More info for adult mentors

Mentors are an essential part of Pioneers. The programme is designed to be led by young people, but you can play a really important role by encouraging them to get involved, particularly those who are new to computing and digital making, and helping them organise themselves to make something awesome.

Who can be a mentor?

We welcome mentors from all walks of life. You could be a teacher or already volunteer at a CoderDojo, Raspberry Jam, or other technology or STEM club. You could be a parent or sibling who wants to help out young people that you know. We’re here to support you and help you do a great job.
There’s just a few things we need to check:

  • You’re 18 or over and resident in the UK.
  • You commit to mentoring the team(s) for the duration of the challenge (until submission by 22 March 2017).
  • You’re confident with computers. You don’t have to be a digital making genius, but you need to be willing to learn and help the teams find the answers they need.
  • You will need to satisfy the safeguarding policy which applies to the venue you’ll use. If there isn’t one, you must put reasonable safeguards in place to ensure yours and the participants’ safety. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

What do I do as a mentor?

This video gives an overview of what teams will do as they work on a Pioneers challenge:

Pioneers: how to be a Pioneer!

You’ve gathered your team. The challenge is set. Now what? For more information about Pioneers, and to register your team, head to

  • We don’t mind how often you meet – we think there are lots of different ways to mentor a Pioneers team. It could be that you run it as an after-school club, a weekend thing, a one-off event, or a few informal meetups here and there.
  • If you have a group of more than four young people wanting to take part, help them organise into teams.
  • Register the team(s).
  • Help guide their activities. Use the design process to help you.
  • Use the theme page to get inspiration for the kinds of things your team(s) could do
  • Use our support page to level up their technical skills to help them respond to the challenge. We’ll also be supporting you and your digital makers with a regular newsletter, with links and videos to help and inspire.
  • You’ll also need to help your team(s) get their submission ready. We’d like them to submit in the form of a video, and while this shouldn’t need any specialist equipment or skills, they might need you to hold the cameraphone! We’ve got more guidance on how to make the video, and what needs to be in it, on our submission page.

What are my responsibilities as a mentor?

  • Act as the main point of contact for the group. This includes handing out the swag when it arrives at your given address. We’ll need your contact information as part of the team registration process.
  • We’ll also contact you about key dates and other important information. We ask you to take responsibility for making sure your team is aware of the information that we share.
  • A key part of the Pioneers project is sharing what our young makers are doing online with the hashtag #MakeYourIdeas. But we also want to make sure that everyone stays safe online. We’ve drafted some guidelines here, so we’d like you to read through them and follow them.

Being a great mentor means:

  • Encouraging the young people in your group, whatever their level of ability.
  • Ensuring people are happy, safe, and involved in the project.
  • Letting the young people lead. Don’t give them the answer, but point them in the right direction.

Please note:

  • Unfortunately, we cannot cover expenses for mentors.
  • You must not charge participants to be part of Pioneers.

Still got questions? Have a look at our Pioneers FAQ page.