I WANT TO BE AND E-MENTOR
E-MENTOR PROGRAM INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS AND E-MENTORS
Student Researchers: Would you like to be sure your project is on track?
If the answer is yes, read on…
Community Members : Would you like to lend your scientific expertise to help e-mentor a student research or engineering project? If the answer is yes, read on…
The e-mentor program offers an opportunity for students to contact an adult who has some level of knowledge or expertise who can provide suggestions VIA EMAIL only to improve student project procedures before students start to build a prototype or run their experiment.
This is an opportunity to make sure students have thought through their procedures, have adequate controls and appropriate measurements for what they plan to do. This program is NOT designed to pick an expert’s brain for project ideas, or to provide student's a lab or materials, but rather to fine tune the project idea and procedures and offer suggestions.
Both Students (Mentees) and e-Mentors should become familiar with the following important postings:
- minimum quality standards
- projects to avoid
- Learn more about what judges are looking for in your projects
- Project Judging Categories H.S. and M.S. divisions
INTRODUCTION TO THE e-MENTOR PROGRAM
This e-Mentor Program is a pilot program for Alameda County high school and middle school students who are entering projects into the upcoming Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair. The purpose is to promote quality science research. Interested students can improve their project quality by using an outside-of-school e-mentor. The program provides a wonderful opportunity for adults to give back to the community as well as utilize their interests and expertise to help students. The student gains from not only improved project quality but also the experience of interacting with an adult on a topic of mutual interest.
E-Mentors and Student (Mentee) need to plan ahead to understand the projects that need pre-experimental SRC/IRB approval for safety reasons and to meet the application deadlines.
FAQ for the e-Mentor/Mentee program:
1) What are the goals of the e-mentor-mentee program?
The goal of the e-mentor-mentee program is to improve the students’ project. This program is intended to increase interaction between the professional community and local students. This program is not intended to be a forum for students to find jobs, labs to do their research or internships. This program is not meant to convert the project into a 1st place entry, but to offer appropriate guidance and help to the students.
2) Can the mentee meet face-face with a e-mentor?
Absolutely not. There will not be any face to face meetings with the e-mentor due to serious liability concerns. The e-mentor program is for e-mail contact only.
3) How is cyber security maintained?
The mentee MUST provide a parent/guardian email in the cc line for their initial email to the e-mentor. Thereafter both e-mentor and mentee MUST - REPLY TO ALL when corresponding. The parent/guardian is requested to check his/her email frequently to monitor the email content.
4) How does the e-mentor program help the mentors?
The program provides a wonderful opportunity for adults to give back to the community as well as utilize their interests and expertise to help students.
5) How many students can an e-mentor support at a time?
We recommend the e-mentors accept no more than three to four concurrent mentees.
6) Do the students have to pay any fee for the e-mentor-mentee program?
No, the program is free and a voluntary program.
7) Common student questions:
a.) I do not have an idea or project plan; can the e-mentor help me to come up with an idea for a project?
No. The students must have a research idea or testable question. The student should also have at least a vague outline of procedure + materials list already. The e-mentor can help by discussing possible suggestions for the project plan. The e-mentor program is an adjunct for interested students to improve their project quality by using an outside-of-school e-mentor.
b.) How soon will I hear once I submit my request for seeking an e-mentor through this program?
1-2 weeks, depending on the e-mentor availability and processing of the information. ACSEF cannot guarantee an e-mentor is available. So it is best for the students to provide all the required information and complete the project research plan outline otherwise the approval committee will need to have some back and forth email contact with the student asking for details.
c.) What is the difference between a Science Project and an Engineering Project?
Engineering Projects typically have an Engineering Goal: The need/goal to design a product that has a particular design, function and construction for a particular group of potential consumers. It is expected that a prototype of the product will be built and displayed at the science fair (size permitting) or a video of the prototype in action will be displayed for judging purposes.
Science projects typically have a testable question & hypothesis they want to investigate by performing a set of experimental trials.
For any questions or suggestions please contact the e-Mentor Program Coordinator by placing e-Mentor Program in the subject line & send an email to email@example.com.