We are not shy about our lack of FTC knowledge and when we need help, we start knocking on doors, sending out emails, and hitting the phone. Because, once we have the “know-how,” we will certainly pay it forward, but what we know now, is NOT MUCH! It’s great, when fellow students can come out and really work with team members one-on-one. They provide a knowledge base and interaction that is much different than an adult mentor. Many times, they know where you’ve been, can anticipate your questions and can give realistic advice with regards to your team’s capabilities and timeframe. We have been fortunate to have found such a individual in FTC Student Mentor, Andrew Smith, former Captain of team, Smoke & Mirrors. You know when this guy shows up, there is going to be some serious help going on!
Andrew and John David were FLL teammates back in 2008. Older and much more experienced, Andrew is able to provide Brick Buddies team members valuable insight on the best way to build a frame, which Drives work best in which situations, why gearing it ‘this way’ is preferable to ‘that way,’ that is perfectly typical to make 5 orders to PITSCO in 6 weeks! That bolting and un-bolting the frame 20 times is normal and if you aren’t doing that, then you aren’t really building! We recommend to any Rookie team, that finding a regular Student Mentor can be a tremendous asset. While Andrew isn’t able to attend every practice, we are fortunate that he attends an IB high school right across the street from where we practice and is willing to stop by after school for what we affectionately dub, “Andrew On-Call” time.