Submitted Awards Mar. 7 2023| 0 KB

Content Type: FIRST Robotics Competition
Tags: Awards, Game/Challenge, Team

Team Updates notify the FIRST Robotics Competition community of content changes to official season documentation (e.g. the Game Manual, deadlines, drawing changes, etc.), important season news, etc. (not minor typo fixes) including any noteworthy changes to this page's content. The dates listed under "Updates" will reflect the associated Team Update where any updates are made. This document is considered the authority on Submitted Awards.

FIRST® Robotics Competition Submitted Awards

​Submitted Awards Deadlines:

FIRST Dashboard

Student Award Submitter or
lead mentor 1 or 2

February 16, 2023, at 3pm ET

Add to Calendar

FIRST Dashboard

Adult Award Submitter or 
lead mentor 1 or 2

February 9, 2023, at 3pm ET

Add to Calendar

FIRST Dashboard

Student Award Submitter

February 9, 2023, at 3pm ET

Add to Calendar

By making a submission, the Submitter irrevocably grants to FIRST and the FIRST designees the right to use any or all of the submission in any and all media for the purpose of describing the submission, describing the Award, and/or otherwise promoting. Award submissions are posted on a private, password-protected site where only the judges and authorized FIRST staff can read the entries.


FIRST Impact Award 


  • March 7, 2023


  • Submission Opens: Thursday, November 3, 2022, at 12pm ET
  • Submission Closes: Thursday, February 16, 2023, at 3pm ET


The FIRST Impact Award (formerly the Chairman's Award) is the most prestigious award at FIRST, it honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the mission of FIRST. It was created to keep the central focus of FIRST Robotics Competition on the ultimate goal of transforming the culture in ways that will inspire greater levels of respect and honor for science and technology, as well as encouraging more of today’s youth to become science and technology leaders. 


The concept of the FIRST Impact Award enables FIRST to recognize teams for their exemplary efforts in spreading the FIRST message. Teams must submit for this award by the deadline to be eligible for the award. After submitting, teams will receive an email to confirm the submission has been accepted and it will also list the events the team is eligible to be judged at. The teams who have earned the Regional and District Championship FIRST Impact Award can travel to the FIRST Championship to be considered for the FIRST Impact Award.

FIRST Impact Award Eligibility 

Teams are eligible for the FIRST Impact Award at each Regional or District event at which they compete. District Teams are not eligible to win the FIRST Impact Award at Regional events or inter-district events. Teams will be restricted to earning this award once at each level of competition. In other words, once a team has earned the FIRST Impact Award at a Regional or District event, they may not interview for or earn it again that season at a later Regional or District Event.

FIRST will present a FIRST Impact Award to 1 winning team at each Regional and District event. FIRST Impact Award recipients from District events will go forward to be considered for the FIRST Impact Award at the District Championship. FIRST Impact Award recipients from Regionals and the District Championships will go forward to be considered for the FIRST Impact Award at the FIRST Championship.

* Note: All teams that received a NASA Grant must prepare a FIRST Impact Award submission online through the FIRST Dashboard as part of the grant requirement even though they may be ineligible to win if they fall into one of the below categories.

Ineligible Teams

  • Hall of Fame
    Hall of Fame teams are teams that have already earned the Championship FIRST Impact Award and are ineligible to resubmit for consideration for 5 years. 
  • First Year Teams
    Because the FIRST Impact Award recognizes sustained excellence and impact, not just a 1 year team effort, it is not possible for any first-year team (including rookie teams and new teams that have been assigned a veteran number) to receive the FIRST Impact Award. First year teams will NOT be considered for the award, are NOT required to provide a FIRST Impact Award video, and will not be interviewed.

Submission Content and Award Emphasis

The FIRST Impact Award is presented to the team judged to best exemplify the true meaning of FIRST through measurable impact on participants, school, and community at large with emphasis on promoting science and technology through FIRST programs.

