Guide to Judging: Awards

Overview

The Qualifying Criteria contains charts that indicate which Awards will qualify teams from local events to a Regional or World Championship event. The exact number of qualifying spots allocated to each event is determined by the REC Foundation Manager for that region, and can be found on that event’s information page on RobotEvents.com.

There are two types of qualifying awards at REC Foundation-qualified competitions. 

  • Performance Awards: Based on robot performance on the competition field in match play (Tournament/Teamwork Champion, Finalist/Second Place, etc.) and Skills Challenges (Robot Skills Champion, Robot Skills Second Place, etc.). Performance Awards do not impact the eligibility of a team to earn a Judged Award. 
  • Judged Awards: Based on the award criteria. Judges, in coordination with the Judge Advisor, determine judged awards using the REC Foundation judging process, award criteria, and rubrics. Event Partners who choose to include judging at their event may choose which awards are offered in accordance with the Qualifying Criteria. The selection of judged awards may vary, but the Excellence Award, Design Award, and Judges Award are required. Single page award descriptions can be printed out for use in Judge Deliberations.

Each Award only occurs in a single instance at each event with the exception of the Excellence Award, which may be given to one team in each grade level at eligible blended events in accordance with the Qualifying Criteria. If no team meets the requirements for an award, that award should not be given out at an event. 

The precedence of Judged Award is: Excellence, Design, Innovate, Think, Amaze, Build, Create, Judges, Inspire, Energy and Sportsmanship. This precedence is found in the Qualifying Criteria and is the same precedence as qualifying spots to the next level of competition.

Additionally, there may be two other types of awards presented at some events:

  • Individual Recognition Awards: Recognize the contributions of a volunteer, mentor, teacher, or sponsor, and are determined by the Event Partner. Judges do not determine individual award winners. Event Partners may create their own process for judging these awards if needed. 
  • Custom Awards: While nearly all events choose to use standard awards, it is possible to give out custom awards using the Tournament Manager software. To help prevent confusion, Event Partners should ensure that teams understand which awards being presented are custom awards specific to the event.

Judged Awards

Design Award

The Design Award recognizes an organized and professional approach to the Engineering Design Process, project and time management, and team organization. Student demonstration of the Engineering Design Process is fundamental to the educational value of REC Foundation programs. The Design Award recognizes a team's ability to document and explain their Engineering Design Process via an Engineering Notebook and Team Interview. The Design Award is a required award if judging is being conducted at an event. 

Key criteria of the Design Award are: 

  • Be at or near the top of Engineering Notebook Rubric rankings 
  • Exhibit a high-quality team interview
  • Engineering Notebook demonstrates clear, complete, and organized record of an iterative Engineering Design Process
  • Team demonstrates effective management of time, talent, and resources 
  • Team interview demonstrates their ability to explain their robot design and game strategy
  • Team interview demonstrates effective communication skills, teamwork, and professionalism
  • Engineering Notebook and Team Interview demonstrate a student-centered ethos

Additional notes:

  • The submission of an Engineering Notebook is a requirement for the Design Award – if no team meets the requirements for this award, it should not be given out at an event. If this is the case, event attendees should be given a brief explanation as to why. The quality of a team’s Engineering Notebook and Team Interview may play a role in the consideration of that team for other award categories. 
  • To be in consideration for the Design Award at the World Championship, teams are required to have earned the Excellence or Design Award at an event qualifying them to the World Championship.

Excellence Award

The Excellence Award recognizes overall excellence in both the Judged Award and the Performance Award categories. The Excellence Award incorporates all the criteria of the Design Award, plus the added component of a team’s on-field performance at the event. The Excellence Award is a required award if judging is being conducted at an event.

Key criteria of the Excellence Award are: 

  • Be at or near the top of all Engineering Notebook Rubric rankings
  • Exhibit a high-quality team interview
  • Be ranked in the top 10 or top 30% of teams (whichever is greater) at the conclusion of qualifying matches 
  • Be ranked in the top 5 or top 20% of teams (whichever is greater) at the conclusion of the Robot Skills Challenges if Robot Skills Challenges are offered at the event
  • Be a candidate in consideration for other Judged Awards 
  • Demonstrate a student-centered ethos
  • Exhibit positive team conduct, good sportsmanship, and professionalism

Additional notes: 

  • Under certain conditions, at events which combine both grade levels (Middle School and High School for VRC, Elementary School and Middle School for VIQC), one Excellence Award per grade level may be awarded. This is determined by the REC Foundation Manager and the Qualifying Criteria.
  • The submission of an Engineering Notebook is a requirement for the Excellence Award. If no team meets the requirements for this award, it should not be given out at an event. If this is the case, event attendees should be given a brief explanation as to why.
  • To be in consideration for the Excellence Award at the World Championship, teams are required to have earned the Excellence or Design Award at an event qualifying them to the World Championship.

Innovate Award

The Innovate Award recognizes an effective and well documented design process. The team who earns the Innovate Award should be among the top contenders for the Design Award. The submission of an Engineering Notebook is a requirement for the Innovate Award.

