FTC Lead Mentors Needed!
We currently have 46 registered students for the FIRST Tech Challenge 2018-2019 season, which is 29 less than last year, and yet our registration has now entered a Waitlist status. What gives?
Until we have enough Lead Mentors to host a fifth team, further registrations will be put on a first-come first-serve Waitlist. Your status will be communicated shortly after registration.
Having two more Lead Mentors will open the opportunity for another 10 students to use the fifth robot kit waiting in the wings. In fact, we can put together more teams if we have enough adult mentors volunteer and raise enough money!
What does a Lead Mentor Do?
Primarily, a Lead Mentor is one of two legal adults that supervise a team of eight to ten (last year we had 15!) 6th to 8th grade students. Responsibilities include:
- Organizing two weekly meetings (one weekday, one weekend)
- Guiding students in project management
- Keeping students on task and productive
- Resolving conflicts between students
- Help keep track of purchases and financing
- Supervise students at day-long competition events (up to 3)
A Lead Mentor need not be an Engineer (or Programmer)!
Seriously! We’re not looking for geniuses, but rather two people per team willing to dedicate two nights a week to watching these kids grow in knowledge and wisdom. We have parents who do know programming and are good with engineering, but we let the students do all the work!
Training is available on how to be an effective mentor and learn about the robots and programming! You’re not alone!
A Lead Mentor need not be a Parent!
Indeed not all mentors are parents! Or, perhaps they are, but maybe their kids have moved on to High School, or maybe they’re not yet old enough to participate in FTC Tech Challenge.
For that matter, if you are a parent and your child doesn’t attend Lake Middle School and there is no similarly offered robotics program, both you and your child CAN participate.
Your children are guaranteed a spot on a Team!
If you volunteer to be a Lead Mentor, your child or children’s spots are guaranteed!
What’s this about a Background Check?
We want our kids to be safe! Lead Mentors must undergo two background checks. One for FIRST and one for the School District.
The one for the District 833 school system can be found at this PDF link. Fill it out and turn it in to the Lake Middle School main office. The office will contact you with instructions on how to complete an on-line submission form with Trusted Employees, and it costs $10.25 to fill out.
The second background check is with FIRST, who uses Verified Volunteers to conduct the check. Although FIRST does not require mentors to pay the $8.00 for the background check, it is encouraged. Like the Trusted Employees system, Verified Volunteers is an on-line web form that takes only a few minutes to complete.
Periodically, one mentor from each team meets at a Lead Mentors’ Meeting to discuss club business. It is an open meeting for any parent, mentor, or student to attend.
Total Time Commitment
Having two lead mentors per team means that we can maintain a regular schedule even if one mentor cannot attend. Having additional assistant mentors helps as well. That being said, the typical time commitment looks like this:
- Competition Season (September through January)
- One Weekday Meeting per week: 2 hours
- One Weekend Meeting per week: 3 hours
- One to Two Competition Days: 7 am - 5 pm
- Monthly Mentors’ Meetings: 1.5-2 hours (these will go faster as we gain experience)
- Post-Season (February through May)
- STEM Outreach Events: 2-4 hours periodically
- As available
- Pre-Season (June through August)
- As available
Let’s make that Waiting List go away for another 10 students! Join us today as a Lead Mentor (and convince a friend to help)!