My favorite thing about mentoring young students are the ideas that they can come with so naturally. Their minds know no limits and this is apparent when they first start proposing ideas for their science fair projects.
They usually have numerous ideas and are enthusiastic about each and every single one. Despite the grandeur of the ideas, they often have very little knowledge on how to actually begin to execute them. This is where my job as their mentor really becomes important.
My mentees were often so excited to get started on their experiments that they hadn?t really though logistically as to how they should even execute them. However, I discovered that by even offering them a simple suggestion they often could work through their experiments independently.
My job as a mentor is to be there for my mentees, but I also want them to work through some of their questions through trial and error. I am always there to answer questions, but I view my role as to guide them and help them along the road to from developing a hypothesis to graphing their data.
Written by Emma Belling.