Post-Season Individual Awards for Team Members

Similar to sports, we want to have an end of year party / banquet / awards dinner for the team. If you have such a gathering, what individual awards do you hand out to exemplary team members, such as: Most Valuable team member, Most Improved, Coach’s Award, etc.?


On Team RUSH, we have an awards ceremony where, as students, we traditionally give “gag gifts” that ususally relate to some joke from the season to every mentor, as well as an accompanying photoshopped picture of them that is related to their gift. The mentors also pick 4 students who best exemplify our core team values; respect, unity, spirit, and heart (hence RUSH). One of our sponsors also receives the gold sponsor award for contributions made to the team.

That’s all of the details I can think of right now. Sorry if this is too specific for our team to help you out, but best of luck with your awards planning.

Team 75 has an end of the year party but we do not give out individual awards. Instead we gather and rejoices in our accomplishments of the past season. We also take this time to thank our extremely devoted sponsor Johnson & Johnson and the devoted engineers that we are so lucky to have. we also take this time to say good bye to the seniors and wish them good luck in their future endeavors. Finally it is a time for our team members to just relax and socialize. That is what our team does for an end of the year party but i think giving out awards is a great idea.

Matthew Simpson
Team 75 driver

Also, one of our sponsors gives a student (generally a senior) the core values award for the student who best exemplifies the core values of both the company and team (this student is nominated by the mentors). We have the “Big Diehl” (big deal) Award that goes to an outstanding parent who helped chaperone or mentor. We also have the Most Valuable New Student Award, Most Improved Student, and Most Valuable Student
Everyone also recieves a small Team Picture and Certificate of Participation. At the ceremony, a video recapping the year is played and captains and a few mentors give speeches.

Team 1816, The Green Machine, recently held our end of season banquet. This included gag gifts for the mentors, a slideshow, potluck dinner, thanking of the sponsors, handing out high school letters, saying goodbye to seniors, and relating to your question, individual awards for exemplary team members. Theses awards were new to our team this year and our mentors tried to loosely base them off of FIRST awards.

They were;

  1. Christopher Miller Leadership Award – This award is named in honor of the Edina student who decided it would be really neat if his high school had a robotics team and founded Team 1816 in the fall of 2005. This award recognizes the student who “creates something out of nothing:” by taking the barest bones of an opportunity and grows it into something more. The student receiving this Leadership Award also showed outstanding leadership skills including effectively communicating with subteam members, student leaders, and mentors as well as patience and support of subteam members.

  2. Excellence in Engineering: This award is presented to the student who not only exhibits strong technical skills but also demonstrates motivation, flexibility, and dexterity by learning about engineering systems and processes. The student receiving this award shows strong creativity and inventiveness in engineering design.

  3. Outstanding Rookie Award: This award is presented to a student who goes beyond what is expected of a first year member of the robotics team.

  4. Edina Robotics Distinguished Achievement Award: This award is presented to the student who has achieved a high level of aptitude in one or more areas and has made significant contributions in those areas. In addition, the student displays outstanding sportsmanship and gracious professionalism both on and off the competition field. With this award, Team 1816 acknowledges the team member who may not realize how much their willingness to volunteer, to inspire and to go above-and-beyond has contributed greatly to the success not only of The Green Machine but others within FRC as well.

  5. The Team Chairman’s Award:
    The FIRST Robotics Competition is about much more than the mechanics of building a robot or winning a competitive event. It is about the impact FIRST has on those who participate in the program, and the impact of FIRST on the community at large. FIRST’s mission is to change the way America’s young people regard science and technology and to inspire an appreciation for the real-life rewards and career opportunities in these fields.
    This Team’s Chairman Award is not for working on the chairman’s award submission or presentation. This award really is all about outreach. It is given to the team member who has best exemplified the true meaning of FIRST. Through outreach efforts, this team member has helped inspire greater levels of respect and honor for science and technology in our school, our community, and even statewide throughout Minnesota.

  6. Edina Robotics Outstanding Volunteer - Judges Award Equivalent

  7. Distinguished Service Award – The recipient of this award is the student who goes above and beyond what is expected of a Team 1816 member. This student takes on leadership, seeks opportunities, encourages team members to learn things outside their first area of interest, mentors team members, exhibits grace while in stressful situations, and dedicates an extraordinary amount of time to the team with a strong passion for all things robotics.

At the end of the year we (the mentors) hand out the following awards to students:

Most Valuable Person

Most Improved Student

Student Mentor Award

Rookie of the Year

Freshman of the Year

Gracious Professionalism

Spirit Award

Creativity Award

Humor Under Fire
The one who keeps use all laughing and having fun.

“Judges” Award
This award is renamed every year, and awarded to a student who’s work doesn’t fall into an
existing category. [Past awards have have been given for, Scouting, Lifetime Achievement, and Fuel Cell]

Also the 25 FIRST Medals are awarded to the 25 students with the most recorded Build Season hours.

Mentors all receive certificates from our Booster Club Robotics Parents & Mentors (RPM)

Students also award certain mentors with:
Mentor Rookie of the Year

Brian Graham Mentor Leadership Award
Kind of like our in-team Woodie Flowers Award.

We have 3 awards called the Engineers Choice Awards (like the Peoples Choice Awards) - one each for Dedication, Leadership, and Spirit.

The winners are not required to be seniors, any student on the team is eligible.

The Engineers get together to nominate and vote on the winners, then they are announced at the end of year celebration.

There is a wooden plaque with engraved brass plates of each years winners names - it is kept at the school.

We have an end of the season banquet for students, mentors and families.

We start with dinner, and this year students recapped the year and the actiities we had completed, the build season and the competitions, and a few mentors talked about what events are coming up for the summer and fall.

We use the banquet to let parents and sponsors know what we ave done and what is next.

The mentors gave awards to students in several areas - most improved, newcomer of the year, initiative, etc. and we award some small college scholarships. The students also give awards to the mentors, recognizing something from the season. We recognize our parent crew leaders for all they have done.

We have our banquet in a local church fellowship hall, and the youth group from that church prepare and serve dinner. it is a small fundraiser for the youth group and they use the profits to help support a summer work trip. That works out well because dinner is very affordable for team members and we are helping a local youth organization.

We usually run a slide show during dinner and have an end of the season video to play.

The banquet is our last event for the current team.

This year, the students also made a model of 1/4 of the field, and a model of our robot, and gave those to three mentors. They were awesome, and I am honored to have received one. :slight_smile:

MOE (365) has an end of the year picnic each year, and our “Guest of Honor” usually gets their photo on CD.

During the official ceremony, we have individual recognitions rather than “awards”. Each student is recognized once for their many contributions to the team and the robot, and often they will receive a gag award with their recognition.

During the “Stack Attack” year, our robot had about 16 programs for autonomous. It also had a tendency to chew up the carpet on the field. The mentor for autonomous that year collected some of the carpet fiber we destroyed at the Championship, and mounted it on a plaque, along with a floppy disc containing the autonomous programs. That went to our lead autonomous programmer.

The drive team each year will receive one of the Lexan covers off the robot, which the whole team will sign. Other students will receive similar robot mementos, especially if it is a task they had to repeat or were frustrated by during the season. (One student made 16 or so battery boxes one year, so you know what was mounted on his plaque.) Reminders that regardless of how difficult the task may be, it can always be mastered.

As with everything MOE, the recognition is serious, but it is done with a very humorous spirit. In past years, the mentors used to recognize the students for every sub-team they participate on through the year (not just during build), but the ceremony became excessively long. We also cut out the “mentors recognizing mentors” part of the ceremony. The students are free to do recognitions of their own during the ceremony without limitation.

Seniors graduating from the team will receive additional recognition, as they share their plans for college.

We invite sponsors, family, alumni and the team. On display, we will have our robot, any awards or banners received from FIRST or other teams, and a video of our year and the robotics season. We have fields for volleyball, baseball or kickball, and there always is a water balloon or Super Soaker fight near the end of the day.

It’s always a fun time to wind down a bit from one year, and begin to prepare for summer robotics projects and next falls MOE University.

We do similar to 862. (I really like the humor under fire award)

One thing we do differently is working with the school we do Academic letters for top contributors along with the other awards which include:
Rookie Allstar, Most Improved, MVP, Award of Excellence

We do this at the team picnic that typically involves some grilling, kickball, V-ball, and general fun&games.

Since our party was May 5th I built a Pinata that looked like our robot for the students to bash. I will post pics after our photog gets them downloaded.

