Do you ever think to yourself “FRC should have an award for….(fill in the blank)”? We sometimes get suggestions for new awards here at FIRST Headquarters. It’s hard for us to accommodate these, as our current awards slate is very full, and fitting in and judging the awards we currently have is already a challenge. However, this doesn’t mean those suggested awards don’t have merit!
Next season, our intention is to try a new ‘Community Awards’ concept. Community Awards would be created, judged, and presented by the FRC Community, rather than being products of FRC and the judging processes laid out in the FRC manual. They would not be official FRC awards. You can think of them as being similar to off-season events run by the community. FIRST provides fields to off-season events, as long as certain conditions are met, but provides no technical support, and doesn’t worry about what game rules are used, as long as the equipment is returned on time and in the same condition it left. At off-season events, the organizers have lots of flexibility – not requiring inspections if they wish, making up new scoring, coming up with new ways to recognize teams - which is all great fun for them and the teams involved.
Our intention is to host a Community Awards page on usfirst.org listing these awards, similar to the way in which we list off-season events, with links and short descriptions. To be listed on this page, we will have some minimal requirements that will need to be met, such as that the rules be well defined, that the award be in good taste, and that the award be available to all FRC teams. There will likely be some other requirements as well, but nothing too restrictive, just enough to ensure the award deserves the FRC-wide publicity it will be receiving. Occasionally, within the FRC Blog, we’ll be encouraging folks to check out the Community Awards page to see what’s new. We will be developing the requirements over the summer. In the meantime, start thinking! Who knows – maybe one of these Community Awards will prove so popular that it gets integrated in to the official FRC canon.
There currently is a wonderful example of a Community Award open for voting. Led by FRC Team 116, Epsilon Delta, several teams have organized themselves in to the “Underground Society of Animators” (USA), and established the “USA Awards for Excellence in Animation.” 23 Teams have submitted animations to be judged. Two awards are available, one for technical execution and quality of the animation, and the second for artistry and creativity. The technical award will be judged by a distinguished panel of experts. The creativity award will be judged by popular vote, one vote per team. You can find detailed rules and vote for your favorite animation here: http://animationsrus.org/vote.php. Check it out!
The Dean’s List Finalist that Got Away
In FRC, we would like “all the events to be above average”, with no mistakes needing to be fixed later. While we work hard for this, the real world often intrudes in our plans. At the Dallas Regional a few weeks ago, we had one of those real-world intrusions. While we were supposed to identify two Dean’s List Finalists, only one was selected. After the event, and upon realizing our mistake, the judges conferred and picked Caleb Strutton from Team 3350 as a Dean’s List Finalist. Caleb will now join Joshua Thomas from Team 704 as the two finalists from Dallas who will be competing in St. Louis to become one of the ten Dean’s List Winners. Caleb, if you are out there, I’m very sorry you didn’t get the recognition you certainly deserved at the event! Best of luck in St. Louis!
If you are on one of our FRC Teams who have no official events left to attend this year, I have a suggestion. Instead of feeling depressed that you didn’t make Championship, and thinking about what could have been, look forward, and have a celebration. You’ve made it through one of the most challenging experiences you are likely to have, not just in High School, but possibly in life. Realize it or not, you are probably ‘larger’ than you were when you started the season – not in a physical way (though that might be the case also!) – but in your understanding of what you are capable of. If that’s not worth a party, with cake, I don’t know what is.
I’ll blog again soon.