Should there be an award for Vexcellent students?

As we approach world championships, there are certainly some students on your teams who you consider the vex gurus. Or students who do an amazing job at outreach that don’t quite get recognized. Should there be an award for these outstanding team members, a VEX equivalent of the FIRST Dean’s List?

I think there should, but it would be so hard to determine who gets on it. The criteria for the list would be hard to decide on. How does FIRST do their Dean’s list?

The FIRST Dean’s List is very subjective. The mentor or coach for a team submits an essay for two students nominating them for the dean’s list. Then a panel of judges reviews the essays at each competition and selects the two best students whom they nominate as finalists for the award. Then a panel of judges at the world championships selects 10 students out of the finalists for the dean’s list

Is it two students out of a club or out of a single team?

This would be harder for Vex because of home school teams and the massive amount of teams per school/area. Since FIRST has only one team per school it would be different. If you treat a club like a FIRST team though then two students per club sounds reasonable. However, there is still the problem of home school teams. ex: 1103, I wonder what student would have gotten the nomination off of this team! The answer is pretty clear, but there isn’t a whole lot of single person home school teams. Now I’m just rambling on and on.

Great suggestion!

If they were to actually do this I would suggest calling it the Student of the Year Award just like the Mentor of the Year Award or the Teacher of the Year Award. Though I think this idea can be handled much better at each school, club, or organization that supports the Vex students so that everyone can enjoy some recognition for their hard work and eagerness to learn and help.

I think the best approach would be to limit Student of the Year to 2 students per Organization. Each event can nominate up to two(?) students. Those students are then qualified to their region. The regional coordinator then narrows the selection to 20(?) students in their region. Those students are then qualified for the World Championship. Students are nominated by essays written by their peers and/or mentors

In theory, this sounds like a good idea, and the idea of recognizing individual students for their accomplishments is one worth considering.

There is, however, a social concern with this among clubs/teams. VEX has a heavy emphasis on teamwork, and I feel like individual-student awards might create resentment and hard competitiveness within teams and compromise teamwork.
Imagine there are several students on a team, and they all do hard work for their team and are all deserving of recognition. If only 1 or 2 can be nominated or can win, how would the others feel about this? Would there be jealousy? Would students try to out-perform other students on their own team, and end up hurting their own team, just to try to win this award? Our team functions as an ensemble; we have no set leader, and what we do is the product of the whole team’s collective efforts. I think individual-based awards could ruin this for us and other teams that are set up like ours.

Because the award would be based on submissions from coaches or other people, it is very easy for your team to not make a submission because you feel that individual recognition is not beneficial for your team. However, on any team, I do believe that there exist students who make notable contributions to the robotics community and not just there team more so than their teammates.

I see what you’re saying, but disagree with your point. We run our robot “teams” up in one large group. With 10 team members, some of those people are competent at programming, many can build really well, a bunch of people can design amazing things, a few really understand the game, rules and do strategy, almost everyone is capable of driving, and a small number can clearly describe to judges what we as a team have done. It’s great that everyone gets involved in a bunch of different tasks, and that there are multiple people involved in each step of the process.

But while everyone might be qualified to do multiple things, let’s face it; some team members are more useful than others. I’m definately NOT the most valuable person on my team. I do strategy, talk with judges, dabble in programming and securely wire the robot once it’s built. All useful and necessary things, sure, but on the other hand we have a guy who can hear a general design, sit down, and crank out a robot in 8 hours that’s ready to drive. That’s incredible, and I personally think much more worthy of recognition.

I don’t think it would lead to disunity or chaos to have an award for most valuable team member. Perhaps doing one for EVERY VEX team isn’t a great idea, but one per program I could see working. We all know who the most valuable people on our team are anyway. Why not let them know the rest of the world know as well? It certainly wouldn’t hurt a college application to list “Best Robotter at the 2013 VEX World Championships” as an accolade.

i think that it’s a good idea, like an award for an individual at a competition … like the teacher of the year etc …

i know at my competition this year (uk nationals) … there were 3/4 students that helped other teams without regard to team rankings or if they were against them etc… might b an idea to create such an award for next season :smiley: