Learning to Become a More Effective Research or Inquiry-based Project Mentor

Type Conference Paper
Names E. J. Hooper, C. Pfund, R. Mathieu, J. Branchaw
Conference Name Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series
Volume 431
Pages 247
Date August 1, 2010
URL http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010ASPC..431..247H
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract How effective of a mentor are you? Have you thought much about this question? Have you participated in training to become a better mentor? For many academics, the typical three answers are "pretty good, I think ... why wouldn't I be?!"; "I am right now while reading this;" "Uh, no." The University of Wisconsin-Madison has developed a program called Research Mentor Training to help train scientists in myriad STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines, including astronomy, for their crucial role of mentoring the next generation. Most of the field testing to date has focused on graduate students, post-docs, academic staff, and faculty mentoring undergraduate students who are participating in summer research experiences. The materials have proven quite effective in other areas as well, with only modest modifications. For example, several faculty cohorts concentrating on mentoring graduate students and post-docs have completed the training. In addition, the materials are used to prepare graduate students and undergraduates to mentor high school students. The preferred venue for the mentor training program is a seminar meeting one hour per week for 8 to 9 weeks, plus readings and outside activities, including mentoring a student. However, the structure is flexible, and some meaningful learning can occur in a single 90-minute interactive workshop like the one presented at the 2009 ASP annual meeting, "Science Education and Outreach: Forging a Path to the Future." All of the materials, including case studies, facilitator notes and guidelines, plus reading lists, are available online for no charge ( href="http://researchmentortraining.org">http://researchmentortraining.org). Users can select pre-built curricula, or they can customize a package using a "shopping cart" interface.
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