How to teach newbies

Hi, this year, our team has 2 unexperienced people. Because we are a middle school team, it’s not uncommon to have lots of new kids come in. We don’t really remember how I was “taught”? And we have to teach them to a competent level…
Could you all give us tips for teaching new kids?


What is their “purpose” on the team, meaning what is their role on the team? If it is to program, you of course just need to teach them the language, or have them learn online by themselves. There are plenty of resources available for that.

If their role is building, explain basic concepts such as the purpose of using bearing blocks, the importance of keeping things low friction, and just general things like that. The rest can’t really be taught. It must be learned over time. Of course, you could attempt to start teaching physics concepts, but in my opinion, that’s just better learned over time.

I’m not sure what their roles are yet. We didn’t meet that much yet and I’m also scared that they won’t really work and research by themselves to learn. Do they need to research by themselves to step up their game?

I have the same situation on my team. The best thing you can do is assign a role based on their interest or strong suits and then let them do as much hands on work as you can muster. Researching is important because it shows dedication but without going through all the experiences first hand they won’t know how to react to a situation. Let them make mistakes and show them how to fix them. Don’t get upset when they fail just use it as a learning experience for the both of you.

They don’t need to research by themselves to learn, but it’s pretty helpful. By researching, I mean looking up possible designs and keeping up with the latest discussion on the forum and whatnot. If their role is building, there’s not much that they need to look up online or research on their own. That knowledge just comes with experience and failing a lot.
Programming is probably the only aspect of a typical VEX team that will require them to look up information and tutorials if they don’t already know how to program.

I feel to teach someone new you need to know their learning style and account for it. For auditory learners teach them with a mentor, tactile learners need hands on experience, visual learners should work with a mentor a s well, although they need to be shown, not told. In the way of what they will be doing, account for strong suites, and ability.