FIRST Dean's List- Thoughts?

I was very happy to see an award for student members that recognizes their achievements. The thought behind the award and the criteria are great.

I’m upset that FIRST gave mentors/teams 3 days to come up with nominees, and develop an adequately written statement of nomination. 4000 characters is nowhere close to a Chairman’s essay, but do they realize how long teams spend on carefully crafting Chairman’s and Woodie Flowers submissions?!?!?

If you type one character every 2 seconds - including spaces - surely you can think about every character adequately? That takes about 2.2 hours, out of the 72 given. Plenty of time, especially if you say is succinctly and use fewer characters. :slight_smile:

Great idea, but would be nice to have a little heads up on this.

Does anyone know if mentors can write these? If so it looks like you need to have a students awards submitter log on to enter/submit. Correct?

I agree that the award is nice however I also agree that 4 days is not enough time to get it done. They want the team to choose a nominee. Our team isn’t meeting again till next week. We have to get through the FTC State Championships. So I guess we will do it through the Forum and emails.

The way I read it, mentors can write the essays. Thank heavens we have been writing college recommendations so at least we have information we can pull from at our fingertips.

It does seem kind of strange that they just sprang up this award on us; I wouldn’t have even known about it were it not for this thread. But it is a very good opportunity for students, and we are all on the same boat in terms of the shortness in time.

The description implied that anyone can write the letter, just as long as it is 'approved" by the entire team.

Or leave out a random word or two. :rolleyes:

mentors or teams can choose the nominee here are the rules:

I did not notice that the deadline was 4:30, and though it would be 11:59 as usual. This is a lesson in reading carefully!

I kinda wish we would be allowed to nominate students from other teams.

I really like the idea of the award, it is the perfect compliment to the Woodie Flower’s award for mentors.

The short time frame didn’t phase me, I work better under pressure :slight_smile:

Just all part of the challenge, people.

You left out the sarcasm emoticon! That sounds more like a dodge for poor planning and execution.

Why the 4:30 pm EST cut-off today? Staffing for supporting their broken submission tool? Let’s just ignore the fact that for half the country, students are still in class and ONLY students could do the submission. Not very nice. :mad:

No sarcasm intended at all - there’s just a few things that stick out to me right away:

1.) Engineers aren’t the only ones who need to think on their feet. Students of all areas of study should learn how to communicate well, quickly.

2.) This is an award with no precedent of a winner. Just give it your best shot - what is there to lose?

The loss is poor participation on the part of teams. If there is poor participation then you get a low statistical sampling and at least in the beginning Dean’s list will not be recruiting the best in student leadership.

There are thousands of fine student leaders and unfortunately only a tiny fraction of them will get submitted, I fear.

If the point is to exercise teams speedy response to requests then we can call it Dean’s speedy test.

If the point is to identify and recruit highly committed and talented individuals to carry FIRST into the future then we have a whole new ball game.

I’m going out on a limb a little bit but I’d venture to say there is a fair amount of frustration out there about the timing and the cut off time for the event. 4:30 pm EST is particularly mysterious. What does that do for the west coast and Hawaii ?

Dean’s list is a great concept but the execution this year leaves a lot to be desired.

My team has been hammered this week handling other issues. In spite of getting hammered we didn’t get enough sleep and still got the essays done only to be denied by the early cutoff time.

Most of the time things work out. Sometime you just flat out run out of gas.

Such is life.

Concept: 10/10 or higher.

Execution/Implementation: Reminds me of an FRC team getting an idea at 2:30 AM two days before ship and barely managing to implement it before ship. As in, it’ll work, but it’s almost certainly not the best way to do it. We’ll see how the judging goes–if they don’t get enough to fill the pool at Championship, then the execution is an EPIC FAIL. (It’s currently close to regular fail.)

If they’d had the announcement out last week, teams could probably have flooded the inbox for the list. As it is, Bill’s Blog (from Wednesday) states that they had 5 total submissions the day after opening–at the time, 2 days after the initial announcement. It’ll be interesting to see how many were actually submitted, and I’d bet that with an extra weekend, there’d have been a lot more coming in. Or even with the extra couple of hours gained by extending the deadline to some time in the evening–say, 8 PM EST, or even midnight in the same time zone–there would probably have been a substantial increase.

No comment on the submission process; I’m not familiar enough with that entire system to say anything that would actually make sense.

That would stand a good chance of becoming a shipwreck.


Today as the deadline approached, our mentor got done with the Nomination around 1:00 pm Pacific time. I tried to upload the essay but got an error, so we had someone else on our team try and we got an error again.

Then our mentor tried though the TIMS, but that didn’t seem to work either.

So he called up FIRST before the 4:30 EST deadline and FIRST told him that it had to go though the Student TIMS. He was not allowed to upload the nomination or email it to FIRST.

Has anyone else had the same problem? Its very disappointing not to get in due a problem with TIMS.



Pretty much the same deal with us. Two essays were sent to FIRST via e-mail before 1:30 pm because our students don’t have internet access in school. A call to FIRST indicated that they weren’t able to accept the e-mail submission.

The real problem is that this award shouldn’t be submitted by a student. But, FIRST didn’t have time to develop an alternative submission method, so they were stuck with using STMPLGIS (or student TIMS).

Selecting the nominee(s) and essay writing should be done by mentors, otherwise it’s a popularity contest (or worse). The notion that a student would read my assessment of the capabilities, commitment, contributions of a peer doesn’t sit very well with me. That kind of evaluation should be kept discrete.

We made a fake account with the student TIMS so the mentors could submit.

This is very upsetting for me to hear RC. I hope your submission pulls through somehow.

Without you in the mix, its not a true competition :frowning: