It’s fall. Imagine yourself in elementary school. You’re waiting at the bus stop with your Ninja Turtle back pack, No. 2 pencils, trapper keeper, and reebok pumps. Oh yeah. You were ready (or at least I’ve totally dated myself). Judging as you are now reading this blog, I imagine you are a scientist or a science enthusiast. Something along your journey through adolescence (perhaps a parent, teacher, tv show, a piece of art…etc) had sparked your interest in science, most likely around the time of middle school or before.
Now imagine that you could be that spark for someone else. The Astrobiology social network (www.SAGANet.org) is hosting two virtual mentoring programs this fall (late october – mid december) and is looking for grad students, post docs, and early career scientists who would be interested in mentoring.
Wait, what does virtual mentoring mean?
What we mean is that you will connect with your student(s) via a skype like interface so you don’t have to worry about travel! All you need is internet and a webcam.
What are the 2014 programs? (<–Click to learn more or read below)
Our first program is the Pittsburg Science Challenge where you will be working with a small group of students from the Pittsburg Community School (an at risk High School near Oakland, California) to help build their confidence and presentation skills by guiding them through the process of creating short public science presentation in December. Our aim is to have two mentors working together with a group of 3-4 students. The topics of most interest to the students include:
- climate change
- Big Bang theory
- Origin of the ocean
- Life elsewhere
If you or anyone you know is interested or has worked on these subjects, this will be an awesome opportunity to share your knowledge, practice your teaching skills, and co-create a famelab style presentation! This program will require ~10 hours total for the fall semester (1 hour mentor training session, 45 min introduction session where mentors “meet” the students, ~six 45 min planning meetings with your students, and then the final presentation where your group of students will compete with the rest of the groups for top presentation).
Last year I worked with three students to create a rap about the big bang!
Our second program is the Discovery Room Science @ Home, where you will interact with an elementary school student near Tempe, Arizona and their parent(s) to do their very own science project. You will help them plan an experiment or research (based on their interests) and guide them through creating a poster on their findings to present at the end of the semester with the rest of their class.
This will require ~five hours of your time for the fall semester. The students are younger so you do not have to be an expert in the field. For example, last year I worked with a 9 year old and her father where they tracked porpoise migration via satellite data and see how far they traveled as compared to their hypothesis. I didn’t know anything about porpoises going into this and I got a lot out of this experience!
We hope you can participate in our mentoring program this year! Click to apply to be a mentor!
Any questions? Email us! mentoring@SAGANet.org