View Full Version : Company Employee Robotics Mentoring Teams
09-16-2009, 10:37 PM
Does your company have a "club" or "special interest group" of employees interested in mentoring the youth in robotics ?. Do you guys get together and to meet other mentors in the company ?
09-16-2009, 10:49 PM
The FRC mentors at my local company work site meet once a week during build season to coordinate, compare notes, offer advice/designs, arrange cross-team visits, get engineers out to teams that have cried for help, visit rookies, that sort of thing.
We had a social meeting today of mentors from all-walks from guide dog volunteers, youth soccer, Boy Scouts, STEM outreach (not just robotics).
For a while, I served on an employee rewards committee to develop recognitions to encourage volunteer service.
09-17-2009, 06:23 AM
That is pretty cool.
Do you guys do anything off-season like from May to October ?.
We get together and build a demo robot using the same parts the kids use for FRC as the basis for our robot, and once we are finished we demo the robot at the company and outside organizations. We are currentlly building our second robot right now.
09-17-2009, 08:58 AM
Building a robot together sounds like fun. Where do you get your parts and control system?
The southern California mentors once took a Saturday where engineers built Vex robots to compete against students as a one day event.
Nothing much happens during the summer, as a lot of people take their vacation then. We need time away from robotics to keep our families happy. Burnout is a real danger, especially for the engineers with families.
In the Fall we start visiting schools - both pre-rookies and established teams are meeting once or twice a week now. We usually organize a robotics exhibition over lunch in the company cafeterias to engage potential mentors. Teams bring in their robots, demonstrate them, and talk to employees describing what they do.
As a fallout of one of these lunchtime recruitment efforts, some non-mentor engineers asked to use one of the demo'ed robots and worked with students and pilots on a company sponsored research project. We made the robot react according to air models, so it "flew" like an aircraft. That was kind of cool.
We run training sessions for company engineers, like last year's cRIO-based control system, and the basics for any rookie mentors.
We've also got FLL and FTC teams getting busy in the fall.
09-21-2009, 07:30 PM
We got the parts from FIRST, we bought the kit from them, it is like almost the same experience as the students get, the only difference, it comes thru our "receiving" dock, them get lost on the process somewhere in our incoming stagin area and them we cannot move the kit ourselves because we are "Engineers" and that aint' in our job description..... ;)
We built the robot thru July until September. And them we begin gearing up for the season, we have membership meetings of our club with the following topics :
September - FLL/FTC Mentor Request
October - FRC Mentor Request / Applying for Grant
November - FIRST Regional Competition Volunteer Request
We are not sure about December yet.......
09-22-2009, 09:26 AM
A group of mentors I work with based at a university here asked to purchase a KOP a couple of years ago so we could train their potential mentors as you are doing. FIRST wouldn't sell it to them at the time (2007).
We envisioned an encubator for mentors experienced with the FIRST system grown from graduate & graduating engineers.
Glad to hear they allow it now.
Shipping and Receiving is a world of it's own...
09-27-2009, 07:26 PM
Our company (ITT Industries, Space Systems Division) - not "Tech Institute" does not have a club through work but instead mentors outside of work.
Until recently I only knew of the mentors that worked for our directly sponsored team. When that team was no longer sponsored quite a few mentors from other teams 'came out of the woodwork' to ask for the old teams equipment.
Since employee participation is directly linked to our funding level I think I'll be pursuing an employee based club/group just for that. It's not perfect but it's the only solution I have at the moment.
09-28-2009, 11:48 AM
Very cool !. Before we pursued a club "organization" status we were like you described 'came out of the woodwork' : mentors coming out of the woodworks.
One of the most important things I think is to ensure that you have leaders in the club that like to serve which are elected every year : President, VP, Secretary and Treasure.
Also having a budget helps, having a minimum membership fee from $1 to whatever helps ensure members have an "investment" into the club.
One of the greatest benefits of the club, is that now we know who is all involved with robotics mentoring, not only on FIRST but also other competitions like BEST.
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