Awards and Scholarships

Many teams don’t even know about, much less, apply for some of the awards that are offered by FIRST. Similarly, many juniors and seniors on FIRST teams don’t apply for scholarships that they qualify for by being on a FIRST team. The purpose of this section is to raise awareness about some of the opportunities that teams have, and to help participation in both awards and scholarships around FIRST.


  • Chairman’s Award – The Chairman’s Award represents the spirit of FIRST.  It honors the team that, in the judges’ estimation, best represents a model for other teams to emulate. It embodies the goals and mission of FIRST.  It remains our most prestigious award.
  • Creativity Award – This award celebrates creative design, in process, execution, or via a creative or unique strategy of play. It is focused on a feature or features of the machine or development process.
  • Engineering Inspiration Award – This award celebrates a team’s outstanding efforts in advancing respect/appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within their school and their community.
  • Entrepreneurship Award – This award celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit and recognizes a team which has developed a comprehensive business plan in order to define, manage and achieve team objectives.  This team displays entrepreneurial enthusiasm and the vital business skills to ensure a self-sustaining program.
  • Excellence in Engineering Award – This award celebrates an advantageous machine feature(s). This award recognizes any aspect of engineering elegance that reinforces the principles of FIRST.
  • FIRST Dean’s List Award – This award celebrates outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary.
  • FIRST Future Innovator Award – This award celebrates innovation and intellectual property creation inspired by the FIRST season experience.
  • Founder’s Award – This award celebrates innovation and intellectual property creation inspired by the FIRST season experience
  • Gracious Professionalism Award – This award celebrates outstanding sportsmanship and continuous Gracious Professionalism® in the heat of competition, both on and off the playing field.
  • Imagery Award – This award celebrates attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration from the machine to the team appearance.
  • Industrial Design Award – This award celebrates form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively addresses the game challenge.
  • Industrial Safety Award – This award celebrates the team that progresses beyond safety fundamentals by using innovative ways to eliminate or protect against hazards.  The winning team consistently demonstrates excellence in industrial safety performance that shines throughout the competition from unbagging to re-pack.
  • Innovation in Control Award – This award celebrates an innovative control system or application of control components (electrical, mechanical or software) to provide unique machine functions.
  • Judge’s Award – During the course of the competition, the judging panel may encounter a team whose unique efforts, performance or dynamics merit recognition.
  • Media and Technology Innovation Award – This award celebrates teams that look beyond the team website, taking into account the numerous ways people search for and consume content.
  • Quality Award – This award celebrates machine robustness in concept and fabrication.
  • Rookie All-Star Award – This award celebrates the rookie team exemplifying a young but strong partnership effort, as well as implementing the mission of FIRST: To inspire students to learn more about science and technology.
  • Rookie Inspiration Award – This award celebrates a rookie team’s outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers both within their school and in their community.
  • Safety Animation Award – FIRST and Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) invite teams to submit a short animated film to promote team safety.
  • Team Spirit Award – This award celebrates extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit through exceptional partnership and teamwork to further the objectives of FIRST.
  • Woodie Flower’s Award – This award celebrates effective communication in the art and science of engineering/design. Dr. William Murphy founded this prestigious award in 1996 to recognize mentors who lead, inspire and empower those around them by using excellent communication skills.


From the FIRST Website: Many colleges and universities, professional associations, and corporations offer college scholarships to high school students on FIRST teams. This is official recognition of the knowledge and technical and life skills these students have gained from participating in a FIRST competition.  In 2012, there were over 153 scholarship providers that are making available over 686 individual scholarship opportunities with a total value of nearly$15 Million!