Engineering Inspiration

Can a team win the EI award if they don’t submit for Chairman’s? I know it’s not technically a requirement, but I’d like to know if anyone out there has won a regional EI award without making a Chairman’s submission/presentation.

We won the District Engineering Inspiration award without submitting for Chairman’s. We had pretty much never submitted for an award, and between our first and second events of 2017, we decided that we should document everything and try to win EI. It worked out, and the judges suggested that we apply for Chairman’s in the future (which we did.)

This might be a bit different, but 103 won EI in 2011 without submitting for Chairman’s. Granted, we are a HOF team, so take that with a grain of salt.

Engineering Inspiration is implicitly not a submitted award (as it’s not in the submission portal or listed as one on FIRST’s website.) This means it’s entirely possible to win EI without Chairmans, or vice versa. However: This doesn’t mean any less preparation goes into it.

In theory, a Chairman’s submission shouldn’t affect an Engineering Inspiration Award one way or another, since the Chairman’s judges are separate from the main judging panel that decides most of the other awards (including Engineering Inspiration). They may end up influencing each other in practice, though.

We did last year at North Star. We had a group working hard on Chairman’s last year, but we didn’t get it to where we wanted so we didn’t submit it. Instead, we turned that work towards pit presenting with some great results! I think it would be incredibly difficult to win EI without putting in that sort of effort, though. It’s not just the outreach you do, it’s the preparation of how you tell your story to the judges. Your presenters need to understand every aspect of the team and have a clear idea of what they want to say before you ever step foot in the event.

Our Chairman’s was in a better place this year, so we got it submitted. We feel really good about our feedback from Northern Lights too (and the judges probably made the right choice with 2512… starting a rookie team 4000 miles away, in addition to everything else they do, is no small feat… and having that rookie team on site for the event is just icing on the cake!).

Thank you all - these replies have been very helpful. We did the work, we have inspired… (we hope!) We just didn’t have the resources to put together a robot AND a CA submission this year (we were too busy all fall starting our new FTC teams, organizing events, holding demos for the little kids, etc.). So we’re going to try to tell our story “from the pit” and see what happens.

This is 100% accurate. As a kind reminder EI is NOT the “runner up” to Chairman’s. Never has been, never will be.

Chairman’s judging are completely separate from the rest of the judging. The reason it may seem that EI is a Chairman’s runner up are: Winning Chairman’s takes you out or the running for EI. The things that make for a strong Chairman’s team has a lot of cross over to EI although the criteria is some what different. So a team with a strong chairman’s presentation that loses chairman’s to a stronger team might well win EI even though different judges make the decision.

We won EI at the Ryerson district. If Chairman’s judging is truly as metrics-based as the criteria suggests, then, as a fairly new team, we never really had a shot at it given the other teams competing who have been around much longer than we have and thus have far greater “reach” metrics. But the EI win was a great acknowledgement of the efforts we put into our community.