Petition to Diminish Mentor Involvement

Please sign the following petition to disallow mentors from going on to the field of play at FRC competitions. This includes not just drive coaching, but strategy, on field repair, etc. More details are included on the petition site. Thank you.

Link to petition

This has to be a troll job…

No, I’m just a concerned mentor. I would ask that you take the time to at least consider my viewpoint by viewing the petition and the description. Whether or not you choose to sign it is on you.

Description found on the petition site:

I really hope that this isn’t serious. Part of FIRST is the concept of students working alongside experienced mentors to develop new skills. Although during build season some teams should allow students to do a bit more of the work, the mentors play an essential role and should never be told to do less or not be allowed to help as much in competitions. I think where we stand right now is perfect.

I think regardless of intent, you’re petitioning the incorrect president.

Either way, this is hilarious.

You can tell kickoff is getting nearer when the same horse beating topic comes around again.

Recognize that the FIRST Robotics Competition is not a science fair and mentors should be required to work beside students.

The FIRST Robotics Competition, founded in 1992 by inventor Dean Kamen, is a robotics competition for pre-college students. Teams have 6 weeks to respond to a design challenge and fabricate a robot to compete against other teams from around the world, culminating in the FIRST Championship held annually in St. Louis.

Unfortunately, the competition, which is meant to introduce students to STEM and establish a fair playing field for all teams, currently allows minimal mentor involvement on the field of play. Mentor involvement, while important in the build process, is is significantly more important on the field as dealing with high pressure situations is an important teaching moment. Not requiring mentors to be present on the field of play diminishes the goals of FRC by forcing students to face a stressful situation alone and unguided.

Bolded was changed.

This ought to be fun to watch.


I’m liking Andrew Schreiber’s changes

It’s just a bummer someone’s joke is potentially going to draw possible attention from outsiders (hopefully not).

Teams go to the white house almost every year representing FIRST, something like this petition makes the organization publicly look bad.


We do not need any more regulations from the government, especially ones restricting the awesome program FIRST is.

Why not bring this suggestion to FIRST? It seems like this is trying to above and around what is in place already.

OP is hilariously misinformed.

…by forcing students into stressful situations, so that they can make mistakes and learn from them, just as in building robots and engineering in general.

Liking the changes!

To the OP, please just use the search function on CD and save yourself what this thread is about to become… getting old :deadhorse:

But what if a student makes a mistake and gets so disenchanted through FIRST that they no longer have any interest whatsoever in STEM because they think they’re horrible at it?

Oh, I almost forgot

It’s that time of year again

I think that without guidance it is hard to learn anything, and that is the problem. Imagine that you’ve never gone swimming before, and have no idea how to swim. Would you prefer that someone just chucks you in the lake, or would you prefer if someone was there to aid you when you need help, and let you go when you don’t need help?
Mentors give team members the guidance they need and steer them into the right direction.

Let’s not bring politics into this, but if he wants to bring this up with FIRST, emailing FIRST HQ or asking Frank might be the way to do it.

Regardless of all of that, I think FIRST has made it clear through their ambiguity and refusal to address the mentor vs student nonsense that it honestly is up to the team to decide how much the mentors should be involved. Many times have people complained and emailed FIRST about mentors being coaches and on the field, etc, but many times FIRST has ignored or gone the other way and promoted mentor involvement on the field.

I was hoping for an actual argument on the petition page (out of curiosity), but there’s nothing…

Right. We do something like this, we’ll have a field full of these:

How inspiring is that?