Earning a varsity letter in robotics is a major accomplishment. It is a reflection of the hard work and level of commitment that students have dedicated to robotics and in the classroom. This award is determined by the students and their teacher/coach in conjunction with their school’s administration.
There are a couple of ways to go about setting up your school or district policy:
- One is to establish the specific criteria that students need to meet in order to be recognized with a varsity letter. Below are a number of suggestions for you to help get you started.
- A second way is to develop a point system where students can earn points in a number of categories. You can establish the value of the points and the total needed to earn a letter. Below you will also find some examples.
Nearly all institutions have an academic requirement attached to earning a letter award. This may be in place to preserve the academic integrity and reputation of the institution. Attaching an academic element to the high school lettering policy might serve to motivate students to perform well in the classroom in order to be eligible for participation and or letterman status.
Your lettering policy can include a statement of discretion. This statement is in place to allow a teacher/coach to provide the opportunity to letter a deserving candidate who has fallen short in any category, except academics.
A teacher/coach may institute a lettering policy that forbids any disciplinary referrals during the season.
Those who earn a varsity letter can be awarded with a certificate and a varsity letter (first year only) and a pin representing robotics. Each year after that, a student lettering receives a certificate and a bar.
Sample Varsity Letter Requirements
- Must be in good standing with regard to scheduled practice/build sessions and competitions. In order to letter in robotics you must meet the earned general criteria along with the specific criteria set forth by your individual school/district.
- Must complete the season in good academic standing and be eligible academically.
- Show marked improvement during the season and from the previous season.
- Be of good character, a good teammate, and a team player.
- Contribute to the team’s success.
- Document and track accomplishments, knowledge gained, and experience in the season’s engineering notebook.
- Participate in at least one robotics- or STEM-related community service project.
- Students who make significant contributions to the team but do not achieve the guidelines established above may be awarded varsity letters at the discretion of the teacher/coach and the school administration.
Example Requirement Set
Grand Blanc High School Robotics located near Flint, Michigan, has developed a well-documented set of robotics letter requirements, which are shared and/or linked below with their gracious permission.
- Build a Robot With Your Team
- Complete the Driver Training Course
- Get Ready For and Attend an Event
- Complete a Skills Run
Their focus is on students' creation of an engineering notebook that serves as both a team resource for competitions and documentation of their growth and skills in the robotics program.
Sample Robotics Varsity Letter Point System
To earn a varsity letter in robotics, a student might be expected to accumulate a predetermined number of points throughout the season. Below are some examples of requirements and point system options you can use to customize the process to meet your school needs.
Practice: 1 point for each week of attendance
Tournaments: 1 point for each event attended
League Sessions: 1 point for each session attended
(based on assessment by teacher/coach)
Design Process: 3 points
Strategy: 3 points
Coding: 3 points
Notebook: 3 points
Excellence Award: 3 points
Tournament Champion: 2 points
Trophy at state or regional level: 2 points
Winning an Online Challenge: 2 points
Robotics or STEM service project: 2 points
Qualifying to the World Championship (other than through an Online Challenge): 2 points
Where to Get Letters & Pins
When it comes time to secure your varsity letters you may find out that your athletic department already has a connection to a company that can provide your letters, pins, and jackets. If you are going to create your own items there is a list below of links to companies that can be helpful.