White House for Chairman's Award Winners?

Does anybody think that the Techno Ticks (winners of the Chairmans Award) might go to the White House to talk to Obama, like what MOE did a few years ago?

I believe that every Chairman’s winner has done that far as I know.

I hope they do. We were hoping that we would get to go to the white house, but alas, it was not meant to be…just kidding. It did not work out I guess for us. I hope it works out for you. Maybe because it was an election year and all, I don’t know. Any way Congrats again!!!

PS, If you go, say hi for all of FIRST us too!

We were not invited to the White House when we won, which was definitely a disappointment.

Shoot some 3 pointers with Obama! =P

Although 842 was not invited to the White House, when we heard that the President was speaking at the Arizona State University graduation in May, we began a campaign to meet the President when he will be in Arizona. So for, we have had no response.

Ten Reasons why the President of the United States should shake the hands of Carl Hayden’s Falcon Robotics Team

  1. Acknowledge a most successful educational program that inspires young people’s interest in STEM
  2. For the same reasons the White hose acknowledges Spelling Bee champs, Little League Champs and professional sports champs: A message that competitive Americans are honored and encouraged.
  3. Acknowledge FIRST, a volunteer organization that creates competitions for 1600 high school and 13700 elementary and junior high school robotic teams
  4. Acknowledge an organization (FIRST) that has inspired $9.5 million in scholarships for participants in FIRST (Carl Hayden Falcons have certainly received its share).
  5. Celebrate the teachers and students and volunteers who fail to realize economic and cultural classification limit the potential of young people.
  6. It is time that some young Latino faces appear in a public meeting with the President for academic merits.
  7. Acknowledge a group that has raised the public awareness of STEM education and even has inspired school administrators (and school boards) to encourage more academic extra-curricular activities.
  8. Acknowledge the high school robotics program the “Beat MIT” — three times.
  9. While competitive, the team is a national model of “Gracious Professionalism”
  10. Most importantly, the kids are so much fun to be around and exude such contagious optimism that even POTUS will smile at how young American kids are inspiring all of us.

So, if anyone knows anyone who has a White House contact…

“Changing the Culture” is not trivial, is it?

It would be great and appropriate for FIRST to work to arrange that every Championship Chairman’s Award winner gets a trip to the White House. I also know that the planets need to be in the right alignment for it to happen. MOE was lucky the year we won as the alignment was right.

Hopefully, it will happen again.

John said it best in terms of the planets lining up. 365 is the only CA team to visit the White House since I became involved in 2001. Other years there have been other special activities for the winners. For example, in 2003 when I was with Team 103 there was a CA gathering at NH HQ and Dean’s house, but again a few planets had to line up for even that to happen.

You guys definitely deserved it, shame on us for not being the ones to pick you for an alliance during last year’s regional semifinals :smiley:

Just so everyone is realistic about this, it is important to understand that a White House visit for the Chairman’s Award or Championship team is a pretty rare and unusual event. Contrary to one of above posts, a Presidential visit has actually only happened twice in the history of FIRST - once during the Bush - I administration, and once (last year) during the Bush - II administration.

The Chairman’s Award teams have been honored post-Championship in several different ways over the years. Some CA teams have been invited to a special reception at Dean’s home, held in their honor. Some have had the opportunity to work with Paul Lazarus to create a short film documenting their team experience. Some have had special banquets arranged by FIRST in their home towns. All of them are entered into the FIRST Hall Of Fame, and receive perpetual invitations to the FIRST Championship.

If a team is also able to visit the White House and represent the entire community of FIRST teams, then that is great. But if they don’t, it should not in any way decrease the legitimate pride and enjoyment these teams should take in their accomplishment. A White House visit is some wonderful “icing on the cake” - but it isn’t the cake.



I guess it shows that while winning in professional sports almost guarantees a visit to the White House, FIRST Robotics amongst other great educational programs have a long ways to go in what should be celebrated in our country.

