FIRST Robotics Competition Woodie Flowers Award Criteria
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.
Two subcategories are awarded: The Woodie Flowers Finalist Award (WFFA) is presented to one adult mentor at each Regional Competition. The Woodie Flowers Award (WFA) is presented to one WFFA winner at Championship.
Each year, students may submit an essay nominating one mentor from their team to be considered for this award. FIRST will recognize one adult mentor at each regional to receive the WFFA. If a team already has a mentor who has won the WFFA in a prior year, then that team may re-submit that mentor in the current year in addition to nominating a mentor for the WFFA if they wish. The current year WFFA winners, along with those mentors who won a WFFA in a prior year, and have been re-nominated, will be judged to receive the WFA at the FRC Championship.
Spirit of the Award
High school students on a FIRST Robotics Competition team will choose one adult team member as their WFFA candidate. The students will describe how this mentor has given them the best understanding of the challenges, opportunities, and satisfaction involved in the discipline of engineering and design. Professor Flowers will lead the past Championship Woodie Flowers Award (WFA) winners as they judge and select the Finalists and Championship winner based on student essays.
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 recognizing the value of communication. As such, it is very important that this is a student led effort and a student decision. Team mentors should direct their students to the online entry site and let the high school student nominators decide who to nominate. Adults can help edit, but this must be a student led effort, since any team mentor is eligible. Authors must be clearly identified as high school students in the online submission.
Award Eligibility Requirements Regional WFFA (except District Event Teams) – Each team may nominate one adult member from their team for the WFFA. The adult mentor must be on the same team as the student nominators and only one adult member may be nominated per team. Previous year WFFA winners are not eligible to win the current year WFFA.
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 written nomination. Specific judging criteria are based on the team’s description of how the mentor inspired each member of the team in some or all of 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
- 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 essay best describes how this individual excels above all others as he or she inspires the team, 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 enter team and candidate information, reference information, and a maximum three thousand (3,000) character essay written in English. Teams may also add up to six (6) pictures, totaling no more than 1.0 Mb. of memory. This essay should be a team effort and will stand alone as the team’s entry to award their candidate the deserved recognition.
Nomination Form HERE