Mentors and Coaches are individuals from all backgrounds and disciplines who work with students to share their knowledge and guide them through the season. Many Mentors and Coaches contribute on a weekly basis during the program season, or support the team with subject matter expertise on an as needed basis.
As a mentor or coach of a FIRST® team, you are, through the students, the key ingredient in the success of your team. Your contribution to the success of FIRST programs and ultimately to the success of FIRST is immeasurable.
Important Note regarding COVID-19
All FIRST Robotics activities worldwide have been suspended for the time being, based on guidance from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and local health officials, as well as the declaration of states of emergency across many jurisdictions. As of May 13th, 2020, the 2019-20 season has concluded, and all remaining Tournaments/Competitions have been cancelled. Efforts are now being made to prepare for the 2020-21 season, set to begin in August. Read the official statement from FIRST here: https://www.firstinspires.org/covid-19
Becoming a Coach or Mentor
The process of becoming a FIRST Mentor or Coach varies depending on which program you’re interested in.
The majority of the elementary school-level FIRST® LEGO® League Discovery, Explore, and Challenge division teams are coached by teachers, operating out of classrooms, or by parents, operating out of homes. The best way to get in touch with these teams and find coaching opportunities would be to reach out and send an email to Dave Ellis (Regional Director for FLL in Ontario).
When it comes to secondary school-level FIRST Robotics Competition teams, CU FIRST reaches out and collaborates with them directly, identifying what their mentoring needs may be. The best way to find mentoring opportunities is for us to do it for you! Just send us a message indicating your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org, let us know your skill set and areas of interest, and we’ll let you know when an opportunity becomes available!
Register to Coach/Mentor
There are a few steps you’ll need to take to become a FIRST Coach/Mentor:
- Register for a FIRST account
- Complete your User Profile, as well as the Consent & Release Form
- Complete the Youth Protection Program screening
- Reach out to:
Youth Protection Program
To ensure the safety of all participants, every coach, mentor, and adult volunteer must complete the Youth Protection Program. This includes a police background check every 4 years, as well as online training courses that cover topics like creating a safe environment, how to identify abuse, and the proper method to report code of conduct violations. For more information, please see the Canadian Section of the YPP Screening Guide, or the FIRST Resource Library.
Mentoring FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)
What does it mean to be an FRC Mentor?
FRC is so broad, and covers so many topics, teams often have mentors with many different areas of expertise, including:
- Project Management
- Provides an overview of project management concepts for team’
- Guides the team throughout the project life cycle
- Provides a basic overview of Marketing concepts
- Assists students with development and implementation of a Marketing Plan in coordination with the development of a Business Plan
- Assist the team in preparing a Business Plan, financial planning/budget for the season
- Organize and assists with fundraising efforts
- Programming/Software Engineering
- Assist team members with writing code to control robot in C++, Java, Robot C or LabVIEW (depending on program)
- Maintains process focus
- Electrical Engineering
- Assist team with wiring the robot’s power and signal system
- Assist and instruct the team members in the electrical and electronics systems on the robot
- Mechanical Engineering
- Provides assistance with design and construction of the robot
- Advise students on the safe use of tools and safety procedures
What is the time commitment?
As a Mentor or adult Volunteer, you should be meeting with your team at least several times per week during the build and competition season (January – April). Many mature teams also meet throughout the school year, and some compete in off-season events during the summer. You and your available free time can decide together how much time you can devote to the program.
Are there Teams in my Area?
Yes! There are several FRC Teams currently operating in and around Ottawa, Ontario. Check out the provided maps, driving directions, and transit routes to get to each one.
- FRC Team 2706 – Merge Robotics (Kanata)
- FRC Team 2994 – ASTECHZ (Kanata)
- FRC Team 3543 – C4 Robotics (Arnprior)
- FRC Team 4783 – RoboRavens (Nepean)
- FRC Team 7267 – Lisgar Robotics Club (Ottawa/Downtown)
- FRC Team 7476 – EOM Lions (Kanata)
- FRC Team 8072 – Tech Tigers (Ottawa/ Whitehaven)
- FRC Team 8073 – Electron Affinity (Ottawa/Westboro)
If you would like more information or would like to get in touch with any of these teams, send us a message using the Contact Us page.
Coaching FIRST LEGO League (FLL)
What does it mean to be an FLL Coach?
- Help the team set realistic goals
- Facilitate meetings and help the team to coordinate the work
- Administrative responsibilities such as tournament registration and communication
- Relay all aspects of FIRST LEGO League guidelines and rules to the team, other Coaches, Volunteers and parents
- Desire to work with children 4-14
What is the Time Commitment?
As a Coach, you should be meeting with your team once per week during the build and competition season (September – April). Many mature teams also meet throughout the school year, and some compete in off-season events during the summer. You and your available free time can decide together how much time you can devote to the program.
Are there Teams the Ottawa Area?
Yes! There are over 20 FLL Teams across all 3 Divisions currently operating in and around Ottawa, Ontario. A full list of teams can be found here.
If you would like more information or would like to get in touch with any of these teams, please contact Dave Ellis, Regional Director of FIRST LEGO League in Ontario at email@example.com