International Space Settlement Design Competition

Mentoring Teams

Although the Space Settlement Design Competition was developed for participation by high school students, it is possible for non-students to provide assistance by mentoring participating student teams. This type of involvement in the Competition is recommended as an activity for Chapters or Sections of technical societies, and business or civic groups. Individuals who decide to mentor teams are advised to recognize this involvement as a serious responsibility, and to stay with the team until either the proposal has been submitted or the students on the team decide to discontinue the relationship. Mentors can do just about anything to help the team with the project, except that the students must do the actual design.

Usually the first step in the mentoring process is to find a teacher at a local high school who is interested in sponsoring a team of students in the Competition. This needn't be a big commitment for the teacher; mentors can do much of the work. It is the teacher's responsibility to inform students about this opportunity, gather the students into a team, and assure that the school administration is supportive of the Competition. Incidentally, sometimes classes (especially Physics classes) will compete, and use the Competition as a class project. Indeed, Competition materials are being successfully used to teach classes in both high school and college curricula. We know of some teams that have been mentored by an adult without assistance from a teacher in the school, although this is unusual.

Once the team is assembled, mentors can do some or all of the following to help: