1. mentor communication
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"
2. be accountable & proactive
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.
3. you have a team behind you
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.