While the FIRST Impact Award is about “more than robots”, teams often leverage their robots to enhance their impact on the broader community. For this reason, it is expected teams in contention for the FIRST Impact Award will have built a robot appropriate to the game’s challenges for the season. This does not require the team to have ranked at a certain level during the event but does require teams to put in more than just the minimal effort necessary to field a drivable robot.

The criterion for the FIRST Impact Award has special emphasis on recent accomplishments within the last 3 years. The judges focus on teams’ activities over a sustained period, as distinguished from just the robot design and build period.

The FIRST Robotics Competition is not about machines; it is about the experience of people working together toward a shared goal. Documenting and preserving your team’s FIRST experience becomes an important component of the over-all FIRST experience.

Submission Format

  • Each executive summary is limited to 500 characters, including spaces and punctuation (with an exception of the last question).
  • The Essay is limited to 10,000 characters, including spaces and punctuation.
  • To help standardize FIRST Impact Award judging, FIRST has developed a definition list for terms commonly used by teams. Teams are responsible for policing their own choice of words. Click here to see the FIRST Impact Award Definitions
    • Please note that teams are encouraged to show their FIRST Impact Award Documentation Form (editable word doc here) to the judges during the interview. Note that this is not a required form (i.e. you can still be eligible without this form) but providing it shows the Judges that your activities are well planned and documented.

Submission Process

  • A student who is designated as the Award Submitter or lead mentor 1 or 2 can submit the FIRST Impact Award submission
  • In preparing this submission, bear in mind that students, engineers, teachers, community, school, sponsors, families, and other supporters are all integral parts of your team experience. Your submission needs to clearly convey the factors outlined below.
  • Submitters must enter information, save it, and return to the site to edit the FIRST Impact Award submission until they are ready to finalize it for final judging. All entries must be finalized and submitted by the deadline. No entries will be accepted or altered after the deadline.
  • The team must submit their FIRST Impact Award submission, in English, through the FIRST Dashboard and enter the following required information. Team Number, Name, and Location are automatically included and provided to the judges. 
  • Teams will not be able to submit the application without agreeing to the FIRST Impact Award Video Consent & Release of Rights Form in the submission portal. No entries will be accepted or altered after this deadline.
  • In addition to the online submission, teams must provide judges at the event with a video on a USB. The team may show this video during their interview but are not required.

Executive Summaries

  • Describe the impact of the FIRST program on team participants within the last 3 years. This can include but is not limited to percentages of those graduating high school, attending college, in STEM careers, and in FIRST programs as mentors/sponsors.
  • Describe your community along with how your team addresses its unique opportunities and circumstances.
  • Describe the team’s methods, with emphasis on the past 3 years, for spreading the FIRST message in ways that are effective, scalable, sustainable, and creative. How does your team measure results?
  • Please provide specific examples of how your team members act as role models within the FIRST community with emphasis on the past 3 years.
  • Describe your team’s initiatives to Assist, Mentor, and/or Start other FIRST teams with emphasis on activities within the past 3 years.
  • Beyond starting teams, what initiatives have you done to help inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators? What results have you seen from your efforts in the past 3 years?
  • Describe the partnerships you've created with other organizations (teams, sponsors, educational institutions, philanthropic entities, etc.) and what you have accomplished together with emphasis on the past 3 years.
  • Describe your team's efforts in the past 3 years to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion within your team, FIRST, and your communities.
  • Explain how you ensure your team and the initiatives you have created will continue to run effectively for the foreseeable future.
  • Describe your team’s innovative strategies to recruit, retain, and engage your sponsors within the past 3 years.
  • Highlight one area in which your team needs to improve and describe the steps actively being taken to make those improvements.
  • Describe your team’s goals to fulfill the mission of FIRST and the progress you have made towards those goals.
  • Briefly describe other matters of interest to the FIRST Judges, including items that may not fit into the above topics. The judges are interested in learning about aspects of your team that may be unique or particularly noteworthy.
  • (OPTIONAL) Please use this space to ask 1 question to your FIRST Impact Award Judges which will be answered after each event with feedback from the judges (250 characters maximum). Note: Questions asking what is required to win the award will not be answered. 


