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. Go to the invitations tab to invite your students.
Set a deadline for students to set up their profiles.
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 before selecting a mentor.
The letter of introduction and description of the project is the only information the prospective mentors receive. To make this compelling, have your students share WHY they chose this topic and WHAT interests them (ie. 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 to talk 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.
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.
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 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.
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 analyzing of results and building a strong presentation.
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.
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 all projects have concluded - use MME to mark as complete via the details tab in each project.
Help professionals in the field consider their students' future. You and your students should consider opportunities to connect 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.
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.
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!
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.