Mentors Sign Up Here
Thank you for your interest in the Real World Design Challenge. RWDC relies on a diverse cadre of mentors to provide support to participating teams. Mentors from a wide variety of backgrounds will be asked to provide guidance based on their own areas of expertise. No two teams will have the same needs so the support provided by mentors may take many different forms. Some possible activities include:
- Providing insight into the process of engineering design,
- Providing instruction in applying scientific principles to engineering design,
- Providing instruction in fundamental scientific and mathematical concepts,
- Providing instruction in making a business case for designs,
- Providing encouragement to teams,
- Providing a role model to young adults.
Who Are the Mentors?
Anyone who is currently employed as a scientist, mathematician, or engineer may volunteer to participate as a mentor. These professionals might be employed at Federal Agencies like the FAA, and NASA, Aerospace/Aviation related industry and higher education.
What Commitment does a Mentor make?
- Once registered, you will be contacted to confirm the information that will be placed on the RWDC site.
- Mentors must be available to work with teams until the completion of the State competition, December, 2016.
- Teams that qualify for the National Challenge will be expected to contact their mentor and request their continued participation through the completion of the competition in April 2017.
- Teams will choose mentors to fit their needs. This may mean that individuals who volunteer to mentor may not be contacted by a team.
- Individuals who wish to volunteer as mentors are free to define the boundaries of their participation as they wish.
- Mentors are asked to specify the number of teams they are willing to assist.
- Mentors may place limits on the time they are willing to commit to the mentorship process.
- Mentors are able to identify the content areas in which they will provide assistance.
- Mentors ARE NOT expected to learn the Engineering software or provide advice or guidance in an area outside of their expertise.
Mentors Should be Willing to:
- Present science, engineering and mathematics concepts in a fun and exciting way.
- Stimulate creative thinking and problem solving processes.
- Help students experience the satisfaction of solving real world problems.
- Provide advice on science, math and engineering principles.
- Act as a resource for the team regarding science, engineering and mathematics.
- Act as a role model for the students.
- Keep the team informed of the constraints on the mentor’s time and availability.
- Provide honest advice that is developmentally appropriate for the students.
Mentors may also Choose to:
- Provide career advice for students concerning opportunities in science, mathematics and engineering.
- Write letters of recommendation for students based on the mentor’s knowledge of the student’s abilities.
Mentors Should NOT:
- Provide a solution to the Challenge for the team.
- Share information on a team’s strategy with another team. A team’s approach to solving the Challenge should be considered the intellectual property of that team.
- Share a team’s login password with anyone. Each team’s information will be securely stored on Windchill. The password should not be shared with other teams or unauthorized personnel.
- Share personal information with the team.
- Attempt to elicit personal information from the team members.
How Will the Students Select Their Mentors?
Students will also have the opportunity to choose up to four mentors based on the mentors’ expertise. Once an RWDC team logs in to their team site, they will be provided with a complete list of registered mentors. The mentors will be subdivided into three categories based on current employment: Industry, Academia & Government (included federal agencies and National Laboratories). As part of this list, students will quickly be able to view a mentor’s name, organization and the technical areas in which they are willing to provide support (Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Aviation Design, Other).
How Will a Mentor Know if They Have Been Chosen?
A student or coach will contact the individual by their listed preferred method of contact. Once an individual agrees to mentor a team, the team will provide access to their Windchill account. This will allow the mentor to view the team’s documents. The Windchill interface will also provide a record of the collaboration between the team and the mentor.
How Will the Mentors Interact With the Students?
Communication will occur through the Windchill web based collaboration software environment. Windchill is provided by Parametric Technology Corporation. Mentors will be invited to the school team’s site and provided with a password. All of the team’s work will be posted on their site. This will allow the mentor to review work and provide feedback at a time that is convenient to the mentor. The mentor should visit the site and provide weekly feedback on the work. Additional communication may occur by email or phone as needed. Email communication will be done through Windchill so that all email traffic can be managed and archived as a record of the team’s collaboration efforts.
Resources for navigating Windchill are provided on the RWDC website: In addition, PTC will provide a series of webinars designed to answers and provide additional support and training.