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Unread 06-10-2010, 09:49 PM
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Re: Engineering Mentors Attitude/Role Towards Their NEM Counterparts

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneYoung View Post
One attitude that I've encountered over many years of talking with NEMS and technical mentors is the food side of things. "If the NEMS didn't feed us, we'd starve", kind of thing. That is a 'volunteer' to me; that is not a NEM. Where it can become a NEM process is if the person mentors others in how to feed a team. Otherwise, it is a volunteer finding a way to feed a team. Where it can become a NEM process is if the person mentors others in how to feed a team.
Good point. I said something very similar to this* about our (sadly) only current NEM. That phrasing actually undervalues what she does. She, along with a few other quasi-NEMS, actually runs much of our logistics and organization. (We do have some "pure" volunteers that actually just bring in food, transport kids, etc, not that they're less valuable.) This may not sound much like mentoring, and no, she isn't currently teaching anyone specifically on how to feed or even organize us--though that's more of a recruitment problem on our part. The teaching comes in with educating students on the importance of these acts. (Well, maybe the food is self-explanatory, especially for us.) Or as Akash put it, she's working to eliminate this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akash Rastogi View Post
...The kids who don't understand how hard it is to run a team sometimes mock and don't respect the NEMs, they don't see the purpose of NEMs in a robotics team...
Personally, I consider this mentoring--very good mentoring at that. And it's true, that may well be the most important part of what she does (though food is still way up there ). Thanks for pointing that out, I'll try to explain it that way from now on.

*I don't know if you were referring to me, but you're right, it wasn't what I meant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Holley View Post
I know on our team at least, we have no shortage of mentors willing to help lead a prototype build or offer their opinion on some technical aspect of the robot. However, we have a massive shortage on people who are willing to lead some of the "less glamorous" aspects of the team.
We seem to have a bit of the same problem. For us at least, I don't know if it's because they're less glamorous (I'd hope we're getting good at dispelling that) or simply because we're way better at recruiting technical mentors, but it is a big issue we're trying to correct. For the successful NEM teams out there, how do you get around this? Or is it more about happening into the right people? Or am I bringing this thread to OT?
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