Who can coach/mentor a FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge team?
Teachers, parents, and technology professionals all make excellent coaches. The coach must be 18 years or older and should have the desire to explore side-by-side with students and have good communication, prioritizing, and multitasking skills. The coach’s role is to facilitate instruction and optimize the learning experience of the team members by allowing independent thought. Direct adult involvement or intervention during the problem-solving process is strongly discouraged.
Coaches handle all the operational details: where and when to meet, organizing help for snacks, team costumes, etc. Coaches do not need technical expertise, but should be willing to acquire some basic knowledge of the programming environment and LEGO® robot building. As the leader of a FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge registered team, the coach will have access to robot kits, team Challenge kits, software and building instructional manuals from FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge.
Mentors can be anyone! Individuals from all backgrounds and disciplines who work with students to share their knowledge and guide them through the season. Many Mentors contribute on a weekly basis during the program season or support the team with subject matter expertise on an as-needed basis.
High school students or adults who provide technical assistance and guidance to a team can be mentors. Often a single person fills both the coach and mentor roles. Sometimes a single person coaches several teams while each team has their own mentor. Sometimes it is reversed. Mentors give FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge participants the opportunity to explore scientific principles and practices while working with a positive role model.