Mentors and Coaches are the keystones of our programs. The descriptions below outline the definition of Coach and Mentor for each of the four FIRST programs: Junior FIRST LEGO League, FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Competition.
Mentors play a vital role in the success of their students. Mentors work extensively with team members during the build season, designing, building, and fabricating a functional robot for Competition. Their expertise is the catalyst for the team’s and students’ success. Mentors are the major distinction between the FRC program and other robotic competitions as they are wholly the professional role model for the student. Mentors engage and inspire students in ways far beyond science and technology. They enable both students and adults to appreciate the value of sportsmanship, teamwork, and Gracious Professionalism®. Here is a video about The Satisfaction of Mentoring, from the MIT Mentorship Initiative
FRC FIRST Robotics Competition / FIRST Tech Challenge
Sample Mentor/Coach Roles
Project Management Mentor
- Provides an overview of project management concepts for team
- Guides the team throughout the project life cycle
- Assist to educate students, Mentors and parents regarding scholarship opportunities available to FIRST students
- Coordinates applications for student/ Mentor nominations for awards
- Provides a basic overview of Marketing concepts
- Assists students with development and implementation of a Marketing Plan in coordination with the development of a Business Plan
- Assist the team in preparing a Business Plan, financial planning/budget for the season
- Organize and assists with fundraising efforts
Robot Programming/Software Engineering Mentor
- Assist team members with writing code to control robot in C++, Java, Robot C or LabVIEW (depending on program)
- Maintains process focus
Electrical Engineer Mentor
- Assist team with wiring the robot’s power and signal system
- Assist and instruct the team members in the electrical and electronics systems on the robot
Mechanical Engineer Mentor
- Provides assistance with design and construction of the robot
- Advise students on the safe use of tools and safety procedures
You can learn more about some of the type of mentors that support FTC and FRC right here.
Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL)
Coaches guide teams through their challenge, which includes creating a LEGO model with a motorized part and making a ‘Show Me’ poster that explains what the team learned. They keep teams on track and ask “leading questions,” but they are mainly there to make sure the children have fun.
Mentors, at the Jr.FLL level, help Coaches organize events as well as find resources and events in their area.
FIRST LEGO League (FLL)
An FLL Coach provides support to his or her team and guides them in completing the season’s Challenge. The Coach asks questions, encourages the team to explore options, promotes teamwork and participation by all
members, exemplifies Gracious ProfessionalismTM, reinforces FLL’s Core Values and commits to having fun.
An FLL Mentor has a certain expertise a team may need. The Mentor may contribute their expertise through instruction, guidance to the team, or serve as a resource on a one-time or multiple-time basis.