  • The essay portion of the FIRST Impact Award submission provides teams an opportunity to describe their activities and achievements in narrative form. While Judges encourage creativity of expression, the essay must clearly deliver information and facts describing what the team is about. Teams are encouraged to use some of this space to explain how their team is structured and the number of mentors and students on the team. The essay should avoid merely duplicating information provided in the executive summary questions. However, it is appropriate for the essay to further expand on those responses and provide more in-depth discussion of notable team achievements.
  • The most effective essays are characterized by an overview of team activities during the last 3 years, followed by in-depth discussion of notable activities during the most recent 12-18 months. Judges use the essay to get a big picture view of the team and to learn about achievements that may be unique and noteworthy. 

FIRST Impact Award Interview Process

Teams who have successfully submitted for the FIRST Impact Award will be randomly assigned to an interview time slot at each eligible event. Once the interview schedule has been posted, Pit Admin will make an announcement and teams can see the slot to which they are assigned. Some teams may need to request to change time slots. In order to do so, the team must find another team who is willing to switch. Both teams will then go to Pit Admin and request the time change. Pit Admin is the only group who can approve the change. Pit Admin will alert the Judge Advisor or Judge Advisor Assistant.

  • Teams must provide a video to the FIRST Impact Award Judges during the interview.
  • FIRST Impact Award interviews are limited to 12 minutes total; up to 7 minutes for a presentation by the team (which includes set-up) and the remaining time (5 minutes) is for question and answers led by the judges. If teams use less time than 7 minutes for their presentation, judges may use the remaining minutes (out of 12) for Q and A. To ensure consistency, it is very important that all interviews are no longer than 12 minutes.
    • Interviews are conducted in English (with the exception of teams interviewing at events in China, Chinese Taipei, Israel, Mexico, Quebec, and Turkey).
    • Teams needing a translator or sign-language interpreter may include an additional person to act as that translator/interpreter. The translator/interpreter does not need to be a team member. For these teams, the duration of the interview is increased by up to 5 minutes – up to 2 minutes for the presentation and up to 3 minutes for the Q&A portion.
  • No more than 3 student (pre-college) team members are allowed to present information or answer questions from the Judges. One adult Team Mentor may attend the interview as a silent observer and later provide feedback to the team, but the mentor is not allowed to provide any assistance during the interview. We highly encourage this silent observer in order to provide timely feedback to the team based on observations and noting judges’ questions. This feedback can be very valuable in helping teams hone their skills. Teams will not be marked down for having a mentor present. If the mentor provides any assistance during the interview, the Judges should respectfully remind the mentor of the rule.

Note: These mentors are not allowed to record video or audio or take pictures during the interview.
Exception: If necessary, the adult mentor may provide translation services for students needing foreign language or sign language translation. This person does not count as the adult mentor observer.


FIRST Impact Award Resources


Feedback Forms

All teams that interview at a Regional or District event will receive feedback on both the interview and their submission. The feedback will answer 3 questions

  1. An area the team has an opportunity to improve,
  2. Something that really impressed the judges, and
  3. A team submitted question (optional - see last executive summary above). 

Teams will receive this feedback for all Regional and District Events automatically 48 hours after the event. See the FIRST Impact Award Resource webpage for instructions on how to access the feedback. 

Video Requirement

Teams submitting for the FIRST Impact Award must provide a video to the judges at the start of their FIRST Impact Award interview. The team that is awarded this award will have their video shown during the award ceremony. The content of the video should explain what the team has done to earn the FIRST Impact Award. The video content may be in the team’s native language, but if that language is not English, the team must add English subtitles. The video may be shown to the judges during the team’s presentation if the team chooses. Even if the video is NOT shown during the interview, a video must still be provided to the Judges for the team to be eligible for the FIRST Impact Award. In addition, the team must provide the equipment for viewing (i.e. laptop/speakers etc.) the video if they intend to show it during their interview. Videos must be submitted to the Judges on a USB Flash Drive with the team number. 

