Mentors Wanted

We need people that want to make a positive change.

forestveiwAre you interested in a wonderful part-time position that people would pay to do? Robot U is looking for qualified Mentors to teach its robotic classes to elementary and middle school students through out the area. Not many jobs offer an opportunity to work just a few hours a week with children and LEGO robotics. To understand what the position is  you should understand what Robot U stands for and why it was started.

The concept for this company was conceived when a FIRST® organization school organizer called a meeting for the previous year’s FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) and JR LEGO® League (JrLL) coaches to give feedback on the programs first year.

As one of those coaches I, Don Gronning, the morning of the meeting laid out what I thought were some of the short comings of the program and what could be done to improve the next years’ experience. One of the things that I felt was the greatest hindrance to the students having a positive experience was the lack of familiarity with the MINDSTORMS® robotic systems.

I strongly believe that the FLL is a tremendous opportunity for children to become immersed in S.T.E.M. learning’s while having a great time, but I came to see there were significant hurdles and variations between what the students knew and understood about the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® system. I believed that students would benefit greatly from a program that teaches how to use MINDSTORMS® in a sequential fun way that offers maximum hands on time with the kits and software. Having a firm grasp of the kits abilities would in turn free up time and energy for creativity in the competitions, thereby making the whole experience that much more enjoyable. I saw a need and no satisfactory solution available in the market place. The companies that did offer some form of robotics didn’t seem to offer a goal of achievement.
I also feel that the strength of MINDSTORMS® as a S.T.E.M. class would be something I would sign my own son up for without a second thought, with or without the FLL. I feel it was a great first step for students to develop an interest in engineering and programming while having fun.

So I started Robot U and set about making a company that I could be proud of.

Robot U’s Mission
To offer parents a worthy enrichment program for their financial investment and their child’s time that both expands their students grasp and develops their sense of confidence in science, technology, engineering, and math while learning the cooperation and team building skills that will serve them well in to the future and put them on the path to higher learning and success, all while having fun.  

Robot U believes in the youth led learning experience.  This experience happens when it is impressed upon the students that they are the ones responsible to get the most out of the class. That beyond the lessons, that the Mentors are not there to give the answers to problems, but to just supply the resources and the gentle guidance of a properly asked question, like “what‘s different now than what you had before?” or “what do you think would happen if…?”.

The primary responsibility of the Mentor is to set a good example of behavior, problem solving techniques, respect, cooperation, professionalism, and enthusiasm. They are there to encourage success and to demonstrate that failure is a doorway to a solution. Robot U believes that when the student comes up with the answers themselves they have just developed the skills to be a self-learner, a young scientist, and a much better student.

Robot U mirrors and embraces the values put forth by the FIRST organization.

The person/s we are looking for to be a Mentor possesses some these qualities;

  1. They genuinely enjoy working with children
  2. They don’t think they have to be the children’s friend
  3. They are professional in their demeanor (that doesn’t mean stogy)
  4. They are encouraging
  5. They embody good manners
  6. They like to have fun while working and can relate that quality to children (a whistle while you work mentality).
  7. They are punctual
  8. They are organized
  9. They are articulate and aware of what, how, and to whom they are saying it.
  10. They take responsibility vs. waiting to be given responsibilities
  11. They expect children to clean up after themselves and guide them to do so
  12. They understand not all children have the same needs
  13. They can control their class
  14. They are sensitive to the needs of the class to burn off some energy and can direct them through some positive physical activities if needed
  15. They are inventive and problem solvers themselves
  16. They do not give out rewards without merit and understand it’s the hard won prize that is most valued
  17. They understand the gravity of being responsible for someone else’s child
  18. They know better than to argue with a child or parent
  19. They are able to set clear boundaries and expectations for children
  20. They know that you don’t ever shame a child
  21. They can relate an issue professionally and sensitively to a parent about their child, if not, relay the issue to Robot U if necessary
  22. They can excite a group of children
  23. They can relax a group of children
  24. They need to be computer proficient
  25. They need to have reliable transportation

In addition, these would be a plus

  1. They are active in FIRST or have been
  2. They have engineering skills
  3. Have worked with children before
  4. Been or are active in a robotics club

So the ideal Mentors would be seniors in high school, college students, retired or under employed engineers and professionals that are or have been involved in FIRST. If you haven’t been involved with FIRST, but still exemplify many of our values we would still be interested, so if you think you have what it takes and would like to work for us we would love to hear from you. We offer a nice wage and are the ideal company to work for if you are only looking for a part time job that is both challenging and a lot of fun.
Would you like to fill out an Application?

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