HOT has our “banquet” every year, but mostly it’s a review of the year and prep for next year. We have dinner, with a slideshow of photos running from the build and competition season, and watch video and talk about the bot, mostly for parents who may not have seen a competition.

As far as awards go, the banquet is where we award varsity letters to the students. We recognize them individually by grade and they walk down the line of mentors to be congratulated on a great season. Each of the seniors normally gets specially made plaques by one of our mentors, with their name on it and the HOT logo somewhere.

The rest of the awards fall on the students. They always do a “Mentor of the Year,” which normally (but not always) is our Woodie Flowers nominee. In some years, the students have created a set of Mock Awards for each other. These range from “Most Improved” to goofy stuff like “Most Likely to Deflate a Trackball During Human Practice” (I don’t know, just trying to come up with an idea, based on past “awards”)

Our students can also earn letters but they have to apply through the school’s Academic & Activity Letter program, though to date only 3 have been awarded.

This is only our second season… but last year we wrapped up the year with an open house… and will do so again this year (next week 5/20!!) We invite the team members and thier families, the FLL and JFLL teams in our program (all three levels have demonstrations) , we also invite, sponsors, Board of Ed memebers, School Admin (from all schools in our District not just the ones we are housed in). and the general public. We have a highlight video on loop, we have “coffee and …” refreshments and snacks…
We gave each memeter a framed photo from teh season and had “gag” type gifts for each member-- something specific to them. (made from hard hats -chief builder, and film canisters- photo guy,suspenders for the guy with droopy drawers…)

Definately a night to celebrate the team’s achievements!

We do something similar, just they’re mostly joke awards. Such in the past have included

The Buster Award (awarded to a particularly clumsy individual)


The Rainbow Award (awarded to a particular optimistic individual)

I received the Frequent Flyer Award last year because everyone thought I was going to move to LA and commute back up to NorCal to be a member of the team.


It may be because we’re all pinkos, but our team prefers to focus on the accomplishments of the team as a whole rather than individual contributions. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts and all that.

I lead engine deveopment teams in my role at Rolls-Royce, and spend a lot of my time learning and understanding team dynamics and how to create high performing teams. Recognition of exceptional performance is one of the ways to create such teams.

There is always a callenge in determining how to recognize exceptional performance of team members and the team as a whole. There are no set ‘rules’, but here is how i have worked this for the past 4 or 5 years.

There are team goals and objectives and major milestones that must be met. It will usually take effforts from a wide range of people to achieve these objecives. When the major ones are hit on target, then we recignize the entire team with a catered lunch, an outing, or sometimes just an public announcement of the achievement.

There are also individuals who stretch “above and beyond” when helping the team achieve these goals. My experience is that it takes several high performing individuals to create a high performing team. We always take time to also recognize these individuals for exceptional performance with small awards, gift cards, dinner out or some small gift.

It takes work to manage an effective reward system, but recognition at both an individual level and a team level is critical for ongoing, continued success in most organizations.

We don’t give out individual awards, mainly because we fear celebrating one person more than another.
Certain people who deserve awards are typically awarded by experience or “popularity” on the team.

At our end of year banquet, the students usually do something to show their appreciation to the mentors. This year it was gift cards, in the past it was more of a gag gift. We also have an award named after a former team member who was very inspirational to the team. We consider it our “Chairman’s Award”, as it is the highest award that we can give to a student. The mentors decide who is the Senior who has contributed the most to the team during his/her entire tenure with the team. Last year we had so many students that were deserving, the choice was very hard, so we started a “Mentors Award”. It is similar to the “Judges Award” in that if we find a student that deserves recognition, but the student did not get other recognition, we give that student a “Mentor’s Award”.

On 177 the last few years the students have come up with humorous awards to “roast” the mentors at our end of season potluck dinner. I wish I could remember what even half of them were, but the one currently on my desk is the “30 lb Laptop Award”. I got that for complaining all season having to lug my portable workstation around so the engineers had Pro/E. (None of us knew inventor last year)

We’ve had dinners for the past two years, but we honor our sponsors and mentors there, not members of the team. It’s also a time to discuss what we’re thinking about for the coming year, and to show what we’ve accomplished to people who couldn’t make the competition.