STEM Fair Tutorial #2: Cast a Wide Net
Recruiting a qualified adult to assist you with a STEM Fair Experiment will place you on a path to success.
The responsibility of a qualified adult is to ensure that you are meeting the expectations and adhering to the rules as outlined by the STEM Fair organizers. Additionally, an adult will ensure that you are not overextending yourself or setting yourself up for failure. As a student your education is your primary responsibility. A STEM Fair experiment is an extracurricular activity and should complement your education; not take precedence over your obligations to your education. An adult mentor can teach you the importance of time management and help you learn how to multi-task numerous expectations.
TIPS: Here are some quick tips for recruiting an adult STEM Fair mentor:
a. Cast a wide net & brainstorm possible mentors.
What does that mean? In cooperation with your parents or guardians; ask a variety of adults to be your STEM Fair mentor. The more people you ask the more you can choose from. The key to this step is making sure you and your parents / guardians know and trust the adult you are asking for assistance and guidance.
b. Back-ups, Back-ups, Back-ups.
When recruiting adult mentors to assist you - do not worry about having to "reject" an adult; here is why -
You aren't going to reject them because we want you to have back-ups. In the event there are several adults who are willing to assist you; keep in mind a few things. First, this is a very good problem to have. Second, let your second choice know that you found an adult mentor, but ask if they would consider acting as back-up. Third, keep your back-up mentor involved in your efforts; they can always offer additional insight and suggestions. Lastly, should your primary mentor be unable to fulfill their commitment - your back-up mentor can seamlessly step in and assist.
c. Ask the right people.
Make sure you ask people who have an interest in the topic you are researching; are they dependable, committed, and can they follow through with you for the next 6 months (or more). Never assume someone is too busy to assist you. In fact, if someone is busy, they may just be the person you need to learn how to multitask your obligations.
c. Student's Pet
Is there a popular teacher who you want to ask to act as your mentor? That is fantastic.... but be careful. If the teacher is a popular and fun teacher - we can guarantee you that you are not the only student approaching them for help. While it's wonderful that so many students have a favorite teacher - keep in mind that their time is limited and you either have to be the first student to approach them or be prepared to have a back up mentor to assist you.
d. Be Prepared.
There are many people you can ask for STEM Fair project assistance; however, keep in mind that they are volunteering and sacrificing their time to help you. Be respectful and make sure you use their time wisely and you are prepared for any project meetings. It is extremely insulting to arrive to a meeting late or unprepared and not ready to work. Your adult mentor’s time is valuable – honor that and be ready to work when you meet with them.
We want you to tell us who you recruited as a mentor for your "mockSTEM Fair / Science Fair Experiment! Make sure to tell us about your experiment and offer readers your suggestions and helpful tips to finding the right mentor!
God Bless and STEM on!
Tonight's Materials and Homework:
- STEM Fair Composition Notebook
- Non Erasable Pens
- Remember, all entries must be done in pen.
- Entry #2: Create a list of possible adult mentors (along with their corresponding phone numbers) who may be able to assist you with your STEM Fair Project.
- With the help of your parents / guardians; begin contacting your mentors from the list you created.