We asked the FIRST Teams to write in about their mentors in anticipation of National Mentor Day. Here is what FIRST Team 957, 8471432 & 3673 wrote:
Now everyone always hears about the students on team 957, yet the mentors are barely even gossiped about. And the truth is as much as the students work we wouldn’t be here without someone to help guide and teach us along the way. I mean personally I’ve learned so much more then I dreamed and we’re only in week two. So here is a special thanks from all the students to the mentors; without you there would be no team, no direction, no kissed booboos (For Kevin) and most of all no robot. So here I present the mentors of team 957.
- Brian M: Court Appointed Special Advocate
- Mike D: Corvallis School District
- Steve M: Hewlett-Packard
- Greg L: Viper Northwest
- Andrew L: College
- Brennan M: Student, Brown University
- John VW: ATI Pacific Cast Technologies
- Ryan VW: The Dynamic Robotics Laboratory at Oregon State University
- John N: Samaritan Health Services
- Amanda E: Boeing
- Dean K
Mentors are a crucial piece to the reason FIRST works, the same ringing true within PHRED. Our team is chock full of these dedicated individuals, each one understanding how to help guide students to a solution—be it engineering, machining, electrical or marketing related—without completing the task for them. As our team captain said, “…I wouldn’t have joined PHRED if it were a team where the mentors built the robot…that would’ve just been a waste of my time.”
And with its current structure—cemented by quality instructors and interested students—PHRED is certainly not a waste of anyone’s time. So thanks to all the mentors, for robotics would not be the same without you!
Bill Atkinson — Object Manipulation
“These kids are our future and the future looks great!” — Bill Atkinson
Bill Atkinson is a mechanical engineer at Korvis. He joined PHRED in the first build season, left, and then came back 6 years later when his children were old enough to enjoy the benefits of the program. Bill is a year round mentor and helps with giving rides to sponsor presentations and other events.
Bruce Bricker — Object Manipulation
Bruce Bricker is a mechanical engineer who is very good at inventor and other CAD software. He is a returning mentor from the team’s beginning.
Ron Burchard — Frame and Structure
Ron Burchard is a mechanical engineer, and helps our students design and build the chassis for our robot.
Rob Fitzsimmons — Media
Rob Fitzsimmons is graphic designer at Summit Information Systems. He joined PHRED in 2005 and is our media mentor, coming in every month or so during the off season to keep in touch with our team.
Terry Heath — Electrical and Co-Lead Mentor
Terry Heath is the instructor for the robotics class at Philomath High School and one of our co-lead mentors. He joined PHRED halfway through its first build season in 2001, and helps set up off-season projects as well as weekly meetings.
Ed Payne — Finance and Fundraising
Ed and Linda Payne are the parents of a PHRED team member. Ed is the mentor in charge of making sure the team has enough money, as he hunts down new fundraising ideas and possible sponsors.
Tom Thompson — Programming
Tom Thompson first became part of the team as a science teacher at Philomath High School, and in 2002 was one of the mentors that helped get PHRED started. In the past Tom has been our pneumatics mentor, but this year he will be working with the software team.
Our lead mentor is Alan LohKamp. Mr. LohKamp is a retired businessman who has worked with the team from its inception. His two boys, Pat and Chris, were on the team the very first year. Mr. LohKamp is skilled at teaching basic hand and power tool use and getting us all those pesky parts that we don’t think we will need but do. He also keeps track of whether or not we are keeping on task. He’s good about letting us make mistakes and then helping us figure out how to fix them.
Pat LohKamp is an alumni mentor from the first year and a student at PCC in the metals program. He’s a real people person and helps us step beyond our comfort zone with strangers. He also helps us see the lighter side when things get heavy in the shop. Below you can see him teaching a freshman about power tools.
Chris LohKamp is also an alumni mentor from the first year team. Chris is our shop specialist and is a TA for the adult PCC metals program. He’s really good at teaching us proper shop technique and helping us make things. Sometimes he even gets us into the adult class to finish a project. Mr. Mahr, the founder of the team, speaks very highly of him and says if something needs to get done Chris is the one you want working on it.
Ejvin Berry is our Boeing mentor. He’s a project management specialist. He teaches a class on it at FIRST Fare. Ejvin just got married last spring and is a new father. Congratulations! Ejvin brought order to our chaos, a skill we will be able to use the rest of our lives.
Tim Barber is our other Boeing mentor. He’s been doing a lot of travel for Boeing but we expect to see more of him now that Kick Off is over. Tim is really good about helping us to focus on our goals and following through on them. He’s really good about getting us to set a date and asking us to e-mail him with our progress. This is a hard job when you aren’t used to doing it. But he’s patient and just keeps plugging away at us until we learn to do it.
George Hubel is our Go To guy for math and finances. He helped us figure out vectors and angles last year and we expect to be having him teaching us those same math principles this year. He is also the keeper of the team bank account so we are most appreciative of his help. Mr. Hubel will be retiring from Standard this July. We are hoping he won’t mind spending more time with us ‘cause we kinda like having him around. He always has some interesting minutia to share on almost any subject and it is frequently something we have never heard before but find very interesting.
Deb Hubel is Mr. Hubel’s wife and Thomas’s mother. Mrs. Hubel is the team mother as she keeps on all of us to get our permission slips in, class schedules and teacher lists, and keeps everything organized. If it weren’t for her we would drown in loose paper and garbage. She always makes sure we get the garbage cans out in the proper order and that we recycle everything possible.
Cameron Frisby is another alumni mentor. He graduated 3 years ago and is an engineering major at OSU so we only see him on weekends and school breaks. Cameron is good at decompressing tense situations and helping people see avenues they hadn’t considered before. He’s very encouraging when you’re feeling over whelmed by something. He’s also a lot of fun.
Mrs. LohKamp is our paper pusher and Health and Safety Officer. She makes sure that grants get turned in, letters get sent, cards get signed, and that contact information is recorded. She also keeps us updated on stuff from FIRST. She pretty fierce as a health and safety officer. She’s always on us about ear and eye protection. The really good thing is she’s a nurse so not much phases her.
We’re lucky that a lot of our alumni, 50%, come back when they are in town and very generous with helping us!
Team 3673’s greatest asset, right after Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition, is our coaches and mentors. The team would not exist without Head Coach Mike Brown and his inspiration to implement FIRST within the Seaside community. Dividing his time between teaching at Seaside High School and coaching, Mike Brown spent the last two years trying to get the C.Y.B.O.R.G. Seagulls off the ground. His dedication to our education is inspiring.
Another one of our mentors is Jason Clark. When he isn’t volunteering with our team, Mr. Clark is working for Columbia Machine Inc., designing industrial machinery. He assists our mechanics team and answers our tech questions. Mr. Clark offers advice, and makes us think about our problems, causing us to puzzle objectives out in our brain until coming up with an answer. Daniel Harris is another fantastic asset to our mechanical department. Mr. Harris, a retired engineer, provides our team with a life time of experience, which enables us to create fantastic products.
Sam Nelson graduated from Team 3673 in 2012 and is now studying to be a computer engineer at college, but he occasionally returns to Seaside to advise our programing team in coding the robot. If he isn’t in town, he’s only an email away! J.D. Wells, who is a retired web designer, is also available to assist the programers. Both Sam and J.D. provide us with valuable information and are helpful mentors.
We are extremely thankful for everything all of our mentors do for Team 3673! Thank you so much!