Mentor Program    

 

Santa Clara Valley Science & Engineering Fair Association
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What sticky questions will the judges ask on judging day?

If only somebody could point out possible project problems earlier.

Would you like to be sure your project is on track?

If the answer is yes, read on…

                                          

We are starting something new this year – an opportunity for you to contact via email a scientist or engineer who can provide suggestions to improve your project procedures before you start to build a prototype or run your experiment.

 

This is an opportunity to make sure you have thought through the procedures, have adequate controls and appropriate measurements for what you plan to do,  This is NOT designed for you to pick an expert's brain for ideas about what to do for a project.

INTRODUCTION TO THE MENTOR PROGRAM

 

This Mentor Program is a pilot program for students to promote quality science research. Interested students can improve their project quality by using an outside-of-school mentor. The program provides a wonderful opportunity for adults to give back to the community as well as utilize their interests and expertise to help students.  The student gains from not only improved project quality but also the experience of interacting with another adult on a topic of mutual interest.

 

GUIDELINES FOR STUDENTS

 

Introduction:

If you would like another opinion regarding ways to improve your project quality this mentor program is for you. 

 

We have compiled a list of volunteer mentors with diverse educational backgrounds and interests. The mentors are grouped by project scientific category.  If you don’t find a mentor with the interests that match your project, keep checking back as we are always recruiting new mentors.

 

 

Procedure for Finding a Mentor:

 

Step 1: Complete the attached form below based on the category of the project (Engineering project or Science project). Be able to concisely describe your project so the potential mentor can decide if he/she can provide appropriate advice. Be sure to answer the required information in the form outlining your project’s research plan. The form will be used as a guide to create a dialog with the mentor about your project.

Engineering Project Research Plan                               Science Project Research Plan
 

Step 2:Review the available mentors in your project category and compile a list of potential mentors that you would like to work with.

 

Step 3: E-mail the completed research plan to the Mentor Program Coordinator ( mentors@science-fair,org).

 

Step 4: Your completed research plan will be reviewed by the mentor committee and the mentor will be contacted.  The student will be contacted back in 1-2 weeks.

 

 

Available Mentors will be listed by the project categories below.  For more details on the subgroups within each category, visit the Scientific Category Link

 

Biological Sciences

Physical Sciences

Botany

Chemistry

Environmental Science

Physics

Zoology

Earth / Space Science

Behavioral / Social Science

Engineering

Medicine, Health, Gerontology

Computers / Mathematics

Biochemistry / Microbiology

 Bio-Informatics

 

 

 

 

 

GUIDELINES FOR MENTORS

 

Introduction:

If you would like to share your science and engineering expertise with interested students, then being a mentor is a great way for you to get involved.  You can directly increase the student's project quality while providing inspiration to tomorrow’s professionals.

 

 

Procedure for being a mentor:

 

Step 1: Fill out the Mentor Profile Form describing your background and interests.

 

Step 2: E-mail the information back to our the Mentor Program Coordinator (mentors@science-fair.org).

 

Step 3: Once approved, this information will be posted on our website and will be available for students to review. 

 

Step 4: The students will complete their research project dialog form (see above, Guidelines for students), and submit to the mentor committee for review.

 

Step 5: Once the research plan is approved, the mentor committee will forward the students’ research plan to the appropriate mentor.  The mentor will contact the mentee via email or phone and begin mentoring the project. 

 

Step 6: As a mentor, you will communicate, provide support and guidance to the student, and help answer their questions. 

 

 

 

FAQ for the Mentor/Mentee program:

1) What are the goals of the mentor-mentee program?

 

The goal of the mentor-mentee program is to improve the students’ existing project. This program is intended to increase interaction between the professional community and local students. This program is not intended to be a forum for students to find jobs or internships. This program is not meant to convert the project into a 1st place entry, but to offer appropriate guidance and help to the students.

 

2) Can the mentee meet face-face with a mentor?

Absolutely not.  There will not be any face to face meetings with the mentor due to serious liability concerns.  The mentor program is for e-mail contact and/or phone contact only. The student mentee and the mentor can choose to establish the most convenient and effective mode of communication.  Phone dialog will only occur if the mentor gives the student his/her phone number. 

 

3) I do not have a project plan, can the mentor help me to come up with a research plan?

No. The students must have a research topic, question and plan already outlined. The mentor program is an adjunct for interested students to improve their project quality by using an outside-of-school mentor. The student gains from not only improved project quality but also the experience of interacting with another adult on a topic of mutual interest.

 

4) How does the mentor program help the mentors?

 

The program provides a wonderful opportunity for adults to give back to the community as well as utilize their interests and expertise to help students.

 

5) How many students can a mentor support at a time?

 

We recommend the mentors accept no more than three concurrent mentees.

 

6) Do the students have to pay any fee for the mentor-mentee program?

           

No, the program is free and a voluntary program. Our mentors are all volunteer professionals from the community.

 

7) How soon will I hear once I submit my request for seeking a mentor through this program?

 

1-2 weeks, depending on the mentor availability and processing of the information. So it is best for the students to provide all the required information and complete the project research plan.

 

  

 

Thank you for considering the mentor-mentee program- a wonderful opportunity to positively impact today’s youth.

 

If any questions or suggestions please contact the Mentor Program Coordinator (mentors@science-fair.org).

 

 

 

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