I been having some major writing blocks when it comes to my team (240) chairman award. Could I get some help, please, with ideas? thanks
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Here are my guidelines for starting your essay.
First make a list of all the things that your team has done this year.
Second make a list of all the things your team has ever done.
Now look at the six items that FIRST says that you must have in your essay. (In the rules in Section 9.)
Look thru both lists and select three to five things that make your team unique…or at least stand out.
Start your essay with a paragraph or two to catch the judges attention. Mention some of your legacy and maybe a little about your team…like you won the National (at that time) Rookie All-Star Award.
Now focus on those three to five things and detail why they are important to you and your team. Remember to give all the details…the judges were not there to see what happened so you must give them the details.
Conclude with a paragraph that states again why your team deserves to win the Chairman’s Award. Remember that this award is given to teams that others are to look up to…tell why that is your team. Talk about leadership roles that your team has taken. Try to place a phrase or sentence that the judges could use to describe your team if you were to win.
Give the write-up to someone that does not know your team. Have them read it and then ask them for their impressions about what your team did. See if they are what you wanted.
I hope this helps and I wish you good luck.
Those’ll be helpful to us too.
As a rookie team we’ve never done this before (we’re entering a chairman’s submission for the rookie all-star award) but one of the first things I thought when reading other teams’ past entries (not to say that any of them were boring) is that judges are going to be reading a LOT of these. It’s going to be really important to make our essay as interesting as possible so that we keep the reader’s attention and get our point across to the reader.
Up to 10,000 characters of text might be “boring”, but a good way to make yourself unforgettable is to make colorful presentation materials available for the judges to see when they walk around. (I’m not sure if rookies do interviews for C.A.) Put together picture collages, newspaper collages (if you have any news coverage yet), and/or make a < 10page bound presentation that sums up, highlights, bullet points all the interesting things you wrote about in the text, even stuff that you didn’t put in the text. Make things that show your team off that you can give to the judges to keep, and to review later. This will help them remember who you are and perhaps make you stand out from others.
Amy, you are correct that stuff like that will help. But the HOT Team won the Championship Chairman’s Award without a bunch of stuff in our pits. But I do believe that it is a good thing to do. I have been talking with the FIRST people in Michigan for a couple of years asking that they set up an area at each regional for the Chairman’s contenders to show their stuff outside of the pits…sort of like the Chairman’s Hall of Fame at the Championship. The pits are usually very crouded and it is hard to take time to read everything and not be in the way.
Don’t rely on luck to win. First you have to do outstanding things, and, high number teams, you need to establish a legacy. Second you have to tell your story…or better, sell your team. Yes, I believe that winning the CA is one of the biggest selling jobs our team ever did. I told my chairman’s presenters that they needed to “Sell ice cubes to Eskimos.” It doesn’t matter if you are first to present or last, your presentation needs to be one that the judges don’t forget.
And I believe that we were successful because we followed three words… 1. Exaggerate…This doesn’t say lie, but tell your story. Every little thing. Remember that the judges were not there when it happened so you must tell them. 2. Accentuate…Pick out three to five things and make them the center of your essay and presentation. You may mention other stuff, but keep it to a minimum. And 3. Eliminate…don’t waste your words on stuff that everyone is doing…for example… “Our team helps other teams at the regionals”. What team doesn’t? But if you do have something that everyone else is doing, tell why the way that you are doing it is special. And remember all the details.
But make your essay something that the judges want to read and it does tell them why you are special and why you deserve the CA.
I’d like to say a couple words on the style of the written document. As soon as you are done with core stuff, you may consider going back through and really hitting style. That can be the difference between a mediocre CA and an awesome one.
Anybody can write statements that are flowery and verbose, but I think Chairman’s awards need to read like personal statements that express the feelings of the entire team. This is technically formal writing, so try to hit a mix between a report on your team and a literary composition - floating too far in one direction or the other can ruin the thing. This doesn’t mean you can’t make yourself look good…you want to show your team in its best light. However, keep in mind that judges are human too, and they’re most likely more interested in reading about your team than admiring your poetic talent.
Although you may have 3-5 main points, try to make sure to connect things back. I have proofread many Chairman’s awards and I think one of the weaker things I have found is that many people have an intro and conclusion that just don’t tie in. They’re well-written, but I find myself wondering what happened between the last topic paragraph and the conclusion. I think the best way to fix this is to identify one of those topics on the Chairman’s manual page, and really slam it. That is the most powerful thing about your team.
Do you like it?
Do you like your award? Do you like the text you’ve written? Are you proud of the work you’ve done for weeks? If you answer no to any of these, go edit more!
Cyber Blue has a separate team that works on the Chairman’s and I’m on that.
