Mentors’ Involvement in FRC -- a Research Study in Progress

Hey there good humans!

Let’s talk about mentor involvement and how it affects individual students! I know, it’s this topic again, yayyyyy. :slight_smile:

I’m a high school senior doing a year-long research study on robotics and mentoring, which may sound boring and repetitive, but before you click away, allow me to explain –

While there might exist parallels to other CD discussions, I envision this research project to offer some new insights. This is an effort to take some of the frequently argued points to test, and come up with something that can be explained by quantifiable data.

It’s undeniable that discussions online are naturally centered around personal experiences, which is not always terrible, but can be pretty biased. This is not to say I’m exactly free of bias, but in the end, I will not be able to avoid the statistical results gathered from the masses (results that I will make public).

On the other hand, in the academic field, there does exist one or two case studies that try to correlate mentorship with student behavior (see my Building Reference Page). While case-by-case observations and reasoning can go a long way, it’s a small percentage of the bigger picture and often not enough to support/deny generalizing arguments (e.g. “students learn better on their own” or “higher mentor involvement opens up more opportunities for students” ).

I fully understand that FRC is a mentor-based program, and that the competition wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for all the mentors. However, I do believe there are different types of mentoring techniques – some might be better than others, some might be more suitable for different students, some might be more applicable in certain situations. I hope this study will provide a reference for both existing and future mentors who would like a data-driven guide for choosing mentoring methods that primarily focuses on increasing students’ growth, confidence, or interest in STEM.

Here’s a link to my project’s website, it explains a lot more in-depth why I’m doing this and how this research project works. I’ll also be constantly updating my progress on the website (and here too but probably only in short summaries).

And after I finish this research project, I will release both my final paper and all the statistics I collected (team numbers, names, and any other identifying information will be omitted).

Let me know down below if there are any questions or comments!


This sounds like a really cool project! I’ll be interested to read what you learn.

One small note - your home page says “All of the tests/surveys are designed short enough so build/sleep time during the season would not be compensated.” Do you mean “compromised”, as in participants won’t have to make a big time commitment? Or are you trying to say that participants won’t be paid for their time? (I’m guessing both are true, but the sentence is a little confusing as written and would benefit from being revised)


Thanks for pointing it out! I meant to suggest that this won’t be a big time commitment. Just changed the wording, hopefully it sounds better now.
As of paying participants, I obviously can’t afford to pay all participants… However, I’ve thought about creating a giveaway to incentivize participation. That needs to be verified by the school first though.

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A few updates:

The methodology abstract is out!!! Click here to see how experiments will be conducted.
If after reading the methodology, you think your team or a team you know would be suitable to participate, here’s a link to the Team Background Information Form.

I’ve been trying to contact 150+ randomly generated teams individually by email/social media, but the response rate so far is not ideal…

I’m really really really in need of more teams that are willing to participate… Especially teams with team numbers between 2000-6000 (so far I have none…)

It’s not a huge commitment, the first survey takes on average 2 min to complete (less than my estimated 5-10 min), the second and third each about 20 min.

Would really appreciate any help I can get!

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