We asked the FIRST Teams to write in about their mentors in anticipation of National Mentor Day. Here is what FIRST Team 4132, 3192, 2542, 997 & 4110 wrote:
As a semi-rookie team, the David Douglas Scotbots, we are guided by the assistance of our mentors. Last year was the first year that we joined the FRC and without them, we probably would not have made it so far. It is the mentors that gave our team the little push that we needed to learn and improve because without them, our first robot probably would not have functioned as well. Our team currently has three mentors: Mark Gonzales, Mike Kurkland, and Chris Imondi. Chris works as a manufacturing engineer for Boeing, Mike works for the Leatherman Tool Group, and Mark is currently self-employed. Mark is our programmer, the brain of our robot while Mike and Chris are our building specialist. Without these mentors, our team would be missing out on the wonderful process of the production of a functional robot.
TigerBytes 3192 loves our mentors! We have so many mentors. They help all of our teams: FRC, FTC, OGPC, SeaPerch, and more. They are absolutely fantastic. They have taught us how to solder, cut metal, drill holes, and bounce ideas around. They have contributed common sense to some of our less than practical robot designs. They support us in our decisions and help to set us up for success. When we fall flat on our faces, they are the hand that helps us back up. They contribute so much time and effort to our team. Mr. Fulton, our lead mentor, gets us pizza when we spend Saturdays working on the robot. They give us rides to the competitions and other robotics events. They pay for our food, gas, and sometimes they even pay for robot parts (out of their own pockets). There is nothing our mentors will not do to help us. They are the best mentors a team could ask for!
- Mr. Eric Woodward – Physical Therapist at Providence St. Vincents
- Mr. Dale Daniels – New Product Development Manager at Tektronix
- Mr. Steve Fulton – Computer Science and Information Technology Teacher at Tigard High School
- Mrs. Bridget Fisher – Software Engineer at Tektronix
- Mr. Chris Gardella – Controls Specialist at Portland Engineering Inc.
- Mr. Matthew Gould -Senior Manufacturing Test Engineer at FLIR Systems, Inc.
- Mrs. Pamela Harrison – Computer Science Professor
- Mr. Denney Cole – Retired Physicist, Teacher, and Entrepreneur
- Mr. David Burnette – Director of Engineering at CALYPTO Design Systems
- Mr. Rob Stites – CEO at Quantum Identities
- Mr. David Emerson – Mechanical Engineer
- Mr. Russ Ellavsky – Project Engineer at Boeing Co.
- Mr. Chris Mooney – Automotive Technician at Landmark Ford
- Mrs. Stevie Viaene – Retired Math and Computer Science Teacher
- Mr. Scott Webster – Mechanical Engineer at Assist Design Co.
Mentors help us with everything, from planning the setup of the robot to forming an etiquette game plan. They often volunteer their own time to be with us, teaching us about the robot and other important aspects of teamwork. Without them, our team would not be where we are today. It’s been a great pleasure and privilege of the team.
Eric Eide from Boeing has been with the team for more than a whole year now, always supporting us and encouraging new ideas. Don Walker from Boeing joined us during a post-FRC tournament and helps with brainstorming and keeps the team from overworking.
Our last major mentor is Tim Kuebrich from ON Semiconductor. Being a former FRC team member, he brings the mentor and student gap together by helping both sides.
Our mentors are so crucial to us, so the whole of team 2542 would like to give a great shout out to their continued support and hope that we will live up to their expectations!
The Team 997 Spartan Robotics mentors are not only here to help but to teach as well. Team 997 has many mentors – a majority of the mentors work at Hewlett-Packard or are going to college at Linn-Benton Community College (LBCC) and Oregon State University. They spend their valuable free time to help us learn.
Autumn Greenley is the animation mentor, who is an LBCC, student getting a degree in computer science and electrical engineering. She does her best to answer questions and explain what the animators did wrong when needed. The mentors take their free time to teach skills and use their knowledge to provide the team with information for future careers.
Floyd Moore is one of the mechanical mentors from HP who helps with more then just robotics; he teaches the team that treating people with respect is not just important for the work place but in day-to-day life.
Team 997 is grateful for every one of their mentors; not for just teaching the team, but for taking their free time to help the students be successful in their futures.
Our mentor does robotics as a class along with being a science teacher at Brookings Harbor High School. The reason our mentor, Alain Chirinian, is so important to us is because I believe he is one of the most hard working. Since we live in a small town we do not have a lot of money and so he writes in for grants, such as the NASA grant. About 90 percent of our money comes from grants he receives. Aside from that, he stays until six or eight at night during the week for us to continue working on our robots and for a few hours on the weekend. He takes so much time away from his family time to make sure we succeed. Another disadvantage we have being a small town is we don’t have any machine shops that can help us. To make up for this he has supplied our classroom with almost all the tools we need to be self-sufficient in creating and building the parts we need on our own.
We may not be the best team, but Mr. Chirinian has taught us how to do so many things, such as manage our time when building both an FTC and FRC robot and the time it takes to make our own parts, learning things on our own because he doesn’t have the time to teach us while watching over and helping three teams at a time with their own robots.