we let rookies talk to the judges alongside veteran members, and let them answer questions on their own — they struggled, yes, but I think you could really see why these (mostly) freshmen were so excited about what they were doing.

I’m sure there were teams that have done a whole lot more than us in terms of community outreach. But, really, none of that matters when it comes down to it if they can’t show the results of those efforts.

Don’t gear a pit design or judge’s packet to win Engineering Inspiration — give the judges something more tangible (like people!) to make it genuine, and they’ll see the real impact of what you’re doing.

Curious to see what other teams have done to win EI this past year. From my understanding, teams do chairmen’s but with a more engineering outreach focus. What do other teams do?

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Our team (totally unexpectedly) won it this year at TVR. Our team motto is “Engage, impact, inspire”. We try our hardest to engage kids at a young age, in the hopes that they’ll grow up learning about engineering. We gear our outreach towards hands on learning. This year we

  • participated in the World Makerfaire in NYC
  • participated in Terrificon at Mohegan Sun
  • participated in our school’s Kids Day
  • participated in our towns “Kent Community Day”
  • started another new team, and at HVR, we spread across 3 pits, sharing space, tools, and people with our two neighboring mentee teams
  • work with e-Nable
  • ran a 6 week long program at our local elementary school
  • ran a summer program (summer of 2018) at our local library

We did not expect to get the engineering inspiration award in the slightest, and did not aim for it. It just kind of happened. At all of the events listed, we gave kids a hands-on experience with robotics and engineering