Content Guidelines:

  • Please show us what you are doing to earn the FIRST Impact Award
  • Please do not identify minors by full name, use only first names. 

The Video format is as follows:

  • A 16:9 (“widescreen aspect ratio”)
  • Not more than 3 minutes long, no shorter than 1 minute long.
  • Include a clean audio track
  • Free of copyright restrictions, including music.
  • Must be presented to Judges on a USB Flash Drive

Video may consist of:

  • Video footage
  • Voice over/music over still photographs
  • Animated presentation
  • PowerPoint converted to VIDEO format


  • Should be clear of pops and hisses


  • If using copyrighted music must have written permission
  • If using Creative Commons Music (CCM) online, the music must be used in accordance with the appropriate license and properly attributed.
  • Music may not contain offensive or suggestive language

USB Flash Drive Requirements:

  • USB Flash Drive must contain only the FIRST Impact Award video file. Test that the file is playable before submitting the USB Flash Drive.
  • Video file must be in the QuickTime (.mov) or windows Media (.wmv) file format compressed with the H.264/MPEG-4 codec
  • USB Flash Drive itself must be labeled with your team number, at a minimum. If you have room, please add your team name as well. Consider using a label maker or a piece of tape and permanent marker. Ensure the label is secure and the team number is easily read.
  • To reduce the chance of the USB Flash Drive being misplaced, the Drive must be placed in a clear, sealable plastic bag before it is given to the Judges. Label the bag with team number and name. 

Note: Unless you show your video as part of your presentation, your video will not be judged as part of your submission, though an inappropriate video will disqualify you from winning. The FIRST Impact Award is our highest honor and teams who receive the FIRST Impact Award represent the highest standards of FIRST. When the FIRST Impact Award judges have narrowed the selection to two or three teams, these contenders for the FIRST Impact Award at all events will have their Video viewed by the Judge Advisor for appropriate content and to ensure that the above guidelines have been met. Teams submitting an inappropriate Video will be disqualified.

Regional/District Championship FIRST Impact Award

Teams that have earned the FIRST Impact Award at a Regional or District Championship will be requested via email from FIRST HQ to submit a YouTube link of their official FIRST Impact Award Video and presentation video for posting along with their online submission. These will be used as resources for current and future FIRST Impact Award submitting teams. We want other teams to be able to see what it takes to be selected for this most prestigious award.

The FIRST Impact Award Championship Award Process

At the FIRST Championship, a panel of judges will interview teams and review the submissions from all the Regional and District Championship FIRST Impact Award recipients and will select 6 FIRST Impact Award Finalists and from those, 1 winning FIRST Impact Award recipient. The Championship FIRST Impact Award teams become Hall of Fame Members.

The Allaire Medal - Leadership Defined

The Allaire Medal recognizes leadership exemplified and is awarded to an individual student on the team selected as the FIRST Impact Award team.

Named in honor of Paul A. Allaire, a long-serving FIRST Chairman of the Board, the Allaire Medal is given to the student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership on their FIRST team, within their school and community and whose personal character best embodies the spirit of FIRST.

The team earning the FIRST Impact Award at the Championship will select the Allaire Medal recipient. The adult and student team members of the FIRST Impact Award team determine the recipient. The recipient must be a high school junior or senior who has been accepted into a 4 year degree program at a college or university. The Allaire Medalist receives the Allaire medallion and up to $10,000 in total scholarship support for undergraduate tuition, room/board and fees/books at their intended university or college. 