We usually start as a whole team and make a list of the different areas FIRST is requiring in the award. We then make a list of the different activities we have done that fall into those different requirements. Then, we rank the different activities we’ve done in order of importance. After that it’s time to start writing stories and making the count! Since we have a limit it does make it hard to include everything that we want to include but that’s when the creativity and tying everything together comes into play Good luck to all of you and if you ever need help please feel free to contact me… firstname.lastname@example.org
[quote=AmyPrib](I’m not sure if rookies do interviews for C.A.) QUOTE]
Rookies do not do a formal judge’s interviews for Chairmans, since they are not eligible to win a CA. There may have been some regionals with time on their hands and generous judges who let the rookies have an interview, but with the increased number of teams, it’s hard enough getting all the eligible teams in for an interview, and completing all the feedback sheets in the time allotted.
For example at Chesapeake this year, there are tons of rookie teams that have to do a CA entry because they received NASA funds, and this is one of the requirements (these entries go to NASA). But these will not be seen by the judges unless the teams hand them to a judge. Only the veteran team CA entries go to the judges who are assigned to judge CA. The rookies will not have a formal CA interview with the judges. We also have lots of veteran teams that will be submitting a CA entry. There is a great line up of teams attending.
Judges will often ask to take show and tell items back to the judging room with them to look over. These will be returned on Sat. to your pit.[/quote]
Okay, the captains of Team 677 are a bit confused about the Chairman Award submission requirements. On the FIRST website, there is a list of things that we’re supposed to write about (most of them say about 500 character requirements) and things we can include. Then one of them just says “Essay” with a 10,000 character limit, I believe.
Does this mean we write all the other paragraphs PLUS a 10,000 character essay? Or is the 10,000 character essay another requirement for Chairman’s? And if so, what do teams write about?
If anyone knows, that would be great.
Lauren Sites, Captain of Team 677
Lots of good ideas already mentioned.
The MOE 365 Chairman’s Award Executive Summary, Essay submission, and presentation posters are downloadable from a Chairman’s Award page on our website.
Feel free to take a look.
Our team has also done a kickoff presentation on this subject at the Philadelphia local kickoff event at Upper Darby High School (home of Jester 357). We have submitted an abstract to do a similar session at the FIRST Robotics Conference at the Championship this year. If our abstract is accepted, we would gladly welcome other Championship Chairman’s winners to sit on a Q&A panel with us to share our experiences with other teams.
Let me know if you have any specific questions.
There are two portions -
The first part (the 500 character areas) forms an executive summary that just gives some highlights on those particular area. They will need to be very concise statements.
The second part is the 10,000 character essay. There are several posts on what to include, but the key is to address the major areas highlighted in the Awards section of the manual. Most teams try to touch on several areas, but be sure to focus more words on anything that makes your team unique.
Ahh, okay. Thank you!
Lauren Sites, Captain of Team 677
Just write about all the volunteer stuff your team does and log it! :yikes:
I think one good thing that hasnt already been mentioned is see if you can come up with a theme, something that will help you stick out and help them remember you. Our essay and presentation both centered around how we created THUNDER in our community, school, etc… We used descriptions of thunder, and had a large thundercrack at the beginning of our presentation. Our students also wore camo pants, dress shirts, jackets and camo ties, so they stood out and hopefully created something memorable. It was fun too
Another great way to really make it a great chairmans submission, is to get input from EVERYONE. We get input from our parents, our students, mentors and even our janitors! Every student had some small piece of the essay in some form or other, and it really felt like a team essay.
But the point about selling your team is true, if you have students that are really passionate about your team and are good speakers, put them in front of the judges. AND PRACTICE… I think our team went over their presentation at least 40 times. The last 10 were working in how to not sound scripted Dont look at anywhere you think you came up short, look at your strengths and how you stand out, and SELL it!!
Dont forget to HAVE FUN!
what have other teams done at the presentation/interview for the chairmans ward?
MOE last year used three posters (which can be found on our website) which the three presenters used as part of their talk. They had the talk memorized but did have notes on the back of the posters as memory aids. They brought in three light weight wooden easels to set them on. Remember, the 5 minutes you are allowed in the interview room includes any set up time, so if you want to do something elaborate take that into account.
The three presenters also practiced their presentation many times, having someone time them. First in front of the Awards subteam, then in front of the whole team, than again in front of a few adults who didn’t know much about the team. Each formal practice included them walking into the room and setting up the posters, just to make sure they can get it down in time allowed.
The hardest part of the presentation was keeping it within the time limit!
I am an alumni mentor on team 1592 and this year I am helping with the Chairmam’s award and I was just wondering, can you only submit the chairman’s info. to only one regional, or can you submit it to multiple regionals, if so, how? Thank you.
you can only submit chairmans at one regional and remember if your team is writing a WFA both chairmans and woodie flowers are submitted to the same regional.
Okay, thank you for that clarification. I thought that you could only submit to one but I have seen some teams, on their awards, they have won two chairman’s the same year at two different regionals, so I was just making sure. Thank you again.