Team Handbook


The Drop Bears has three Sections: Mechanical, Media and Software. Students are either in Mechanical or Software and Media tasks are distributed throughout the team as we believe that it is vital that our students are involved to be able to well present our team. Students are expected to choose a primary affiliation, although they are free to change this affiliation as their interests change.

Section Leaders

Each Section is run by a Section Leader appointed by Management. This student is the primary point of contact for members of that Section for any matter related to the Team and its activities. The Section Leaders are part of Management who help to coordinate the various programmes run by the Sections.


Responsible for:

  • Managing finances for the team
  • Organising Student training
  • Overall Management of the team
  • Planning Off-Season and Build Season activities
  • Event Organisation


Responsible for:

  • Generating timetable for off-season meetings
  • Running Sunday meetings
  • Organising extramural activities
  • Project management of Build Season activities
  • Creating robot testing regime
  • Coordinating robot testing
  • Setting up and maintaining team org chart so that new members have a quick reference to the team
  • Establishing and maintaining lines of communication between Sections and all Team members

Section Leaders (All)

Responsible for:

  • Inducting new members into the Team
  • Marking the roll at Monday meetings and during Build Season
  • Moderating forums on Team website
  • Ensuring section members check emails and forums regularly
  • Setting an example for section members to follow
  • Setting up and managing their own section programs as part of the overall build program
  • Preparing budget for build and off season in conjunction with the business leader
  • Engaging with mentors and utilising mentor knowledge

Software Section Leader

Responsible for:

  • Training new members to use Team’s software workflow
  • Organising skills workshops around programming, sensing, control and related areas
  • Maintaining the Team’s computing resources
  • Producing 6 technical blogs/vlogs for the team website
  • Forming and training a Drive Team for competitions
  • In conjunction with software team, designing and writing suitable code to deliver appropriate drive capabilities and achieve competition specific actions for the robot within the competition rules schedule

Mechanical Section Leader

Responsible for:

  • Maintaining training/competency logs for section members
  • Organising workshop induction before Build Season
  • CAD/drafting of robot design
  • Performing tool stocktake once a year
  • Forming and training a Pit Crew for competitions
  • Provide input into testing regime
  • Appointing and training Safety Captain
  • Advising on safety procedures
  • Organising skills workshops around design, drafting, shop skills and related areas
  • In conjunction with mechanical team, designing and building robot drive base and competition suitable unit within the competition rules schedule

Media Section

Tasks are:

  • Maintaining Team website
  • Generating at least one blog/vlog each week during Build Season
  • Creating new website content at least once a month
  • Publishing team e-newsletter every two months
  • Adding one post weekly to Facebook on a topic related to the Team’s goals
  • Maintaining Team’s social media presence following each Sunday meeting
  • Creating end of year retrospective video

Code of Conduct

Members of The Drop Bears agree to:

  • Embrace the FIRST ethos of Gracious Professionalism.
  • Attend at least all training meetings, and at least 75% of Build Season meetings.
  • Wear appropriate clothing – think safety first, and wear safety glasses, closed shoes and tie up long hair whilst in the lab or during the competition.
  • Refrain from swearing and using other inappropriate language.
  • Respect the rights, dignity and worth of all participants - regardless of their gender, ability, or background.
  • Participate for my own enjoyment and benefit - not just to please mentors or parents.
  • Respect team property and resources, including the time of my teammates and mentors.
  • Respect the work environment of the ACFR researchers and do not tamper with any of the University equipment or facilities.
  • Speak to a mentor if I have an issue, feel unsafe or are concerned about anyone
  • Obey the instructions of the mentors without argument.
  • Keep current with team activities and requirements by checking the website and my email frequently.
  • Keep notes in a notebook of meetings, actions and any information relevant to the role that I have in the team.
  • Use the collaborative tools such as Google Drive and Github to share any of my work.
  • Ensure that I have the appropriate functioning resources such as charged laptops, USB sticks, camera, etc.
  • Conduct myself in a manner that reflects well on Team 4774 and its Sponsors.
  • Actively participate in all Team activities. Find a way to contribute to the Team at all times. No sleeping in meetings, playing with mobile phones, etc.
  • Strive to do my very best at all times.

The Code of Conduct is important enough that it is linked at the bottom of every page of this Wiki.

Mentor Programme

What Constitutes a Mentor?

Mentors are more than just volunteers. At heart, mentoring is a semi-structured way to share knowledge, skills and experience. Mentors provide guidance, help overcome challenges and fill in the gaps in the knowledge of those you seek to assist. If you are lucky, you might even inspire a few people along the way. Mentoring is more than just giving advice, or passing on your experience in a particular field or situation. It's about motivating and empowering others to identify their own issues and goals and helping them to find ways of resolving or reaching them. It’s not by doing it for them, or expecting them to "do it the way you did".

Some key attributes include:

  • Be committed both in your time and a willingness to share skills, knowledge and expertise you have gained.
  • Listen, be open-minded, compassionate and value the opinions and initiatives of others.
  • Be constructive, provide guidance and constructive feedback.
  • Have patience and be empathetic, we all have "stupid" questions or just "don't get it" sometimes.
  • Exhibit enthusiasm, demonstrate a positive attitude to others and in the field in which you are offering support.
  • Motivate others by setting a good example, set and meet ongoing personal and professional goals and act as a positive role model.
  • Respect and be respected, by students and colleagues in all areas of the team.

Mentors need to be readily accessible and prepared to offer help as the need arises, within agreed bounds, but not 24/7 and/or without sufficient notice.

FIRST Mentors

Mentors play a vital role in the success of their students. Mentors work extensively with Team members during the build season, designing, building, and fabricating a functional robot for Competition. Their expertise is the catalyst for the Team and students' success. Mentors are the major distinction between the FRC program and other robotic competitions, as they are wholly the professional role model for the student. Mentors engage and inspire students in ways far beyond science and technology. They enable both students and adults to appreciate the value of sportsmanship, teamwork, and Gracious Professionalism.

Mentoring for The Drop Bears

Whilst it is vital to the success of the Team that parents, university students and staff, and sponsors volunteer their time to help out, mentors need to have a little something extra too. Not just, in what it takes to be a mentor, but in the experience you have to offer. The Drop Bears Mentor programme is looking for individuals with significant skills and practical experience gained in relevant industries, in the areas of:

  • Mechanical, e.g. design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, fabrication, carpentry, CAD.
  • Software, e.g. programming, networks, computer engineering.
  • Business, e.g. project management, finance, event management, technical reporting, marketing and account management.
  • Media, e.g. web design, photography, video editing, desktop publishing, graphic design.

Our goal is to help develop talented individuals, with the skills to succeed in their life goals.