So, you're not an engineer! How do you help your team??

In response to THIS THREADwhich seemed to have caused a bit of confusion/controversy of what an Engineer is (and who is an Engineer) I have decided to see how everyone else who is not an “Engineer” so-to-speak helps their team?

How do you help your team??
What path have you chosen to pursue as a career in life? (AKA: What do you want to to be when you grow up?)
Does this future have anything to do with how you help your team currently?

Adult mentors:
How do you help your team?
What’s your current career?
Is this related to what you help out with on the team?

As for me, I am an adult mentor on Team 237. I am pursuing a CAD degree from a local college and help with CAD on my team when needed to.
(I do not consider myself an engineer by any means BTW…)
I also do a variety of other duties on the team including but not limited to:
Coaching (occasionally), Light mechanical duties on the robot if needed to, Clean out the team’s closet… (ugh… lol), and help with web-page design and critiquing/giving our web team feedback…

This is weird. I really don’t know. Sure, I do the strategy, scouting, and other media and PR bits, but it seems like there is more. I don’t know, I feel weird when I think of it.

OK, enough of you guys being the shrink…

I work on PR, media, scouting, and strategy, and I hope to cross over to the student head field next year. If you saw the video feed we had at Champs this year, that was my work, same with the preview video from this year. We also set up a cool little scouting system and that worked good. When I go to college I hope to do computer science and/or computer information systems.

Well, I’m kinda in limbo on those questions, but lemme take a stab at the questions.

This year, I did some of almost everything…programmed a couple of lines, bolted some things down, cut down a shopping cart…a jack of all trades (but master of none). I also scouted at Palmetto, although the data was largely a waste due to the lack of use.

This fall, I will be attending the University of South Carolina studying elementary education. I do not plan to become an engineer (noun), although I certainly hope to engineer (verb) in the future. (Alright, so ghettofab might be the better descriptor, but in the meanwhile…)

I help my team with everything except programming and sheet metal fabrication. Hopefully in 4 years from now, I can call myself an engineer. :slight_smile:

I heckle. Alot. I also do lots fabrication and driving, but those are not nearly as important as the heckling. the burning desire to prove me wrong was one of my team’s main motivations. :ahh:

I’m pretty much the jack-of-all-trades.

I lead in the Programming, Electronics, Animation, CAD, and the website, and then I work on the Mechanics and Design as well, pretty much everything but Media. Oh, and I also did the drive testing and I was the Coach at competition, and also did some scouting with regards to which of the teams to really look out for at competition, and I was the President.

I aspire to be either some sort of engineer (EE, perhaps) or an architect, either way I hope to work with FIRST for as long as I possibly can.

there are many things for non engineers to do on our team.
Our team also recently started doing animation…we trained a whole bunch of students this summer. Our coach has been wanting us to learn it for the longest time, but we didn’t have anyone to teach us. We finally raised enough funds this year to train everyone interested in animation for free.
We also have to do a lot of marketing in order to raise money. We have a marketing committee who writes letters, organizes visits to different businesses, and organizes fundraising events. I am the student marketing director, as well as other things.
Another important non engineering job on our team is robot/crate aesthetics. Our team has been lacking in art on both our robot and crate for many years. This year, however, we finally decided to decorate our robot a little…we painted our pull-up arm blue and used chrome tape for the lettering. I also drew a couple of question marks on the lexan sheild once when I was bored. Right now, we have to get our crate looking better though…we have used the same one for at least 3 years and while it looks nice a bright blue, I think some bright yellow question marks painted on it would look really cool.
Scouting is another non engineering job. It is really importrant for us to be able to gather information on other teams. Back when we had about only 3 or 4 members onthe team, it was impossible to scout; when it was time to pick alliance partners we just took random guesses as to who we should pick. Now it is alot better…we have about five or six people at a time in the stands gathering information and entering it into a database.

overall, i think there is a lot of non engineering roles on the team. Almost anyone can find their place.

Oooh, life story time.

