Tips and tricks for creating a successful project

Establishing a relationship
It is important to establish a good relationship with both the teacher and students.

Your first meeting should include an introduction about how you became an engineer. Don’t include technical detail that might intimidate them, just chat at a level suitable to their knowledge and experience.

Clarify goals and roles with the group
Right from the start the mentor, teacher and students need a common understanding of their roles. Teachers should understand that the engineer is to mentor the students rather than teach them, that they are volunteering their time and may have to cancel visits in favour of work, and should have clear objectives for the project. Your Facilitator will work with you and the group on this.

Set timelines for visits
It is helpful to have a project timeline and set meeting times (so that everyone has a feel for when tasks need to be done by.
At the end of each meeting you should indicate the next steps/ tasks for the students to complete and report back to you at your next visit

Guiding the students
Your role is to help the students to be creative and innovative, and to guide them when it comes to recognising possible solution or limitations to their ideas.
Students come up with the ideas and refine them; brainstorming and blue sky ideas are great.
Failure is okay, recognise when to change direction, and limitations.