A week after the “Chairman’s Award Winner Dinner” one of the topics that was only briefly brought into discussion within my group is still being debated amongst FIRST participants here in NYC. It has made for some good FIRST ideological talks. Actually, we started debating this topic since the beginning of 2003 and again at the FIRST Forum when several teams expressed their opinions.
So I would like to flame the fire by tossing it out to the CD community (it’s a good way to make a slow August lively)-
The Chairman’s Award is a difficult achievement for most teams and the guidelines for CA is not solidly defined- especially the CA submission, since it changed dramatically for 2003. This added a new level of creativity for every team. Even the judging process is not well defined or known by many teams. Some teams don’t event try because they felt that the CA is unachievable. In addition, CA may change again for 2004- the team video maybe back again (don’t quote me!).
Here is the subject: Many potential CA teams have asked CA winners to share their submissions. This way, they can get a guideline of how FIRST defined a winner. In the past, copies of their video submissions were also shared among the FIRST community. I have requested, received and read many wonderfully written CA submissions. From reading them, I have developed a greater appreciation for these teams and I have looked forward to meeting the members of these teams at many regionals. I also have been turned down (not often) by some CA winners. Their reasoning: other teams will copy their CA submission and use it to win the CA next year. Another reason: Our team worked hard on it and prefer to keep it proprietary. These are good reasons and the teams have the right to remain private.
So here is my question: Is this possible to copy another team’s CA submission and use it to win next year?
My opinion is no- it doesn’t matter what a team puts into their CA submission, if the students can’t substantiate the information during their interview and demonstrate their knowledge, the judges do pickup on the discrepancy. Judges do investigate and often do because the CA is so important to each team. Sometime groups of judges will visit the teams and ask additional questions to support the CA submissions.
Part 2 of the question: FIRST is also considering the publishing of the CA submissions from last years winners.
Is this a good idea? And should some CA winner refused publication of their submission? What your opinion?
“I’m just beating a dead horse?”