I’m happy to say that I’ve worked on every aspect of the team’s development since I joined, with the notable excption of programming/electronics (because that job’s for softies :p). First year, I spat out prototypes at a blinding speed and helped out a little with our successful Chairman’s bid. I knew far more than anyone in my year, but I also had much to learn. This was satiated by how much work I put into the actual final assembly of the robot that year, simply because there was a low turnout starting with exams and never really ending. By my second year, my brother and I were the two main designers and builders on the team. While he did the gearbox, it was often Steve W and I protoyping the function in Mr. Anderson’s garage, sometimes alone (you’d be scared too). I put in some machine shop time on our gearbox as well, but that department was handled almost exclusively by Tristan. This was probably my most engineering-oriented year, which was not only out of necessity, but also out of interest in doing that kind of stuff. I got to be the human player, and only incurred one penalty, which happened in our final match on Curie in an ambitious six-two-stack, but it didn’t matter anyway. I was a ****ing good human player. But by 2004, I was by far the most experienced student on the team; this meant that I had to start working in a leadership role and offer smaller contributions to every aspect of the team, from writing the Woodie Flowers essay with J Flex, to designing our website. Then I took over dutes as driver. It left a lot less time for engineering, most of which I did at the machine shop on our behemoth trannies. Yeah, you know the ones. Anyway, recently I’ve been picking up the slack for my year’s low contributions to the team.

I see a trend of jacks-of-all-trades in this thread, but perhaps that isn’t surprising on a FIRST-themed forum. Now, all these engineering overtones, and my engineering roles on the team would suggest I become an engineer. I certainly enjoyed playing them. But nope, I’m too self-respecting to become an engineer. Try lawyer.


Ok, I confess, I started it. Aparently I am not an engineer (at least to some people).

I program. I am the programming team.

Jonathan to become a lawyer you will have to learn to take your hands out of your pockets so that you can put them into others. :slight_smile:

As a mentor ( I can’t say adult because some say that I never grew up ) I provide cookies, donuts and snacks. Well that’s part of it. I work for Bell Canada as a tech. I love the trouble shooting aspects of my job. I tend to be a project oriented person that gets bored of day to day routines. I also am a jack of all trades. This year I learned pneumatics, I help with design, I cut with the table saw (no comments from our team please), I put together and take apart and then put back together, I try to challenge the students and mentors, I also am a pain in the neck. I stir up trouble, play practical jokes (Hinkel, that washer is on backwards again) and try to inspire. I try to do all aspects of the robot if I can. I stay out of the way of programmers (they are already handicapped) and any aspect of paperwork.

I am also an embarrassment to the team. For some reason they don’t like to be seen with me but I still wear the colours proudly. I try to promote FIRST and our team. I do some fund raising (still #1 chocolate bar salesman) and I try to be available to help were I can.

Most of all I attempt to remember that FIRST is about the students. I try to do whatever I can to help them to be the best that they can. I am also jealous that I never had this opportunity when I was in school. But then when I was in school we were learning about a device that filled many rooms and was the newest and latest invention. Known today as the computer. :o

I am lucky that I had the opportunity to help out in almost every part of the team. My main role on the team is programming and manipulating the robot arm, but I seem to have memorized all the mechanical stuff about the robot, and also be on the volcano crew for a while, it was great education and fun.

In the future, I plan either for mechanical engineering, bio-genetic engineering or something in the media field. My role on the team definitely relates to all these, I have been the camera man for many events last off-season.

I love robotics, it has a spot for every kinda future career a student chooses.

I could not have expected as much to happen to me by joining robotix. My career aspirations changed, just everything is different then expected. During competitions im the main driver, and also learned alot about the mechanical aspects over the year, so i help out in pits, and refurbishing during times with no competitions. I also spent times as head scout, so i pretty much did alot and experienced alot all in one season.

Im thinking i wanna double major in Mech Eng(possibly or some other type of Eng) and Business. I never wouldve wanted to be an engineer without it. I always wanted to do something in sports management, and this gave me another, more realistic option.

And all the stuff i plan on doing in my life, i try to use in robotix. Next year i think im going to help out with the business aspects of the team and also be more involved in the build and pits.

I agree, and I just wish that in the future, the scholarship opportunities available to students who participate in FIRST will be more than just engineering based scholarships.

In these past months I’ve found that engineering is not for me but I did however discover something I’m really good at and that is talking to people. So what I do for my team is I help search for the new sponsors every year. eh it’s not a bad gig. :cool:

On RAGE I was the Human player for WPI Battlcry 4 and Bash at the Beach last year, and HP for UTC Regional, The Championship Event, and WPI Battlecry 5. I also do a lot of random things on the team. I learned the basics of Mastercam and CNC machining this year, to produce our teams sprockets as well as some for teams 809, and 195, along with the designing and fabricating of our Team awards this year. I am trying to learn PHP for our website this coming season and thats pretty much it.
Also I am not quite sure what I want to do yet, possibly something to do with machining but I am not sure.

