How do we start?

I know we should have listened to the Chairman’s Award presentation online but excuses won’t fix anything so we just have to go forward. So, now that we’ve received the amazing gift of a NASA grant, how do we go about applying for the Chairman’s Award?

Thank you,

Trying to Help

Write a submission, and produce a video.

  • I believe the submission contains a short executive summary, some pictures and a longer essay. The only link to official criteria on the FIRST Website that i’ve been able to find is a dead link.
  • The video should highlight your team’s community involvement. Helpful guidelines for the video can be found here.

Submit it to before the deadline (I believe the deadline is ship date).

If this helps, here is our Chairmans award video from 2009-

If you search around on youtube, you should be able to find other videos that can give you some ideas as to what to put in the video.

Good luck!


Thank you! Any and all suggestions/comments are appreciated. :slight_smile:

Trying to Help

This link should help you.

Not exactly.

From my notes while listening to the Senior Mentor call held this past week-NOT OFFICIAL:

The interview and the written submission are just 2 of the tools judges use.

You are given multiple ways to tell the story of your team. Use the time and space wisely.

Use the essay to expand on the summary. Use photos that really illustrate, and add good captions. Don’t use multiple spaces to say the same thing. Be specific. Include both your team number and your team name in your submission. Answer the questions. Emphasize the past 3 years.

Have your presentation team practice what they will say. Don’t duplicate the message. There are no typical questions asked. There is no template or format for how your team should do the interview. Use a format and props that work for your team.

Judges will be reading your entry before the event. They will be fact-checking. They will likely check out your website. They may talk to other judges and to other teams.

The award is based on what the team is about, what they have accomplished and the impact on the community.

Hopefully I got this right.

Good luck!

Thank you again everyone. I sincerely appreciate the information. The links and notes will be a great help.

Knowing the scope of the project is half of the work, it seems.

Trying to Help

I suggest checking out the video tips from Paul Lazarus.

These are really helpful in building a high quality FIRST Robotics video.

Here is our team’s chairmans video from last year.

I have not seen anyone post this link in this thread. It will give you some good iinformation for this year’s Chairman’s submission.

One more thing; once they post the recording of the Chairman’s Mentor Meeting; both an outline and the MP3 of the conference will be available at this link:

Thank you for posting this. It’s perfect for someone just starting on this process.

Trying to Help

Please do not just go through the motions with CA. I know a regional judge who’s seen her fair share of teams who just go through the motions because they have to in order to attain the NASA grant. Actually try to expand your program, reach out to the community, and inspire your kids to do things beyond the robotics season.

When the students come in and show how the robot is but a vehicle to what the robotics program is all about, then you know you have a CA-worthy team.

I realize this thread is more about the mechanics of the CA submission, and having been “out of the loop” in terms of writing and submitting the award the past two years (which includes the addition of the video component), I’m not the best source. But in terms of spirit, I’m going to echo Jesse.

The Chairman’s Award is a means to an end. It is there to encourage the qualities that are the core of FIRST. Regardless of your motive for submitting it, even if it’s just for the NASA grant, truly believing in and utilizing these values is what really matters. Simply put, if you’re submitting just to win/renew your grant, you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons.

Because two posters have already talked about the spirit of the CA award, I’d like to just mention that I believe that our team will work hard on their submission, just as they’ve worked hard on everything else in the past. It is regretful that other teams have not taken the time and effort to put their best effort into a CA submission.

The Chairman’s Award is the most important award in this competition and it requires the whole team (students, mentors, parents, school) to be involved. The best start is to look back and list the accomplishments of the team. What have you done to get the word out, make a difference in your community, help the First community and be a good First team? What are your year to year plans, future plans and long range goals? What are some things that especially stand out? Once you have a list, then you need to determine the strongest items on that list and make them into a memorable presentation. Then practice, practice, practice.
ps. I wish I could adress you in a more formal manner than “trying”.


Thank you for your advice. Having a mentor with your years of experience flesh out the requirements given in the official document gives me a good guidepost for this process. I will endeavor to make sure we practice, practice practice. :slight_smile:

Last night I spent some time reading the essays that Simbotics submitted last year. They’re quite an amazing team and definitely have made a difference in the world. I’ll keep them in mind too as we write our essays and practice our presentation.

And should I ever have the good luck to meet you in person, I’ll be sure to introduce myself properly. For the moment though, I’m going to try to stick with at least the illusion of anonymity. I’m fine with informality.

You definitely began with one of my greatest inspirations in FRC. Be sure you check out teams such as 234, 67, 503, as well as the others who have posted their essays in the White Papers section on here. I don’t think we have ours on here (nor are we as highly regarded as the above mentioned) but if you ever need examples to read, let me know. :slight_smile:

I think perhaps the greatest challenge to teams presenting for Chairman’s is comparison with the accomplishments of past teams. The judges are not and should not use past teams presentations when considering yours. Read the criteria carefully and concentrate on getting the most said in the best manner possible. You are working to provide the best presentation of those teams presenting at a regional before you can be considered for the Champs.
From 2009 docs…
The criteria for the 2009 Chairman’s Award are essentially identical to those in the past, with special emphasis on recent accomplishments in both the 2008/2009-year and the preceding two years. The judges focus on teams’ activities over a sustained period, as distinguished from just the six-week design-and-build time frame.
The FIRST Robotics Competition is not about machines; it is about the experience of people working together toward a shared goal. Documenting and preserving your team’s FIRST experience becomes an important component of the over-all FIRST experience.

The judges want to hear about the impact your team has made over a period of time. Yes, you can present whatever you think will be meaningful and the judges will listen to everything you present but you also must be memorable. They need to carry that good impression back to the judges room.