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Mentoring Options for Space Grant Fellows and Scholars

Purpose of Mentoring Requirement

The purpose of the mentoring requirement is to increase awareness of and participation in science, math, engineering and technology for all citizens with a particular interest in reaching underrepresented groups. This refers to women, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and students in rural areas or from very low-income backgrounds. The students targeted may be from any level of elementary to the first year of graduate school.

Time Commitment

Fairly modest - 10 hours a semester

Possible Activities

  • Tutoring
  • Counseling
  • Presentations/lectures
  • Modeling research careers by explaining and demonstrating the research activities of the mentor and her/his research environment
  • Teach study skills to undergraduates
  • Mentor K-12 teachers in your area of expertise
  • Mentor science education students
  • Offer to be an "Answer Person" for a class through the Internet
  • Aid students to make more professional science fair presentations
  • Go back to your home town and speak to students about science or engineering, and what skills will help them succeed in college
  • Act as a role model
  • Teach students how to apply the scientific method by giving them a question on something known, giving students the resources or equipment, and ask them to find an answer, document the results, and orally present the findings.
  • Participate in Space Day/Exploration Day at Penn State

Possible Content

  • How to get into college in science or engineering
  • How to get into graduate school in science or engineering
  • What research is like
  • Why science and engineering careers are exciting and important
  • Demonstrations, projects, lectures on science and engineering topics
  • Publish a list of possible majors and careers in science and engineering

Institutional Venues

  • Hold panel discussions or make presentations for the minority and women student organizations in agricultural sciences, earth and mineral sciences, health and human development, science, or engineering
  • Help an undergraduate get a paid research experience through the NSF:REU program

Mentoring Performed by Current & Past Fellows

  • Counselor for space life sciences training program at Kennedy Space Center
  • Coached Mt. Nittany Middle School Enviro-thon team
  • Counseled undergraduate students on one-to-one basis
  • Mentored undergraduate/MS students during lab or field activities
  • Mentored and tutored International high school student interested in science
  • Coached Girl Scout troop for badge activity
  • Organized Take Our Daughters to Work Day for department
  • Organized an astronomy program for Camp Fitch, Erie
  • Developed an interactive website on volcanos
  • Presented at Take Our Daughters to Work Day
  • Presented an activity to Junior Museum, State College, for students and parents
  • Presented during Penn State Workshops for Science Educators, University Park
  • Presented a popular lecture for 400 at an Academic Boosters Award ceremony in home town
  • Presented planetarium/slide shows for school groups
  • Presented at classes from kindergarten through high school
  • After presenting, invited students to University Park to visit labs
  • After presenting, invited students on a field trip
  • Presented at local charter school
  • Presented to Upward Bound high school students
  • Presented to high school girls at WISE Week, University Park
  • Presented a booth or a poster at Space Day at Penn State, University Park
  • Presented to high school students at Food and Agricultural Sciences Institute
  • Presented at Bug Camp, University Park
  • Presented at Brown Bag Seminars conducted by the department
  • Interacted with the general public at the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium booth at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, Harrisburg

For more information, applications, and assistance contact:

Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium
2217 Earth and Engineering Sciences Building (mail)
218 Earth and Engineerings Science Building (office)
University Park, PA 16802
Tel: (814) 863-7688

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Last Updated: January 28, 2008