FIRST Canada Live: About the New Chairman’s Questions & Definitions

Oct 13, 2020

We’re Excited about the New Questions & Definitions

Whether or not you got a chance to catch us on the Tuesday, October 13th episode of  #FIRSTCanadaLIVE!  We’ve got the cheat sheet of the 2020 changes and why the Hall of Fame made those recommendations. Click here to watch the YouTube video or just scroll down. 

How did this come about?
In the late Spring of 2020, a committee of Hall of Fame teams began to review the Chairman’s Executive Summary questions and definitions to see where they could be improved. We considered the aspects of mission of FIRST and cultural change missing from the questions and definitions and what we could remove, clarify and consolidate to make room for new questions we felt would be of higher value to the judges to get a better sense of a team’s dynamic and impact in their community.

Then we shared our recommendations with FIRST HQ and later on a call with Fiona Hanlon and representatives of the FIRST judges, we all went through the questions together to even better refine the wording of the questions and definitions for the final suggestions to be presented to FIRST for consideration.

“​The questions now show an understanding that teams have very different backgrounds and communities, and that these should be a factor when judging this award. This gives teams a chance to highlight unique circumstances that may present opportunities or obstacles. No more ignoring the systemic barriers that exist. I’m really excited about these changes; they put a greater emphasis on growth.  Plus the focus on ED&I is a great addition. Karthik Kanagasabapathy

What’s New in the 13 Executive Summary Questions?

  • Modified to focus on sustainability of teams vs growth.
  • Ensure all FIRST pillars are represented in team efforts.
  • Change time-frame of efforts from 5 years to 3 years.
  • Serve as a reflection for your team.

What are the Executive Summary questions?

The Executive Summary questions are the required questions answered before the essay. They are the short answer, 500 character limited questions about your team activities in a variety of areas.

What are the Chairman’s definitions?

To help standardize Chairman’s Award judging, FIRST developed a Chairman’s Definition list for terms commonly used by teams. Teams are responsible for policing their own choice of words.

The new changes include examples provided by FIRST HQ to clarify what is and is not an accurate use of each definition to help with understanding.

Have questions?  Reach out to us at