As lifelong supporters of the vision and mission of FIRST, we are guardians of the FIRST culture. We endeavor to champion the legacy of our friend, and mentor, Dr. Woodie Flowers and the culture he nurtured by:
● Emulating the spirit of Dr. Woodie Flowers by being role models for mentors and
students in the FIRST community;
● Maintaining the continued integrity of the Woodie Flowers Award;
● Advising FIRST regarding matters critical to the protection of the FIRST culture.
Ethics and FIRST Robotics Competition
Gracious Professionalism has been part of FIRST since the beginning. In our current world climate there are a lot of detractors and distractions from doing things the right way. Many of us are concerned that if we don’t make our beliefs in Gracious Professionalism and Ethics more important, that the future FIRST community may suffer. Dr. Flowers and the WFA group are working to provide ideas and lesson plans for you to try with your teams. This is important and difficult work, but really worth the effort. Please see below. Enjoy!
Create an Ethics experience for your team!
by Dr. Woodie Flowers WFA 1996
Have a short conversation about how Gracious Professionalism is linked to ethics. Introduce thinking ahead — how the team/individuals should react to an ethically-complex situation since one or several will likely happen every season.
1) Assign homework for two or three team members to find and read the Code of Ethics for three major professional organizations. Encourage them to pick diverse organizations, but include at least one scientific or engineering society.
2) At the next team meeting, report on their research by distributing a typical Code of Ethics. Point out how the ones read were similar. Point out how the ones read were different. (presentation should be brief – this issue is not to study others’ codes, but create the team’s own).
3) In a less-than-one-hour exercise, have team subgroups of 3 or 4 write codes for team members behaviors toward one another, team behavior in interacting with other teams before competition, team behavior in interaction with other teams in competition, team interaction with society
4) Collect the responses without discussion. Before the next meeting, summarize the codes in each category and give each team member the opportunity to rate the importance of each code statement in a secret ballot. Use a simple rating such as essential – not an issue – not needed. The “vote” should be after brief discussion – but save the deeper discussion until the results can be seen by the whole team.
A rich exchange may result.
If consensus is reached, have the group voice vote to accept the most popular code entries. Have the team decide how they would like to publish their code.