Question about the Chairman's Award

I know when I joined FIRST every year the Chairman’s Award winner at Championships got to meet the President, the last one I can remember seeing pictures of was Miss Daisy from 2010.

My question is does this still happen, and if so did Simbiotics get the invitation even though they are Canadian?

Not a hard and fast rule. After Chairman’s and three Champs wins we have yet to be invited to the White House. One of our students did represent us in the science meeting last year.

The last time a FIRST team went to the White House was February 7, 2012. There were students representing FLL, FTC, and FRC.

Unfortunately there was no representation from the prior Champion Chairman’s team, the Hawaiian Kids. That was a big mistake on the part of FIRST, no doubt.

If the White House event is done annually, then the next time should be February.

There is no public understanding or knowledge at this time that this will happen. There are many factors that can influence if / when it will happen again.

I doubt that FIRST creates the guest list for the White House! If they wanted a local team, a championship team, or a specific team is up to the White House. :wink:

Seems like it would be nice to establish a tradition of this though, no? Although it might realistically be hard for that to happen.

The White House selects based on the recommendations given by FIRST.

As Ed has mentioned, and from a few sources that I heard from, the decision on who attended was a recommendation from FIRST. Regardless of whether we were to get an invite or not earlier this year, I do hope that 1114 gets that opportunity, should FIRST teams visit the White House again.

Well to a degree we are both correct. The decision comes down to the White House of who is invited.

but if FIRST doesn’t make the recommendation…

After a CCA and Championship I was never invited for FRC (we are up to three champs now as Al has said), however I’ve had other organizations recognized at the white house.

If you want your team to go it is a good idea is to contact your local and state congressmen every year at the start and end of the season. Each year they get a number of people they can also recommend for various activities around DC and locally and it’s best to remain on their radar. Let them know what your team is doing and invite them to events in your area, or even your build site or local kickoff. A lot of the time their aids review the mail that comes to them and if you sound interesting they will pull you for review by the congressmen. This way should you win CCA or the Championships you already have an established contact in DC.

Keep in mind FIRST may recommend you but that is just a recommendation, everyone makes them. It isn’t set in stone who is invited and FIRST has no control over it.

Invitations to the White House for Chairman’s Award Winners are the exception rather than the rule. It’s only happened a few times.

For 1114, wouldn’t it make sense to visit the Parliament of Canada or Rideau Hall? :smiley:


The year MOE went to the White House (along with the equivalent FLL and FTC winners) was a one-off event. Dean had a meeting with President Bush, so it was arranged to have the three winners all give a quick demo of their robots at the WH (and photo op). And, later that day, to a congressional reception in another building (although there weren’t many congressmen there). We were extremely lucky to have the planets aligned the proper way to get a chance to visit the White House.

We were informed the evening that we received the Chairman’s Award by FIRST that we would be going to the WH a few weeks afterwards. But we weren’t allowed to tell anyone outside our immediate families for security reasons. We were limited in numbers, and all had to get a security check in advance.

Funny story. We had to deliver the robot a few days early so that the Secret Service could check it out, as Bush was going to drive it himself. They couldn’t fit in through the door of the room they had planned to store it, so it spent the weekend in Laura Bush’s office (who was out of town).

More to the point, I agree that all CA winners should go to DC. Daisy went as part of a large “science fair” type event where winners of many different STEM type competitions were present. That is something they should arrange every year.

Yes, the year MOE went was a very special event.

In October 2010 and February 2012 President Obama had the White House Science Fair. The October event was MUCH larger than the MOE event. The recent February event was MUCH larger than the earlier October event.

At the February very few students got to interact with the President. Most were at some distance. There were about 50 STEM organizations represented with about 100 student attendees. The adults were kept away in the Eisenhower building until the Secret Service / White House staff allowed them to walk over to the White House, and that was after the President had left the event. I don’t think the President talked to more than 5 STEM organizations directly.

In my opinion there is a good likelihood of the White House science fair being repeated, but the probability of a team repeating the MOE experience is probably very very low. However it could happen again.

I most enjoyed talking to Aneesh Chopra, CTO of the US. That was a nice part of the trip.

Or 24 Sussex Drive? That’s more akin to the White House than our parliament buildings, in terms of being home to our political leader.

(Though not our head of state, since that is still Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith. And yes, that IS actually her ‘style’ in Canada.)

24 Sussex is a residence.

The White House and 10 Downing are simultaneously a residence and where the the business of the executive are conducted.

The more appropriate venue in Canada should be Langevin Block, the official place the Prime Minister conducts business, and is more like the White House in that regards,

but that is just my 2 Canadian pennies

Shows how much I lack in Canadian knowledge…

Sounds like you guys got what I meant tho.

Funny that you mention it, but our two Allaire Medal recipients, Taylor Nicholson and Brittany Shaw, will be attending a dinner function hosted by the Governor General of Canada, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, at Rideau Hall later this month. The Governor General of Canada is the federal representative of Queen Elizabeth II, our head of state. His Excellency is the former President of the University of Waterloo, and actually attended the first ever Waterloo Regional in 2005.

We have not received an invitation to the White House, but would naturally be thrilled to do so. It would be an unimaginable honour.