So, I’m a senior in High School, from FRC Team 1629. I’ve in the process of applying to colleges and deciding majors and all that like every other senior, but I need a little advice. I’ve loved programming through the team, and until recently thought that was what I wanted to do. But I’ve also realized that as much as I like programming, I love helping people, especially kids. One of our team missions is to help every kid have an “Ah-hah” moment and realize how much fun math and science is. Are there any job areas anyone can tell me about that may integrate these options? The only things I can think of are teaching, which is not really for me, and becoming the programmer like I thought and just becoming a mentor for a team, which I plan to do no matter where or what I am. Please help?
I’m an engineer (and don’t want to be a teacher) but spend plenty of my after-work time training and working with FIRST students on my robotics team. The teacher I work with at the school is very hands-on, but I’ve mentored teams where the teacher is only there to supervise and keep the classrooms accessible to work and meet in.
In cases like these, you do spend your time outside of work to inspire the students and help them find their “aha” moment in engineering. I hope, at least, my efforts have helped the students on the team’s I’ve mentored become inspired to be future engineers (that’s my ultimate goal).
Moral of the story is, do what you love for work (if it’s programming, that’s great), and spend your time after work inspiring students. As a double benefit, you can do so without having to worry about too many of the difficult logistics on the school side of things (classroom availability, funding accounts, etc), and spend your efforts focused on student teaching and technical areas.
Keep in mind you are doing this because you love it, and do it on your own time unpaid. Besides teaching (a programming or engineering class, for instance) or starting a company developing products used by robotics students, doing what you love doesn’t always correspond with getting a big paycheck to accompany it.
How about being a FIRST mentor?!
Your career and what you spend your own time doing many times fill different needs/desires. I know this is the case for me. I work in industry but don’t have a super technical role. My technical/engineering outlet is the same as my community service outlet: FRC mentor.