I mentor because I want to give others the opportunities I wish I had as a kid. The spark someone gets in their eyes when you show them the wonders of engineering, or just teach them anything gives you a feeling like no other. That’s why I mentor.

July 21, 2015

Volunteering for FIRST

FIRST is truly a volunteer driven organization. With close to 27,000 teams in four programs worldwide, it takes a large and diverse group of volunteers to make FIRST successful; Mentors and Coaches guide the kids on their teams, Event Volunteers make the hundreds of seasonal events possible and field volunteers continue to help FIRST grow season after season.

Whether you have four hours on a weekend to help, want to mentor for a length of time, have technical or non-technical expertise, there is a volunteer role suited to your unique interest.

Become a FIRST volunteer and you’ll find a community of like-minded, dedicated individuals and a sense of camaraderie, excitement, and joy while working For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST).

Volunteering as a Mentor

Teams Need Mentors – With Wide Ranging Skills

Since the September 2002 founding of Colorado FIRST, visibility and interest has exploded! Schools from Fort Collins to Grand Junction to Colorado Springs to Denver are working to field teams for the competitions. Major corporations are working to provide financial, facility, and other support for these teams. However, to succeed, they need adult mentors who can help the teams organizationally and technically.

Do you have professional or personal experience or interest in:

  • Engineering
  • Electronics
  • Robotics
  • Computer programming
  • Computer Aided Design
  • Animation
  • PR, marketing, and communications
  • Finance and fundraising
  • Team organization and operations

If you are interested in any of these, you can be a mentor.

What you will do as a mentor?

A FIRST mentor:

  • Inspires students
  • Motivates and engages students in the meaningful activities
  • Creates open communication
  • Facilitates instruction and has students do as much work as possible

Mentoring is the process by which an experienced person provides advice, support, and encouragement to a less experienced person. A mentor is a teacher or advisor who leads through guidance and example. On a FIRST team, the mentor’s goal is to actively share wisdom and knowledge with the students to foster intellectual growth. Mentors need to help each other discover ways of adapting instruction to reach every student on the team. The mentors and students are equal and become united through a partnership where each works collaboratively toward a mutual and beneficial goal.

The team mentors work with the students to learn technical and organizational skills needed to build a robot and compete as a unified team. You will help the team design and implement a robotic system to compete in a specific competitive environment. In addition to having fun, you will have a profoundly positive impact on our children, our schools, and our community.

Time Commitment

Time commitment is a highly individual thing – there is no one answer. It can be as little as a few hours per week for just a couple of weeks, to back-to-back days for one to two weeks, to a whole bunch for those that choose. The only meaningful answer comes out of attending a team meeting and/or talking with a Team-Leader and agreeing on that piece with which you are personally comfortable committing. It is always your choice.

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Review Mentor Resources

If you want to mentor but don’t have a connection to a team, please let us know more about you, including where you live and work, what type of team you are interested in mentoring and what your area(s) of expertise are.

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Volunteering at an Event

FIRST LEGO League Jr. Season

Late Spring – Fall Team formation and organization
September Mission Announced and Season Begins
November – March Various Local Expos

FIRST LEGO League Season

Late Spring – Fall Team formation and organization
September Mission Announced and Build Season Begins
November – January Various Local and State Tournaments

FIRST Robotics Competition Season

Summer – Fall Team formation and organization
November Registration and Payment Deadlines
January Kick-Off of Six-Week Build Season
March/April Regional/Championship Competitions


FIRST Robotics Competition Regional Competition

To have a successful Regional Competition, we need over 90 volunteers. Volunteer positions are listed below. Your commitment can be as short as one day up to the entire three day event (some roles require a multi-day commitment). Don’t worry about not having the right skills or knowledge; all of the volunteer jobs are easy to learn and fun to do. You can even volunteer as a group and work with a group of your friends.  Our volunteers have so much fun that they look forward to it as a sort of vacation each year! We do require that our volunteers be at least 16 years old.

Click here for a list of volunteer positions available at the Colorado Regional Competition

Click here to volunteer for the Colorado Regional Competition (please remember that we require that our volunteers be at least 16 years old.)

FIRST LEGO League Competitions

FIRST LEGO League competitions usually are held on Saturdays from mid-November through early January depending upon venue availability. The volunteer needs for each event depend upon the size of the competition.

FIRST LEGO League Jr. Expos

FIRST LEGO League Jr. expos are usually held from mid-November through March depending upon venue availability. Duties for volunteers at these events range from crowd control to welcoming guests and participants.

FIRST LEGO League Jr. presents the perfect opportunity to get the whole family involved. Parents, grandparents, siblings, and others can all take an active role in this exciting program.

Check out the FIRST LEGO League Jr. Expo Volunteer Positions and the FIRST Volunteer Resources page. Must be 13 years old or older to volunteer.

The volunteer needs for each event depend upon the size of the competition. Please check the ColoradoFIRST Jr.FLLpage for detailed information as available.

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To register as a FIRST event volunteer please go to our VIMS system.  You can choose the program and the event as well as indicate your interest in a role and indicate your availability.  Once you have completed the volunteer registration and screening process and the event you registered for is a month or two away, you will be contacted by the volunteer coordinator for that event to confirm your role.  From May through August the VIMS system undergoes updates in preparation for the upcoming seasons so may not be available.  VIMS is updated with new events as they are confirmed so check back if you don’t see the event you want to register for. Thank you for volunteering for FIRST!