Dean's List Award


  • September 12, 2022


  • Submission Opens: Thursday, November 3, 2022, at 12pm ET​
  • Submission Closes: Thursday, February 9, 2023, at 3pm ET


In an effort to recognize the leadership and dedication of the most outstanding secondary school students in FIRST®, the Kamen family sponsors awards for selected 10th or 11th grade* students known as the FIRST® Robotics Competition and the FIRST® Tech Challenge FIRST Dean’s List Award.

Similar to the very prestigious National Merit Scholarship Award, there are three (3) levels of FIRST Dean’s List Award students.

  • FIRST Dean’s List Semi-finalists – comprised of the two (2) students in their 10th or 11th school year* nominated by each team.
  • FIRST Dean’s List Finalists - The students selected for each Regional and District Region. Each Regional is allotted 2 Dean's List Award Finalists, and the number of Finalists per District varies. Please visit the Championship Eligibility Criteria page for the number of Dean's List Award Finalists allotted to each District. 
  • FIRST Dean’s List Winners -  comprised of the ten (10) FIRST Robotics Competition and ten (10) FIRST Tech Challenge students selected from the applicable FIRST Dean’s List Finalists.

The students who earn FIRST Dean’s List status as either a Semi-finalist, Finalist or Winner, are great examples of current student leaders who have led their teams and communities to increased awareness for FIRST and its mission while achieving personal technical expertise and accomplishment. It is FIRST’s goal that all Dean’s List Semi-Finalists, Finalists and Winners will continue on, post award, as great leaders of FIRST’s ever growing student alumni.

Since its introduction in 2010, the FIRST Dean’s List Award has attracted the attention of prestigious colleges and universities who desire to have FIRST Dean’s List students apply for admissions. As FIRST believes such interest is beneficial to our students, those students selected as Finalists and Winners will be asked to provide written consent for the release and use of certain personal information, including image, to interested colleges/universities for the sole purpose of allowing those institutions to contact the students if they wish. Colleges/universities have expressed interest in meeting FIRST Dean’s List Award Winners and FIRST hopes that each team will take advantage of the opportunity to nominate two of their best students as FIRST Dean’s list Semi-finalists.

*NOTE: For regions of the world that do not use grade levels such as this to identify years of schooling: This award is intended for students who are two (2) to three (3) years away from entering college or university. Students that would be attending college or university in the next academic year are not eligible. Mentors will be asked for the year of graduation during the nomination process.


After careful review of the criteria for the Dean’s List Award, each team is invited to nominate up to two student members as Semi-finalists who are 10th or 11th grade students. It’s important that teams nominate only those students they believe are truly deserving of this honor. Students who are in the 10th and 11th grade that mentor the team (and do not actively participate as members of the team) are not eligible.

A mentor, who is not related to either of the students chosen as the team’s Dean’s List Semi-finalists, shall complete and submit the application in the Team Registration System to compete for the FIRST Dean’s List Finalist designation. Students previously selected as FIRST Dean’s List Semi-finalists or Finalists in a prior year are eligible for nomination again this year provided they meet all of the criteria.

Please note: By making a submission, the Submitter irrevocably grants FIRST and FIRST designees the right to use any or all of the submission in any and all media for the purpose of describing the submission, describing the award, and/or otherwise promoting FIRST and FIRST programs.

To be nominated and to receive an interview, students MUST have a signed FIRST Consent and Release form. Students with a FIRST Dashboard account and a signed Consent and Release form in their profile can be selected in the drop-down list in the nomination portal. If the student does not have a signed form in their account, or does not have an account, mentors may check off a new checkbox acknowledging that they have a signed paper copy of the FIRST Consent and Release form before submitting. Paper forms may be acquired by reaching out to your local leadership. Please see the Interview Process section below for information on submitting the paper form. ​

For more information about submitting for the Dean's List Award, writing an essay and preparing for an interview, please view the FIRST Robotics Competition Dean's List Award Guide


Criteria for selection of the FIRST Dean’s List Award shall include, but not be limited to a student’s:

  • Demonstrated leadership and commitment to the FIRST Core Values
  • Effectiveness at increasing awareness of FIRST in the school and community
  • Interest in and passion for a long-term commitment to FIRST
  • Overall individual contribution to their team
  • Technical expertise and passion
  • Entrepreneurship and creativity
  • Ability to motivate and lead fellow team members

Although a single mentor must submit the nomination, the team as a whole must verify the accuracy of the submission. FIRST is relying upon the team for the veracity and accuracy of the submission data.