But, I’m sure someday soon it should and will be.
Congrats to the Hall of Fame teams and I hope all that hasnt had a chance to visit the President, gets to do so this year.

Mixing apples and oranges. As good as FRC is, it’s still not a [inter]nationally-recognized professional robotics competition. Your comparison would be more like the winner of the USYSA (soccer) national tournament getting a standing invite to the White House. That’s a little different from MLB, NHL, NFL or NBA.

Although it does say something about our cultural emphasis on sports, we still have to realize that there are dozens or hundreds of educational contests that could be recognized by the President. I’d rather he used his valuable time to run the country, straighten out the financial mess, and budget for STEM opportunities like FIRST.

At the Tel Aviv Regional this year, I asked President Peres if he could ask President Obama to do with FIRST in the US what Peres has done with FIRST in Israel. We’ll see if the message gets through. What is clear is that Israel gets FIRST!

see this article:

Last years team didnt go so if this years team is able to last years should go with them… but then again thats a dream lol

Attention teams but especially Chairman’s teams, and extra especially HOF’ers please read and consider !!!

Here is a “Homework Assignment” we would like to suggest.

We are in the early stages of the 2010 election. There will be elections for members of Congress and local races like Governor all the way over to dogcatcher.

As these candidates hit the trail there are opportunities for FIRST teams to create a “backdrop” which will allow them to talk about how the candidate is supporting education.

There are a variety of ways for you to accomplish this. You could have an off-season competition event and invite the candidate to make it a “whistle stop” on the campaign trail. That is just an example.

Create an event. Make it a part of the campaign trail. The cameras will follow.

In order for you to get the campaign connected to your events you need to start talking to the campaign managers and schedulers NOW and get it on the calandar.

Within hours of the Peachtree Regional awards ceremony, the Chairman’s team (my team 1311) from that event laid plans to engage politicians and policy makers. (That process is not over at all.)

The 1st objective was to engage the Governor. That eventually led to a bill signing ceremony that gave pay raises to high school STEM teachers. The Governor adopted the Georgia FIRST teams to provide the ‘backdrop’ for the legislation signing ceremony.

ceremony and meeting pictures
The 2nd objective** was to get future governors, politicians and other policy makers to the Dome. Last week we were to have 2 high profile Governor candidates at the Championship but due to unforseen circumstances we received only 1. This candidate spent a good deal of time with our team at the event and is completely sold on FIRST !! We also had other levels of policy makers with us to great success with 2 other events we are attending this week.

The reason I’m putting all this information in this thread ------

The 3rd objective - It is near impossible to go to the White House. However it is much more achievable to be a backdrop for traveling politicians. When the President comes to your town, stumping for your local candidate, a FIRST team should be seated behind the podium so the President and the local candidate can talk about how they want to promote STEM education.

We are currently using some of our “partnerships and connections” to conduct back channel conversations to set the stage for this in Georgia. (remember the section in the Chairman’s submission on ‘partnerships’). I’m not going to go into the specific details of process on this forum but I can say this will be closely coordinated with the regional board GeorgiaFIRST.

We have made the inside contacts with many the major players in the upcoming campaign and have “pre-sold” much of this. Now is the time do do the same in your community. Next year is not the time because the campaigns will be in overload mode then.

Bottom line - We have an election coming - Think carefully about how to capitalize. Good luck and happy stumping !!


Excellent post and recommended strategy…we ALL need to do your homework assignment!

I beg to differ. FIRST is one of the largest international competitions out there in education. As an educator for the past 15 years, I have yet to see any that’s larger in terms of the # of students it impacts and it keeps growing. Its big enough in education to be recognized by the highest leader in our country. It doesnt have to be as big as sports. As you have alluded to in your second paragraph, its a cultural thing.
Heck, the President himself comes from a school that Sports Illustrated ranked as the #1 HS sports program in the entire country earlier this year. But yet, they also have a FIRST Robotics program (2090) that the school puts at the bottom of the barrel in programs that they support. :mad: