What is a robotics mentor?
It is an adult who is willing to work with team members to help them learn and do their jobs. They may have special knowledge in one or more areas that they can share. They are teachers, they are shadow leadership, they are friends. The best mentors have an interest in robotics, like working with teens, handle stress/pressure well and have time to give. The hardest part about being a mentor is resisting the temptation to do too much. It is so much fun that it can be hard to control those itchy fingers that want to get doing, and take a step back and guide the students through the work. Especially during the build when time is CRITICAL! There are two main categories of mentors: Technical (sometimes called engineering) and non-engineering (sometimes called NEMs). Most mentors help in more than one area. To learn more read sections below:
Technical Mentors help teach design principles and guide the design process by pointing out potential problems or suggesting ideas or materials to solve problems. They help with the construction of the robot. They may also help build game parts for testing the robot. Mentors may help train students on how to use tools safely. They may pick up donations or purchase materials. Technical mentors are needed for many, many hours during the build and competition seasons. Technical mentors are critical at competitions to help with troubleshooting and last minute adjustments. Between builds, technical mentors can help with training or special projects. Technical mentors on our team predominately work in five areas: CAD/Design, Electrical, Mechanics, Pneumatics, and Programming.
Non-Engineering Mentors help with all other aspects of the program. Many non-technical mentors help with multiple areas, often including technical work. NEMs may work in one or more of these areas: Marketing, Fundraising, Administration, Safety, Video production, Animation, Inventory control, Website, Strategy, Project Management, etc.
Parents wanting to contribute the success of the team have many different options one of which is to assist with meals during the FRC build season. Helping to provide meals to the team during the build season allows the team to work longer hours during this critical part of the build process. This can be accomplished by going to Takethemameal.com and sighing up on the meal calendar to provide a meal. Please speak with the team coach for log on information. Takethemameal.com
If you are interested in mentoring our team, click here to download our Team Brochure. If you are interested in being a mentor but aren’t in our area, contact a team near you. See our Resources/Links section for a list of Washington teams from FIRST. You can find more teams at USFIRST.org.