A FIRST mentor is not only a role model for the students, but also a guest of the team whose role is to assist the coach and to add an outside perspective for the team members. Frequently this perspective is that of a technology expert who provides engineering support for solving technical problems. The mentor's job is not to build the robots for the teams, but to give advice, support, and encouragement to the teams. The goal of a mentor is to share wisdom with the students and to create knowledge and foster intellectual growth. Mentors may provide guidance for structuring a technical approach, help solve specific problems, assist with computer programming, set up experiments to evaluate designs, and help with problem solving and troubleshooting. Although it is not required, mentors may also help the team out with other tasks such as giving guidance on their research assignment or helping the team with fund raisers.
FTC events are greatly dependent on volunteers to help things run smoothly, and there is a wide range of positions available for those who want to be involved (see this link to get more information about what is possible: FTC volunteer opportunities. Not only is it a rewarding opportunity to interact with kids but the events are high energy, big entertainment displays of amazing achievement by the teams. There are three basic steps to being a volunteer: