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 within the FIRST Robotics Competition who lead, inspire, and empower using excellent communication skills.  Dr. Murphy wanted to bring attention to the eloquent and effective communication skills of Dr. Woodie Flowers, so this award was created.

Two subcategories are awarded:

  • WFFA: The Woodie Flowers Finalist Award 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.


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