Each entry shall include the following identifying information:

  • To be awarded the Dean’s List, a student must display academic excellence. Please describe the student’s academic performance with an indicator the school uses. (Maximum Characters: 200)
  • Name & location of student’s high school
  • Year of graduation from secondary school/high school
  • Number of years the student has participated in FIRST (Maximum characters: 30)
  • Number of years the student has participated on the team
  • Five essays of no more than 800 characters each attesting to why the student has been nominated. Prompts for these essays can be found below.

The essay has been broken down into five prompts with 800 characters each, below. Essays should be specific about the Semi-finalist’s contributions to FIRST generally, and to their team specifically as well as inform judges of specifics on the Semi-finalist’s entrepreneurial, technical, creativity, and innovation skills. Specific examples are helpful to the judges. Information about the Semi-finalist outside of FIRST may also be supportive of the nomination but is secondary to information about the student’s participation in FIRST. Essays must be submitted in English between the dates noted above.

  1. Explain how the student embodies the philosophies of Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition through the FIRST Core Values: Discovery, Innovation, Impact, Inclusion, Teamwork and Fun. Please provide examples.
  2. How has the student increased the awareness of FIRST? Describe the student’s interests and/or plans to continue to engage with FIRST beyond high school. Please provide examples.
  3. Describe the student’s technical expertise, using specific examples in the areas of programming, electronics, design, fabrication, making, illustrating how these skills have contributed to the team's success. Please provide examples.
  4. How does the student's individual contribution to the team benefit the team as a whole in the areas of fundraising, outreach, entrepreneurship, and creativity? Please provide  examples.
  5. Explain the student’s leadership to their fellow team members. How do they motivate others? What is their leadership style? Please provide examples.

Applications for the FIRST Robotics Competition Dean’s List are submitted via the FIRST Dashboard.

A photograph of the FIRST Dean’s List Semi-finalist is encouraged, but optional, and the essay submission and such photos may be used in the promotion of the recipient and/or the award, at the discretion of FIRST. Finalists & winners will be required to sign a FIRST media release to allow use of their likeness to sponsors contributing to the FIRST Dean’s List recognition program and will be responsible for any taxes associated with federal/state prize requirements.

Interview Process

Each Semi-finalist will be interviewed. The interview is a brief 6-10 minutes and will be conducted by a minimum of 2 Judges, who will have reviewed the submissions prior to the interview.

  • Signed paper FIRST Consent & Release forms MUST be brought to the event in which the student is to be interviewed at and submitted with the Team Roster to Pit Admin. If the student does not have a signed form at the event (whether shown on the Team Roster as being signed in Dashboard or a paper form), the student will be ineligible to receive an interview and continue on for selection as a Dean’s List Award Finalist.
  • Eligible students that have been nominated for the Dean’s List Award will be randomly assigned to a time slot for an interview. Once the interview schedule has been posted, Pit Admin will make an announcement and students can see which slot they are assigned to. Some students may request to change their time slot. In order to do so, the student must find another student that is willing to switch with them. Both students will then come to Pit Admin who can approve the change and Pit Admin must alert the JA or JAA.
  • Interviews are conducted in English (with the exception of teams interviewing in China,  Israel, Mexico, Quebec, and Turkey). Teams needing a translator or sign-language interpreter may include an additional person to act as that translator/interpreter. The translator/interpreter does not need to be a team member or mentor. For these teams, the duration of the interview is increased by three (3) minutes.
  • Only the nominated student is allowed to present information or answer questions from the Judges. In instances where a mentor is present, the adult team mentor may observe and later provide feedback to the student, but the mentor is not allowed to provide any assistance during the interview.
  • Recording video, audio or taking pictures (including screenshots) are prohibited during the interview. 
    • In addition to FIRST prohibiting recording, there may be other legal restrictions governing recording. 
  • Judges will select two (2) students at each Regional event as FIRST Dean’s List Finalists. For Districts, Semi-finalists will be interviewed prior to their local District Championship and 1 or 2 students will be shortlisted at each event and will be called the FIRST Dean’s List District Championship Semi-finalists. The District Championship Semi-finalists will be re-interviewed at their local District Championship and the Judges will choose the Dean’s List Finalists at each District Championship (number of Finalists varies by District).
  • At the FIRST Championship all FIRST Dean’s List Finalists will be considered for the FIRST Dean’s List Award as applicable. No interviews will take place at FIRST Championship. Judges will use the essays provided and any available interview feedback. Finalists need not be present at the FIRST Championship in order to be considered.


The ten FIRST Robotics Competition FIRST Dean’s List Award Winners and ten FIRST Tech Challenge FIRST Dean’s List Award Winners will each receive the following:

  • A unique trophy and public recognition at FIRST Championship*
  • A written recommendation from FIRST leadership to the college(s) or employers of their choice
  • A credit towards the winning student’s team’s next season registration fee. The credit will be applied to the team from which the student was originally nominated for the award.
  • An invitation for them and a chaperone to attend an expenses-paid FIRST Dean’s List Award Summit at FIRST headquarters in Manchester, NH
  • The 10 FIRST Robotics Competition and 10 FIRST Tech Challenge winners will have the opportunity to apply for the Woodie Flowers Memorial Grant, where one student out of the 20 winners will be awarded the grant; and
  • An opportunity to work with all members of the FIRST Dean’s list and FIRST leaders to advance the Alumni mission of FIRST.

Woodie Flowers Award 


  • January 31, 2023


  • Submission Opens: Thursday, November 3, 2022, at 12pm ET​
  • Submission Closes: Thursday, February 9, 2023, at 3pm ET

Woodie Flowers Finalist Award (WFFA)

The Regional and District Championship Woodie Flowers Awards celebrate effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design. This award is known as the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award. Being selected as a WFFA is a requirement to be eligible for the Championship Woodie Flowers Award.

Spirit of the Award

This award recognizes an individual who has done an outstanding job of motivation through communication while also challenging the students to be clear and succinct in their communications. As such, it is very important that this be a student-led effort and a student decision. One student will act as the nominator. Lead mentors should direct 1 or 2 students to the online entry site and let the high school students decide whom to nominate. Adults can help edit and should check the essay and the submission information for accuracy, but this must be a student-led effort. The author(s) of the 3,000-character (max.) essay must be clearly identified as high school students in the online submission.


It is suggested that students nominate YPP screened mentors that are on their own team. A mentor may only receive the WFFA one time regardless of the number of teams the mentor has served.

Nominated mentor must be listed as a Mentor with the team.

Judging Criteria

Two aspects of this award are important: (1) the accomplishments in communication by the mentor and (2) the student’s ability to communicate clearly and concisely through their nomination.

A specific judging criterion is based upon the team’s description of how the mentor inspired each member of the team in some or all the following ways:

  • Level of student participation; 
  • Creativity of effort; 
  • Clear explanation of mathematical, scientific, and engineering concepts; 
  • Demonstration of enthusiasm for Science and Engineering; 
  • Encouragement to work on projects as a team effort; 
  • Inspiration to use problem-solving skills; 
  • Inspiration to become an effective communicator; and 
  • Motivation through communication.

