The Cardinal Way


On our team, the mentors act as the scaffolding who provide students with opportunities to make choices; both good and bad.  Our mentors facilitate the students who work collaboratively toward a mutual and beneficial goal.


Our mentors actively share your knowledge and experiences with the team to help foster intellectual growth.


We encourage students to quickly move through to a point where they can work independently and move on to taking on the role of mentoring others.  Some students may need direct support from an adult mentor for a longer period of time.

While the adults are the scaffolding to the system, the following  explains the basis for our student’s learning and team commitment.

Our team-based organizational structure, “The Cardinal Way”, is a system that uses one Team Captain who collaborates with two Sub-Captains to enhance communication between all stakeholders.   Project leaders serve as the “head organizer” of individual projects, and with the help of a sub-team, will work toward a common goal.  Our Engineering Captain and Operations Captain assist project leaders in reporting their needs and successes back to the Overall Captain and Coach.  Our overall goal is synergy, a cohesion within our entire team that will allow all students to feel like confident leaders.   


As a mentor, you may be asked to help a project leader lead a project.  While you are there to be the scaffolding, an adult who guides and facilitates the student’s efforts, your assistance is vital to the student’s and the project’s success. 


During the project process, you must help the student claim ownership of the project.  You must help communicate the following information to all the stakeholders:

  • Know what is expected of themselves and team members.

  • Have a purpose and clear goals that allow students to work interdependently to achieve them.

  • Communicate team norms allowing team members to agree about how to work together. 

  • Understand the time, resources, and information it will take to complete a job successfully.

  • Have a clear definition of success.

  • Document everything