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GEAR Competition

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Frequently Asked Questions - Mentors

  1. What if Iím not an engineer or a scientist?
  2. How much time will be required?
  3. Where does the mentoring take place?
  4. Can I choose the high school that I mentor?
  5. Do I need any training or preparation before the kickoff?
  6. How much can I help the students?
  7. What makes this different from other activities I can volunteer for?

  1. What if Iím not an engineer or a scientist?
    Mentors can and have come from any field. Itís more important to feel motivated to inspire a young student than to have a technical degree.
  2. How much time will be required?
    How much time is dependent on how motivated you and your students will be to do your BEST. We have found that competitive teams met 3-4 times a week for several hours at a time. Ideally, six mentors per team reduces individual time requirements, as they can rotate times that they need to be present.
  3. Where does the mentoring take place?
    Usually at the participating high school or at other facilities compatible with the teamís requirements.
  4. Can I choose the high school that I mentor?
    We ask that each mentor list their top three preferences from the list of competing schools. SA BEST will do everything it can to honor the top choice while balancing the need to assure an even distribution of mentors.
  5. Do I need any training or preparation before the kickoff?
    No, but we suggest you find more mentors to help you - the more the better!
  6. How much can I help the students?
    We leave that to the mentorís judgment but the spirit of SA BEST is to guide the students to discover their own solutions.
  7. What makes this different from other activities I can volunteer for?
    Instant feedback. In six intense weeks, students go from a blank look when they see the jumble of parts in the kit, to solid confidence knowing that they worked as a team, solved a major problem, and received the heartwarming endorsement of their adult mentors. The change is stunning and one youíll never forget.