Key criteria of the Innovate Award are:

  • Be at or near the top of Engineering Notebook Rubric rankings
  • Exhibit a high-quality team interview
  • Engineering Notebook demonstrates a clear, complete, and organized record of the robot design process
  • Team demonstrates effective management of time, talent, and resources
  • Team interview demonstrates their ability to explain their robot design and game strategy
  • Team interview demonstrates effective communication skills, teamwork, professionalism, and a student-centered ethos

Think Award

The Think Award recognizes the most effective and consistent use of coding techniques and programming design solutions to solve the game challenge. 

Key criteria of the Think Award are: 

  • Participation in the Programming Skills Challenge (if Skills Challenges are offered at the event)
  • Autonomous programming is consistent and reliable 
  • Programs are cleanly written, well commented, and easy to follow
  • Team clearly explains the programming strategy to solve the game challenge 
  • Team clearly explains their programming management process/version control 
  • Students understand and explain how they worked together to develop their robot programming
  • Team interview demonstrates effective communication skills, teamwork, professionalism, and a student-centered ethos

Amaze Award

The Amaze Award recognizes a consistently high-performing and competitive robot.

Key criteria of the Amaze Award are:

  • Robot consistently contributes to high-scoring matches with their alliance partner
  • Robot performs at a high level in Driver Skills and Programming Skills at the event. 
  • Robot is designed and constructed to consistently execute an effective game strategy
  • Robot programming is effective, and consistently successful
  • Students understand and explain how they worked together to develop their robot design
  • Team interview demonstrates effective communication skills, teamwork, professionalism, and a student-centered ethos

Build Award

The Build Award recognizes a well-constructed robot that is constructed with a high degree of attention to detail in order to hold up to the rigors of competition.

Key criteria of the Build Award are:

  • Robot construction is durable and robust 
  • Robot is reliable on the field and holds up under competition conditions 
  • Robot is designed with attention to safety and detail 
  • Students understand and explain how they worked together to develop their robot design
  • Team interview demonstrates effective communication skills, teamwork, professionalism, and a student-centered ethos

Create Award

The Create Award recognizes a creative engineering design solution to one or more of the challenges of the competition.

Key criteria of the Create Award are:

  • Team demonstrates a creative approach to accomplish game objectives
  • Team has committed to ambitious and creative approaches to solving the game challenge
  • Students understand and explain how they worked together to develop their robot design and game strategy
  • Team interview demonstrates effective communication skills, teamwork, professionalism, and a student-centered ethos

Judges Award

The Judges Award recognizes attributes that may not fit in other award categories and the Judges felt were deserving of special recognition. The Judges Award is a required award if Judging is being conducted at an event.

Key criteria of the Judges Award are:

  • Team displays special attributes, exemplary effort, or perseverance at the event
  • Team overcomes an obstacle or challenge and achieves a goal or special accomplishment
  • Team interview demonstrates effective communication skills, teamwork, professionalism, and a student-centered ethos

Energy Award

The Energy Award recognizes outstanding enthusiasm and excitement at the event.

Key criteria of the Energy Award are:

  • Team maintains a high level of enthusiasm and excitement throughout the event
  • Team exhibits a passion for the robotics competition that enriches the event experience for all
  • Team interview demonstrates effective communication skills, teamwork, professionalism, and a student-centered ethos

Inspire Award

The Inspire Award recognizes passion for the competition and positivity at the event.

Key criteria of the Inspire Award are:

  • Team exhibits passion and positive attitude at the event
  • Team exhibits integrity and goodwill toward other teams, coaches, and spectators
  • Team overcomes an obstacle or challenge and achieves a goal or special accomplishment at the event
  • Students demonstrate teamwork and effective communication skills
  • Team interview demonstrates effective communication skills, teamwork, professionalism, and a student-centered ethos

Sportsmanship Award

The Sportsmanship Award recognizes a high degree of good sportsmanship, helpfulness, respect, and a positive attitude both on and off the competition field.

Key criteria of the Sportsmanship Award are:

  • Team is courteous, helpful, and respectful to everyone, on and off the field
  • Team interacts with others in the spirit of friendly competition and cooperation
  • Team acts with honesty and integrity, enriching the event experience for all
  • Team interview demonstrates effective communication skills, teamwork, professionalism, and a student-centered ethos

Individual Recognition Awards

The Mentor of the Year Award recognizes a team mentor who has helped students achieve goals that were seemingly out of reach. This individual is a role model, a leader, and an extraordinary mentor who helps show students new ways to expand their knowledge and solve problems in the world of STEM.

The Partner of the Year Award recognizes an organization that consistently supports students and schools as they pursue excellence in competitive robotics. There are many partners and organizations that deserve recognition for their support of the REC Foundation and VEX competitions. The recipient of this award is recognized as a champion who dedicates their time, abilities, and resources to ensure affordability and accessibility for all participants.

The Teacher of the Year Award recognizes a teacher who shows true leadership and dedication to their group of students. The winner of this award continually exceeds expectations to ensure a safe, enjoyable, and educational experience for all students.

The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes an individual at the root of each event who leads the effort to "make things happen". Hosting a robotics event takes the collective effort of many people who are willing to give their time and effort for the sake of the participants. The Volunteer of the Year demonstrates a commitment and devotion to their community, putting in many hours of hard work with persistence and passion to make events happen.

Continue to the next section, Guide to Judging: Judging Engineering Notebooks