FIRST Tech Challenge Awards

FTC Awards

FIRST Tech Challenge is more than a robot competition; in addition to robot matches, teams are also eligible to win Judged Awards. Choosing Award winners is a difficult task and Judges take the responsibility very seriously.

Below is a brief introduction to each of the FIRST Tech Challenge Judged Awards. You can also read more about the FIRST Tech Challenge Awards and their specific criteria in the Game Manual Part I or the Mentor Manual.

Award Name Award Description
FIRST Dean's List In an effort to recognize the leadership and dedication of FIRST’s most outstanding secondary school students, the Kamen family sponsors awards for selected 10th or 11th grade students called the FIRST Dean's List Award. The students who earn FIRST Dean’s List status as either a Semi-finalist, Finalist or Winner, will not only be 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, but it is the goal of FIRST that all Dean’s List Semi-Finalists, Finalists and Winners will continue on, post award, as great leaders of the ever growing FIRST student alumni. To read more, check out the FIRST Tech Challenge Dean's List Awards page.

FIRST Future Innovator Award The FIRST Future Innovator Award (FFIA) recognizes creativity in effectively solving a real-world, complex problem through the invention of a unique solution beyond the requirements of the FIRST competition season. Sponsored by the Abbott Fund, this award directly links to the FIRST mission to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and to the FIRST vision to transform culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated. The submission deadline is October 30, 2015.
Inspire Award

This judged award is given to the team that truly embodied the ‘challenge’ of the FTC program. The team that receives this award is a strong ambassador for FIRST programs and a role model FTC team. This team is a top contender for many other judged awards and is a gracious competitor. The Inspire Award Winner is an inspiration to other teams, acting with Gracious Professionalism™ both on and off the playing field. The judges use match performance, observations made during interviews and in the pit area, the Team’s Engineering Notebook, and performance on the playing field in determining the winner. See all the World Championship Inspire Award Winners on the FTC Hall of Fame.

Think Award

This judged award is given to the team that best reflects the journey the team took as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season.  The Engineering Section of the Engineering Notebook is the key reference for judges to help identify the most deserving team. The team’s Engineering Section should focus on the design and build stage of the team’s robot. Journal entries should include those describing the underlying science and mathematics of the robot design and game strategies, the designs, re-designs, successes, and those interesting moments when things weren’t going as planned.

Connect Award

This judged award is given to the team that most connects with their local STEM community.  A true FIRST team is more than a sum of its parts, and recognizes that engaging their local STEM community plays an essential part in their success. The recipient of this award is recognized for helping the community understand FIRST, the FIRST Tech Challenge, and the team itself. The team that wins the Connect Award aggressively seeks engineers and explores the opportunities available in the world of engineering, science, and technology. This team has a clear Business or Strategic Plan and has identified steps to achieve their goals.

Rockwell Collins Innovate Award

The Rockwell Collins Innovate Award celebrates a team that not only thinks outside the box, but also has the ingenuity and inventiveness to make their designs come to life. This judged award is given to the team that has the most innovative and creative robot design solution to any or all specific field elements or components in the FTC game. Elements of this award include elegant design, robustness, and ‘out of the box’ thinking related to design. This award may address the design of the whole robot, or of a sub-assembly attached to the robot. The creative component must work consistently, but a robot does not have to work all the time during matches to be considered for this award.

PTC Design Award

This judged award recognizes design elements of the robot that are both functional and aesthetic. All successful robots have innovative design aspects, however, the PTC Design Award is presented to teams that incorporate industrial design elements into their solution. These design elements could simplify the robot’s appearance by giving it a clean look, be decorative in nature, or otherwise express the creativity of the team. The winning design should not compromise the practical operation of the robots but complement its purpose.

Motivate Award

This judged award celebrates the team that exemplifies the essence of the FIRST Tech Challenge competition through teambuilding, team spirit, and exhibited enthusiasm. This team embraces the culture of FIRST and clearly demonstrates what it means to be a team. This is a team who makes a collective effort to make FIRST known throughout their school and community, and sparks others to embrace the culture of FIRST.

Control Award

The Control Award celebrates a team that uses sensors and software to enhance the robot’s functionality on the field. This award is given to the team that demonstrates innovative thinking in the control system to solve game challenges such as autonomous operation, enhancing mechanical systems with intelligent control, or using sensors to achieve better results on the field. The control component should work consistently on the field. The team’s Engineering Notebook must contain details about the implementation of the software, sensors, and mechanical control. Teams must submit a completed Control Award Content Sheet with their Engineering Notebook in order to be considered for this award.

Promote (OPTIONAL)

The Promote Award is given to the team that is most successful in creating a compelling video message for the public designed to change our culture and celebrate science, technology, engineering and math. Teams must submit a one-minute long public service announcement (PSA) video based on the PSA subject for the season.

Compass (OPTIONAL)

An FTC team is about more than building robots and competing at tournaments. It is a journey to a destination through trial and error, success and failure, with challenging new technology and obstacles to navigate where no road maps are provided. How does a team find their way? The Compass Award recognizes an adult coach or mentor who has provided outstanding guidance and support for a team throughout the year, and demonstrates to the team what it means to be a Gracious Professional. The winner of the Compass Award will be determined from candidates nominated by FTC team members, via a 40-60 second video submission, highlighting how their mentor has helped them become an inspirational team. We want to hear what sets the mentor apart.

Judges Award (OPTIONAL)

During the course of the competition, the judging panel may encounter a team whose unique efforts, performance or dynamics merit recognition, yet doesn’t fit into any of the existing award categories. To recognize these unique teams, FIRST offers a customizable judges award. The judging panel may select a team to be honored, as well as the name of the judges’ award. The Judges Award recognizes a team for their outstanding efforts, but does not factor into the FTC Advancement Criteria.