Help! Present for graduating seniors?

We have several seniors graduating on our team this year, but there are two in particular that our team would like to recognize. They’ve been putting 1000% effort and devotion into the team since they helped found it, and we want to give them something special as a graduation present to commemorate that.

We want it to be something they’ll use or semi-practical. We’ve considered customized jackets or necklaces, but we’re quite honestly out of our depth here. Any thoughts?


My team usually gives a blanket with their name, logo of our team, and the years they’ve been on the team. I use my blanket and I’m pretty sure others do as well.


For one of our mentors that was moving who helped up our scouting game we engraved a piece of lexan as a plaque


I’d advise that you treat your graduating seniors equally when it comes to gifts. Specifically recognizing them via speech is often better, especially if mentors mention at least one thing about each student. We give our graduating seniors all the same gifts. Custom backpacks or duffle bags are great gifts.

Helps prevent the optics of favoritism on the team. Once kids start feeling like there’s favorites on the team, it can lead to some negative dynamics.

In the future, recognition of those kinds of kids via Dean’s List is also a good idea.


Mini blue banners!


We started a tradition of signing parts of the robot and giving them to seniors. Typically a plate or part that the student worked on if they are on the mechanical side so it has further relevance . This is really easy to do if you disassemble previous season bots and even easier if you bend chassis rails or break intake plates during season…

It is a cool reminder of the season and the members that made it happen.
Plus, upcycling?


Our tradition is having our seniors sign a frames photograph of themself working on the robot with their name and their college/post high school plans which we hang up on our shops big senior photo wall.


A few years back, 1836 starting printing out foam boards (roughly 5x7 or 8x10) with the team logo and then having all members of the team sign it and write a note. It was inspired by stealing and signing the pit sign – something we used to do and give to an MVP after each event.

I brought my signed foam board to college and it’s made it though three moves since then. The little things like that mean a lot – being away from the team, looking at it, and thinking about people and times you care about. I keep it right next to a signed canvas I have from my coworkers at a previous job and a signed picture from another.

I’m not home so don’t have a photo handy, but @StephanShapiro is the creative, caring one behind this and I know folks like @marcusbernstein brought theirs to school and life beyond, too.

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That’s a pretty cool idea, but a bit strange that other people are using your blanket.


Last year, our team did personally engraved Leatherman sidekicks for mentors and seniors. I carry mine every day.

We give each senior a Custom Leatherman Bond | Everyday Carry Multi-tools | Leatherman Tool Group​​ Just make sure they trade you a coin for it.

Plus the FIRST Chords for Graduating FIRST Store: Graduation Cord - item 260036


Last year we gave our seniors cargo game pieces signed by the whole team


I’ll steal David’s own photo to illustrate :wink:


I forgot we did a mini blue banner for our version of the GP award. It was our first time using the vinyl cutter and heat press. We used some scrap blue bumper material for it. Yours look incredible!


Blue banner blankets!


Last year, we used our school’s laser cutter to make every graduating senior a wood plaque. The plaques had our team name and logo, the student’s name, and a custom design made by one of the juniors matching that specific senior’s interests. I hear something’s happening this year, but as a senior, obviously they’re not telling me what it is.


These are super cool! Where’d you have them printed?

I’ve see people be given all sorts of things: plaques, posters with their photo, graduation cords, FLL assemblies. These are nice, but often quite temporary. As people are starting on their adult life, they don’t necessarily want to accumulate cruft. I feel like the most appreciated items are ones they might actually use for years, like a custom printed jacket, cap, cup, blanket, or multitool.


I’m pretty sure we had them done at Copyworks.


Our mentor makes miniature laser cut 3d models of our robot as a little trophy, I can get pictures of them monday if desired.