[Berkeley CA] Berkelium 5419 Looking for Mentors

Team 5419 located in Berkeley CA, extends an invitation to potential experince technical and non technical mentors. Or team has expanded significantly from a group of 25-30 individuals to a thriving community of over 55 or more. Despite this growth, we currently have only a limited number of actively involved mentors. To enhance the mentorship experience, foster stronger student engagement, and broaden our competitive capabilities, we are actively seeking new mentors to join us.

Current Meeting schedule:
Offseason: Tuesdays and Thursdays 5-7 and some additional weekends. We’ll compete at 4 off-season this year with multiple robots.

Build and Competition Season : Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:30 - 8:30 and every other weekend

We ask mentors to come at least one night a week and they’ll get first dibs on food brought by parents.

Looking for mentors with prior experience in:

Business and Logistics

Agreements with our school site support mentor positions including volunteer and some paid coaching positions. more details can be found in this doc

If your not in the bay area but know someone who is, please share this with them.

Contact: [email protected]


Have you checked out the FIRST Mentor Network? The lead or alternate Mentor/Coach for the team can log in to the FIRST website to access it, and can post a request for mentors to find, or directly search for available mentors in the area (or remote mentors worldwide) based on skillset.

Personal thought:

I’d much rather ensure the students get first dibs and fend for myself elsewhere if we happen to run out of food.


“Leaders Eat Last”

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We grew from around 30-40 registered members to about 100 last September. It looks like we may end up significantly over that this September.

This season, attendance at the parent meetings was made a MANDATORY part of being accepted on the team. Our lead mentor gave a presentation where he had a slide for each areas the parents could help with: programming, CAD design, workshop supervision.

Last September, we only got about 30 parents show up and only about 3 parents would come in as workshop supervisors. There were only around 20-25 in the parent WhatsApp group.

Over 100 parents attended the two meetings this past week and quite a few signed up to help with areas such as programming and workshop supervision. Around 80-90 signed up in the parent WhatsApp group.

They have considered doing what some neighboring teams do. Make it mandatory for parents to volunteer for X hours each season. This is also done in some sports leagues since many of their competitions are also run with almost all volunteers.

Our team officers just finished reading and discussing this book.

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Want to vouch for 5419, this team rocks. Would love to work with them if they weren’t so darn far away.


Have you found this to actually work in the past? Any time I log in to attempt to see any mentors available (be it remote or in person), the search either comes up empty or the site seemingly errors out.

I typically try it out about once a year, and every time I do, I’m reminded why I didn’t look into it more the year prior. The FIRST Mentor Network appears to live up to the reputation of the TIMS/Dashboard website; Doesn’t work half the time, and the other half of the time, its frustrating to use/navigate :woman_shrugging:


Oh it’s FAR from perfect. I havent personally used it from the team side, though I can try that shortly. From the mentor side, I have no issues searching for teams and have been contacted by teams in the past.

You’re not wrong. It leaves much to be desired. However, if nobody uses it, its hard for FIRST to justify putting resources toward improving it.

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I was looking at this yesterday from the team side. Your team has to make a post and make it visible (default is hidden) before you can see any mentors in the search results. And you can only see mentors whose specialties match the mentor specialties you put in your post - which is limited to 5 out of the 9 possibilities. You can create another post with the other 4, but if you make it visible, your other post is automatically hidden.

Adoption has also been pretty low. I think FIRST (reasonably) cleared out posts from a couple years ago this summer, so the mentors you can find on there are more likely to be currently available, but there aren’t very many. We’re in Southeast Michigan, which has one of the densest team populations out there, and there’s only one mentor within 60 miles of us. The 10th closest mentor to us is in North Carolina. Admittedly, it is hard to drive adoption for both teams and mentors at the rate both groups want.

Ultimately, while it is worth checking to see if you can find anyone on there, I wouldn’t recommend it as the only place to look.

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Distance isn’t stopping David…

I have no idea if there’s some other reason he’s down in SJ so frequently or if it’s just for 581, this was meant as a “/lh”

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I personally haven’t heard any success stories of teams who successfully were able to find a mentor via the FIRST Mentor Network.

but anyways, fire team!! big vouch go mentor us!!

Thanks for these ideas, our student leadership team is seeing parents as more and more of an asset as our numbers grow. Last year parents were successfully organized help with field build, bring food throughout build season and chaperone overnight trips. I like your idea to sign them up early and define how they can help/


I was in it for the cookies


We’re personally more of a cake team :smile: