Public Discussion

  • Icon for: Kevin Brown

    Kevin Brown

    Facilitator
    March 20, 2017 | 10:11 a.m.

    Mentoring programs hold such great promise, not just for those mentored but for the mentors themselves as the video makes clear. Do you have plans to study the impact of the program on those doing the mentoring as well as those being mentored? It sounds like you have already developed important cross-sector partnerships, but I'm wondering if are you planning on growing the pool of possible mentors by accessing local business/industry in order to recruit people already working in a STEM job? Finally, do you think it will be important to match mentors to children of similar gender, race, or other background characteristic? Very inspirational video, so I am quite eager to hear about results once they start coming in!

  • Icon for: Steve Cox

    Steve Cox

    Presenter
    March 20, 2017 | 03:42 p.m.

    Thanks Kevin, indeed the impact upon the mentors is huge. These are folks that have not previously thought of themselves as content experts. Their mentoring provides both this boost of self-confidence and provides them with a cohort of fellow student and faculty mentors through which to experience their studies. Existing evaluation of Service Learning by undergraduates points to this cohort has having significant impact on the mentors academic identity and so STEM retention. We are gathering such data from our mentors.

    We work to see these mentors and programs catalyze further community involvement. This has already happened in one of our STEM outposts - the public library in El Eito, where three adults have devoted themselves to the three technologies (3d printing, robots, makey-makey) in their pilot makerspace, while the librarian herself has received companion funding from the local gov lab (Los Alamos) for additional equipment and training.

    And regarding the tough question of matching mentor/protegee characteristics I find that kids look beyond color and gender to shared experience/struggle when connecting with mentors. 

  • Icon for: Kathryn Williamson

    Kathryn Williamson

    Teaching Assistant Professor
    March 20, 2017 | 10:53 a.m.

    Great video! How do you recruit and retain mentors? How often do they meet with students, and where? Do you do mentor training or facilitation? How do you match mentors to students?

  • Icon for: Steve Cox

    Steve Cox

    Presenter
    March 20, 2017 | 03:56 p.m.

    Thanks Kathryn. We recruit from our STEM classes and retain by having them co-mentor with qualified caring mentors in settings where they can make a quick impact. The settings are in the schools or libraries, in class or after-school or weekend. A mentor typically meets with same group of 4 or 5 students for 2 hours each week. We offer an 8 week mentor training course centered around the text "Stand By Me, the risks and rewards of mentoring today's youth" by Jean Rhodes. The matching is largely done by discipline, e.g., bio faculty recruit and mentors bio mentors, and time availability, many of our students are working parents. 

  • Small default profile

    Sara Mccormick

    Higher Ed Administrator
    March 20, 2017 | 06:36 p.m.

    So PROUD of our awesome STEM colleagues & student mentors @ Northern who inspire youth in our area, motivate & engage, and above all, help them to see that they can and are deserving of such educational opportunities, with dedication and hard work. Si se puede! #NorthernProud#FlyLikeAnEagle #FindYourFuture@Northern

     

    Sara McCormick

    Recruiter

    Northern New Mexico College

  • Icon for: Rosann Tung

    Rosann Tung

    Facilitator
    March 21, 2017 | 02:15 p.m.

    Your video and initiative are quite compelling. Here are some questions I had while viewing the video:

    1. How is the mentoring curriculum for each discipline developed?
    2. How are students chosen to be in a mentoring group, or how do they select into a mentoring group? Are they in mixed age groups?
    3. How many mentors and mentees do you currently have, and what are your plans for increasing those numbers?
    4. Since your goal is that more students from your community enter STEM careers, what are your plans for tracking the mentors and mentees over time? What indicators would you be tracking?
  • Icon for: Steve Cox

    Steve Cox

    Presenter
    March 26, 2017 | 05:53 p.m.

    Thanks Rosann.

    1. Our disciplinary Mentoring Curriculum is being built from the ground up: starting with our collaborating classroom teachers in consultation with our college faculty we then co-build instruments with our undergraduate mentors. To take 9th grade math as an example, we have mentoring in place (lunch and afterschool) 4 days a week to give small group help to those struggling in algebra as well as in class mentoring 1 day a week for the (advanced) geometry students where we augment instruction with parametrized curves through javascript as ways to construct and print novel shapes in Tinkercad.

    2. As in one students come to us through particular teachers and to date have therefore not been of mixed-age. Our one exception is our middle school afterschool robotics club, with a mix of 7th and 8th graders.

    3. At present our 16 mentors serve over 120 mentees in three schools and two libraries. Their presence has transformed classrooms and led to real demand - while positive reports from mentors has also generated greater interest in serving. Our budget precludes growing beyond 20 mentors - though we have received a gift from a local company and 3 of our  partners have sought and received grants to partner with us and adults in the community have come forward look for ways to work with us. In the short term we will cycle our mentors through the 3 schools - this will maximize their exposure but of course leave many gaps. In the long run we will attract more funds from more sources and bring greater coverage.

    4. The bulk of our mentees are in grades 7-9. We will track them by remaining in their lives. In addition to their changing attitudes toward STEM we will track their enrollment and progress in our Dual Credit Offerings. Re our mentors, there are at present more STEM job postings with the state in Sante Fe and Forest Service and the lab in Los Alamos then we can fill. We anticipate that the bulk of our STEM majors will continue to graduate into these positions. As these are local we expect to be able to not only track their advancement but we fully expect to keep them engaged as community STEM mentors.

  • Small default profile

    Caitlin Howley

    Guest
    March 22, 2017 | 09:34 a.m.

    This is awesome! What has your team learned from the student mentors about their own challenges as STEM students?

    Our First Two project similarly engages rural first generation STEM college students as "Hometown Ambassadors" to encourage young people in their communities to see how STEM could help them contribute to their hometowns (rather than to outmigration).

     

  • Icon for: Steve Cox

    Steve Cox

    Presenter
    March 26, 2017 | 05:53 p.m.

    Thanks Caitlin. The most telling feedback so far from the mentors has been the realization that their math knowledge, like that of their protegees, is fragile, spotty and too tied to context. In working with faculty and school teachers to design instruments for mentoring they have a fresh opportunity to mature their mathematical thinking. I am a firm believer in your "Hometown Ambassador" project - for until the mentor establishes trust she can not make real headway. In addition - our hometown mentors have had too few opportunities to give back - and so they welcome the chance to re-enter their old schools.

  • Small default profile

    Chris Boynton

    Guest
    March 22, 2017 | 12:30 p.m.

    I'm wondering what you think about the 'looks like me' factor with regard to mentoring?  We have found that this is a major concern/attraction when it comes to students being able to imagine themselves in the STEM fields.

  • Icon for: Steve Cox

    Steve Cox

    Presenter
    March 26, 2017 | 05:53 p.m.

    Thanks Chris. I have observed it anecdotally, specifically female preferring female mentors. I will now include it in our evaluation of mentor/protegee relationships. Is there literature round this factor that you have found helpful.

  • Small default profile

    Jeffrey Moore

    K-12 Administrator
    March 27, 2017 | 04:11 p.m.
  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

Northern New Mexico STEM Mentor Collective, Paving STEM Pathways with Natural STEM Mentors
1649296

The Northern New Mexico STEM Mentor Collective addresses the problem of low STEM aspirations and expectations by empowering undergraduate STEM majors to serve as sustained STEM role models in the schools and libraries where they grew up. In this brief video we meet participating mentors, school students and teachers and view the program's impact through the eyes of both our college president and our congressional representative.