Each FIRST team completes a product development cycle as it designs a concept, develops a prototype, and builds and debugs a unique machine. This requires teamwork, attention to detail, scheduling and hard work. The award-winning essay should answer this question; “How did the candidate inspire your team throughout this process?” If the judges determine the essay best describes how this individual inspires their team and mentors with integrity above others, then that mentor truly deserves to be recognized with the award that honors Professor Woodie Flowers and his contribution to engineering, education, and communication.

Entry Requirements

The students select a eligible mentor, enter reference information, and a maximum three thousand (3,000) character essay (this includes spaces, punctuation and line breaks) written in English. Eligible Mentors can be selected from a pull-down menu. Teams must upload 1 photo of the nominee, preferably a headshot of the mentor alone in Picture 1 and may also add up to three (3) additional pictures, totaling no more than 1.0 MB of memory. This submission should be a team effort and will stand alone as the team’s entry to award their candidate the deserved recognition.

Entry Process

A student award submitter can enter their candidate through the FIRST Dashboard. The lead mentor 1 or 2 for each team must assign at least one (1) and up to two (2) student award submitters in the FIRST Dashboard. Check out the Instructions to assign an Awards Submitter if you need assistance. It is suggested that you begin gathering all required information before it is time to submit and type the nomination as a Text Document so that it is easier to edit and check the character limit. When finished, it can be pasted to the on-line submission.

Student nominators must follow the directions listed on the screen. As the student nominator fills out the required information.

Student nominators can easily enter information, save it, and return to the site to edit their entry information until they are ready to submit it for judging. All entries must be submitted between the dates listed in Submission Dates. No entries will be accepted or altered after this date.

Students will go to the website to enter information in the following fields:

  • Team Number (Auto populated)
  • Team Name (Auto populated)
  • School (if affiliated)(Auto populated)
  • Select an Eligible Mentor
    • First Name, Last Name (Auto populated)
    • (Auto populated)Phonetic spelling of mentor name
    • Occupation
    • Position on team (Auto populated)
    • Email Address (Auto populated)
  • High School Student Nominator’s information: (Student recommending candidate)
    • First Name, Last Name (Auto populated)
  • Adult Reference (Must Select an Eligible Mentor on the team)
    • Occupation
  • Adult Reference (Any FIRST affiliation)
    • First Name, Last Name
    • Phone Number
    • E-mail Address
  • Upload Pictures (1 required photo of nominee, preferably a headshot, up to (3) three additional photos, all photos no more than 1.0 MB total)
  • Essay (Character max: 3,000) - Once candidates’ information and essays are submitted, they are sorted and posted on a private, password-protected site where only the Judges can read the entries.

Please Note: By making a submission the Nominator irrevocably grants to FIRST and FIRST designees the right to use any or all the submission in any media for describing the submission, describing the Award, and/or otherwise promoting FIRST and FIRST programs.

Championship Woodie Flowers Award (WFA)

The Woodie Flowers Award celebrates effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design. Dr. William Murphy founded this prestigious award in 1996 to recognize mentors who lead, inspire and empower using excellent communication skills. The Woodie Flowers Award (WFA) is presented to one WFFA winner at the FIRST Championship.


The nominee must have received the WFFA during a previous year and be re-nominated by the mentor’s present team this season. The mentor could have received the award while on a different team. Teams having multiple WFFA recipients may only re-nominate one each year.

All Championship eligible WFFAs will receive a congratulatory email from the WFA group.

Award eligibility Requirements

All nominations must be made during the Official on-line WFA/WFFA submission period. Teams nominating a previous year WFFA winner must follow the relevant steps listed previously in the Entry Requirements and Entry Process. Reminder, this is a new “stand alone” submission. The previous essay is not considered.

Judging Criteria

The judging criteria for the Championship Woodie Flowers Award is the same as the Woodie Flowers Finalist AwardHowever, it is considered a more competitive award since a single recipient is chosen from greater than 200 WFFA winners.