It is never too early to get yourself and your students set up on MME.
You will receive an invitation via email to join MME. Once you have set up your profile, go to the invitations tab to invite your students using their email addresses. Students can be invited individually or in bulk using a class roster. Once you have input all of the student emails, select their role as ‘Student’ and click the red ‘Invite’ button.
Set a deadline for students to set up their profiles. When students have created their profiles, they will appear under your ‘People’ tab on MME. If they have not yet created their profile, they will appear listed under the ‘Invitations’ tab.
You will want to ensure their profiles are set up in order to be ready for the next step...project creation!
Students ready to work with a mentor can create a project via the red ‘Create’ button on their home screen.
As a teacher, you will be notified via email when your student creates a project - you will need to log in to approve this project. You can reject the project if you feel students need to add more information to their project details before selecting a mentor.
The letter of introduction and research description are the only information the prospective mentors receive. To make this compelling, have your students share WHY they chose this topic and WHAT interests them (i.e. hobbies, career aspirations, favorite things).
You're in luck - your students now have access to a wealth of expertise! But how do you know who to choose?
Encourage your students to think about why this mentor is a good fit. Maybe your student feels more comfortable talking with a graduate student closer in age, perhaps they have mutual areas of interest, or their research is a great match for the project.
Help your students to make intentional, informed decisions.
Review your students’ mentor choices before they request mentors into their projects. This will prevent several groups from selecting the same mentor and increase the likelihood of a more immediate match.
At first, your students might be unsure about how to use their mentor.
Work with students to develop regular check-ins and deadlines for communication with mentors - this will help your students succeed.
Students should set expectations with their mentor right away by establishing how frequently they will be communicating (twice a week, weekly, biweekly, etc). This keeps both parties accountable.
Encourage students to ask questions, share their thought process, think about next steps.
"Here is what I have so far - what would you suggest as next steps?"
"My research question is very broad, how would you suggest narrowing this? "
"These are the results we saw and this is how it differed from what we expected."
Take an active role as a teacher - don't wait for mentors to reach out. Take note of which student projects haven’t communicated with their mentors and follow up with those students in class.
Work to maintain the relationship. For many mentors, this is their first time interacting with high school students.
Accountability to the timeline - keep students and mentors on task, advise when to pivot from research to analysis of results to building a strong presentation.
If a school break is approaching, inform mentors so they understand the halt in communication.
Mentors who are engaged more often will be more likely to be invested in the project. A mentor has never said that they have received too much communication from a student.
Not engaging mentors has consequences beyond one student project - they are part of an ecosystem of professionals who want to give back. Unengaged mentors are less likely to mentor again. This stifles growth and support of the program.
When you have questions, comments, or need some help, there is a strong network here to support you!
Reach out to the ISTI team - contact us about pretty much anything. We value your commitment and will help troubleshoot any issues.
Mentors - Your student may want to add another mentor to their project. Mentor collaboration to broaden the scope or to address communication issues can help move the project forward. You can contact your students’ mentors in the thread of the discussion or privately through the Participants tab. Click the envelope to send a direct message.
Students - Ask students for feedback - what are they looking for in terms of the mentoring relationship or project feedback.
Students should thank their mentor, share their final product and concluding thoughts about how this has impacted them.
When projects have concluded, click the ‘Mark as Complete’ button in the top right corner of the details tab in each project.
Help professionals in the field consider their students' future. You and your students should consider opportunities to connect with the mentor around another project, internship, letter of recommendation, employment opportunities - think big!
Provide students with tools to succeed beyond the classroom.
STEM employers want to see students who can go beyond STEM skills - coach in time management, teamwork, meeting deadlines, and making decisions.
What are their goals for the future? Help them reach them.
Encourage career exploration. Show them the steps to get there.
We hope you will use the best practices outlined in this toolkit, and reach out for assistance when you feel stuck. Below you will find the documents shared with you as part of ISTI's Professional Development workshop.
This guide provides the timeline and milestones for teachers leading a STEM Challenge with an industry partner. Use these milestones to keep the project on-track and work with your industry partners to determine dates and deadlines specific to your Challenge.
Let the parents / guardians of your students know about the STEM Challenge & what they can expect.
Let students know about best practices and expectations. Includes a teacher student contract.
Use this guide to determine who is best positioned to answer specific questions, review best practices and roles within your ISTI project. We encourage you to reach out to this network of support throughout the project - this STEM ecosystem is strong and seeks success!
Please have your students and their guardian (if under 18) sign this photo release form.
This letter details expectations throughout MME use. Includes a teacher student contract.
This guide provides a suggested timeline and milestones for teachers leading students in independent research on MME. Keep projects on-track using these milestones and determine your own dates and deadlines specific to students' projects.
Please fill out and return this contract to confirm with ISTI how you will use our programs.
This guide helps students brainstorm questions to ask their mentor throughout the project process.