I’m a student on 1071. I specialize in manufacturing (machineing). I’m an apprentice tool maker for Utitec Inc. which does ultra precision machineing, so I pretty much can machine anything square, rectangular, round, from aluminum material (light and soft) to CPM 10V (very hard and heavy) material. I can machine just about anything you could imagine. If team 1071 needs a part pretty accurate i could machine by hand up to .0003" to .0005" (ten thousandths) tolerences if they need me to.(Usually in robotics we’re just handed parts and use dial calipers and stuff just to get sizes close within a few thousandths of the size they need) In the future I hope to become a general manager or plant manager at a manufacturing shop and get a degrees in mechanical engineering and some type of business administration degree.

Over the last four years I’ve done some of pretty much everything with the exception of animation and programming.

I like mechanical stuff the best. I do CAD, design, build, all that good stuff.

The last two years I’ve done a lot of leadership stuff along with most of the day to day runnings of the team.

I’ve also been lucky enough to get to actually go out on the field and compete one way or another for the last three years.


Adult mentors:
How do you help your team? I’m the team co-leader and usually, do many things to help the team, both administrative stuff and technical stuff, such as;
planning and reviewing the budget, participating in the leadership committee meetings where most of the travel type decisions are made, recruit company employees, act as the communication link to the rest of the engineers and company management, and approve spending requests. I lead the brainstorming at kickoff, lead the fabrication and assembly of the robots. I plan the robot build - maintain the schedule and assure the weight requirement is met. Help out with the design of the robot, hold daily lunchtime design/build review meetings during the build cycle, and assist in maintaining the Bill of Materials. I order parts and material needed. I usually work with the drive team - selection and tryouts as well as, practice with them and on the field coaching (sometimes). I am on the Pit team, set up tear down, and help maintain/repair the robot during the events. I work very closely with the team leaders at the school to make sure we are all on the same page regarding our goals and aspirations.

What’s your current career? At this time I am leading the implementation of Configuration Management at our division and work closely with all of the business functions but mainly deal with Engineering and Information Technology (IT) departments. I have a MS and BS in Management, but started out going for a BS in Engineering, but then changed my career choice to Secondary Education (Industrial - Drafting, Machine Shop, etc.) Landed a great Design job just before the 2nd to last semester in my senior year and worked in Design/Engineering for many years. While working, I choose to finish up on my education by pursuing a Business degree at night. I had aspirations of managing or starting my own business someday. In fact, I did manage our Design Services group and Prototype Administration group prior to this last assignment. In the evenings (during the off season), I teach class at Baker College in Auburn Hills. I usually teach Mechanical Drawing, CAD, and Design type classes.

Is this related to what you help out with on the team? Yes, I think the things that I do or have done during my career are very related to what I do for our team. I would encourage everyone to give being part of a FIRST team a try, as I tell folks when recruiting at work - the only requirements for participating is 1) you are committed to encouraging students to consider a career in Science and Technology, and 2) you really care about helping students. Everyone has something to offer - theres plenty to do to keep a team going and maintaining a successful program.

The way that I helped my team can be described in two letters. P.R. I have a very large mouth (as anyone who knows me well knows) and I am not afraid to talk to people. I have done not only a lot of documentation on the HOT Team, but I have also shown a lot of people in FIRST “a new perspective of the team.” I’m very proud of the work that I’ve been able to do, even though I’m not an engineer.

Plenty. plenty you can do to help your team

try FLL, even if youre not an engineering oriented person you can help these kids. if your team doesnt mentor an FLL team, look into the matter if you have the resources.

if you dont have the resources, look into your teams fundraising situation, begin by identifying local sponsors and work upwards from there, look over cover letters, proposals, presentations and deliver a well-versed appeal for funds.

build season, LEARN. im looking to do so much more machining and whatever else on 188 next year based on the fact i know i can handle the non-techinical side of it with the same speed and precision say tristan would have on those gearboxes (hahahahaha).

read the rules, interpret them for your team, handle things like meeting organisation, whos going to bring food, documentation of the season, awareness in school and everything else in between. theres plenty to do. plenty.