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xitaqua
10-24-2009, 03:04 PM
Hello All,

I have mentored both a rookie teams and a new team this past 4 years, this year I am mentor for a team in Carbondale, IL and I am located in St. Louis, MO.

Let me know if you were or are a mentor for a team that is a "long distance" drive and how did you deal with this challenge.


Cheers,
Marcos.

Jared Russell
10-24-2009, 07:52 PM
Hi Marcos,

I was a mentor for Team 341 for 5 years while I attended RIT to get my BS and MS degrees (about 5 hours away). I was the team's only software/controls mentor during this time, as well as one of the primary design mentors. I made about 5 weekend round trips each build season (thankfully I was able to avoid Friday classes every year), plus attending the events.

In 2006 we created a private team forum that we use for much of our team coordination, and working in software, working remotely was possible. I also worked with the mentors at the school to make sure that whenever I could make the trip down, the value of the visit would be maximized (e.g. the machine is put back together so we could get programming time).

This relationship worked because our other mentors were FIRST experts who could help the students build a robot with their eyes closed. I filled the controls niche, while also acting like a "design consultant".

Jared

xitaqua
10-24-2009, 09:27 PM
Hi Jared,

Thanks for your input, the information you provided is very helpful.

I am planning to make approximatlly same amount of visits, and the team mentioned they visit St. Louis, I need to get the schedule figured out.

I am trying to see if I can meet with the team before the season starts so we can get sync-up......also I am thinking to do a youtube video and use a "free survey tool" to interact with the students........

Cheers,
Marcos.

falconmaster
10-24-2009, 10:06 PM
Hello All,

I have mentored both a rookie teams and a new team this past 4 years, this year I am mentor for a team in Carbondale, IL and I am located in St. Louis, MO.

Let me know if you were or are a mentor for a team that is a "long distance" drive and how did you deal with this challenge.


Cheers,
Marcos.

email, google docs and webcams!

EricVanWyk
10-25-2009, 10:48 AM
Wayne Penn is the guy to talk to, he mentored in NJ from NH. I tagged along a few times, and I'll tell you now that it is a heckuva commitment. I'd recommend mentoring local, unless you have a very good reason not to.

Akash Rastogi
10-25-2009, 11:03 AM
Wayne Penn is the guy to talk to, he mentored in NJ from NH. I tagged along a few times, and I'll tell you now that it is a heckuva commitment. I'd recommend mentoring local, unless you have a very good reason not to.

Wayne's story is crazy, and I believe it was trips from the Boston University campus down to NJ.

I don't have any input about driving over to teams to mentor (I'm technically not a "mentor") but we've assisted and consulted several teams across the nation via private chat, oovoo, AIM, private team forums, EWCP has an open public chat that any team is allowed to use if they wish, but let us know if you use it please.

http://team1323.com/madtalk/chat/madtalk.php

Andrew Schreiber
10-25-2009, 12:41 PM
This may also be a good use of Google Wave as well, being able to attach files to a wave for anyone in the wave to download would be very beneficial in my opinion. Additionally the wave could eventually be published as a training tool either internally or externally. (Sorry, I really am trying to find a use for Wave)

Travis Hoffman
10-25-2009, 03:10 PM
This may also be a good use of Google Wave as well, being able to attach files to a wave for anyone in the wave to download would be very beneficial in my opinion. Additionally the wave could eventually be published as a training tool either internally or externally. (Sorry, I really am trying to find a use for Wave)

I suggested this very thing in requesting a Wave invite from Google - no response. Haters.

We've used the webcam option locally with good results.

xitaqua
11-15-2009, 12:07 AM
Travis and Andrew,

Thanks for the info on Google Wave, I have to check it out.

I am looking at youtube and see how we can share videos like this one :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AalR_DhoI1Y

This robot was built by a group of employees using the same FIRST Robotics materials that the students use. The hope of sharing this video with the team, is to give an idea to the teams of things they can do, such as demo their robots in the middle school.

I am also trying to mentor the team by doing a "small video" clip of myself and put on youtube with also a "survey link" for them to respond to the video, but still need to figure out how to get the team to participate, the participation level has been low.

Wetzel
11-16-2009, 12:11 PM
For video, is there internet in the team meeting space that can access Skype? Skype works very well, and video calls are free skype-skype. Much more interactive than youtube.

Wetzel

xitaqua
11-29-2009, 11:14 AM
Wetzel,

Thanks for your posting, yeah interactive of youtube has been something I have been thinking about. Until the team is able to get a low-cost camera such as a flip camera ( less $100), I plan to used youtube and a survey tour to bring "interactivity".......

Check out this link :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffOYDDfgM_0

If you are a student on a team, feel free to fill out the survey if you like.......

Cheers,
Marcos.