2015 Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge Near Peer Mentoring Tips

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1 2015 Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge Near Peer Mentoring Tips Prepared for Drexel University by Jeffrey Merlino Naval Surface Warfare Center February 2015

2 When Mentoring Means the Most Phase II: Design Test II NOW is when mentorship means the most Teams are being assembled Project, mission, and trade spaces are being defined ROVs are being designed Experiments are performed Vehicles are tested Work is documented Kids are having Fun 2

3 The Team Mentor s Role Act as your team s liaison to the SeaPerch Challenge s Support Network Act on questions concerning the competition or craft design Feed back requests for rulings on satisfying competition requirements Rely on other mentors with expertise in specialized areas Mentor Collaboration Teleconferences Leverage the Mentor s Forum Guide teams through the core technical principals You re likely your team s best athlete for buoyancy, propulsion, circuits, etc. Provide help with kit construction Provide help with presentation skills and notebook organization Presentation plays into many of the graded and judged products 3

4 The Team Mentor s Role Inspire Students in Science and Technology Promote Independent Thought Facilitate Instruction Motivate and Engage Students in Meaningful Activities Create Open Communication Within the Team Maintain Team Focus Have the Kids Do As Much Work As Possible Encourage Kids to Take Design Risks and Invent Adapted From: FIRST Mentoring Guide October 2007 Encourage Accountability Keep It Simple 4

5 The Team Mentor s Role Inspire students in S&T fields as a means to address a long-term problem of decreasing college enrollments in engineering and technical programs STEM sustainment begins at the elementary, middle and high school levels This program is designed to increase student interest in math, science, and engineering through hands-on activities at the middle and high school level Provides awareness of Naval Engineering and Naval Architecture as career fields Helps students prepare for college level work Interface with industry, academia and government engineers Work in a collaborative environment Act like a business Experience a major university campus Participate in a realistic technical scenario 5

6 The Team Mentor s Role Promote Independent Thought Approach problems with an open mind Treat all ideas as equal Resist any impulse to judge ideas Capture ideas as stated Use creative problem solving strategies to move beyond conventional solutions Facilitate Instruction Provide direction that supports accomplishing tasks Help the team stay focused on the tasks at hand Teachers communicate knowledge they have obtained on a given subject Facilitators enable communication within a group so that everyone contributes knowledge and experience toward a solution 6

7 Facilitation Techniques Know the Basic facilitation Process Make sure everyone understands what you are doing Identify what it is you are going to accomplish Use brainstorming techniques to get input from everyone write down all ideas Weigh alternatives against objective criteria previously established A good facilitator will be able to get the group to narrow down the ideas Consider weighted voting, combining similar ideas, testing feasibility & group consensus Avoid the we have always done it that way mindset Write down any decisions and state what you want to implement Be sure to and ask if there is anyone who does not understand the plan Implement the selected solution, and make it meets the original intent 7

8 The Team Mentor s Role Motivate and Engage Students in Meaningful Activities Create Open Communication Within the Team Communication is a key component for building trust and respect Actively listen without judging and be conscious of verbal and non-verbal cues Be an Active listener Listen before speaking Evaluate what is being said Test your understanding of what was said through paraphrasing Establish meaningful conversations with team members and never talk down to them Attempt to identify with what the person is saying... be understanding Listen for the contribution that the person is trying to make 8

9 The Team Mentor s Role Maintain Team Focus Have the Kids Do As Much Work As Possible 9

10 The Team Mentor s Role Encourage Kids to Take Design Risks and Invent Encourage Accountability 10

11 The Team Mentor s Role Keep It Simple Simplicity is a key component to a successful outcome and student involvement Facilitate: Make things simple and as easy as possible for the kids to understand. If the team doesn t understand, explain or demonstrate the concept in another way Demonstrate: Challenge the kids to think ideas through in a constructive and positive way. Try as hard as you can to avoid using the words can t be done or not possible Delegate: Give the students the specifications they need, and help them turn the concept into reality be ready to help if necessary Do: Unless absolutely unavoidable, students should work on each aspect of the project. If all members of the team share ownership, the team shares the responsibility and the work 11

12 Technical and Teaching Resources phillyseaperch.org 12

13 Technical and Teaching Resources SeaPerch Learning Modules 13

14 Technical and Teaching Resources Technical Forum Forum hosted by Google Groups Accessible under the Resources tab on phillyseaperch.org Access to mentors and advisors by invitation only All paired mentors and official advisors will be automatically granted access Separate Q&A process for proprietary and non-proprietary questions Forum Moderator decides what gets added to the public forum Main Forum Topics: General Sign-Up and Registration Design Build Test Competition Discussions Others 14

15 Technical and Teaching Resources Technical Forum Forum hosted by Google Groups Accessible under the Resources tab on phillyseaperch.org Access to mentors and advisors by invitation only All paired mentors and official advisors will be automatically granted access Separate Q&A process for proprietary and non-proprietary questions Forum Moderator decides what gets added to the public forum Main Forum Topics: General Sign-Up and Registration Design Build Test Competition Discussions Others 15

16 Technical and Teaching Resources seaperch.org 16

17 12 Good Mentoring Dos 1. Be passionate and excited about the subject matter 2. Be very organized 3. Know your team by name and get to know them 4. Be approachable and accessible 5. Match the level of teaching to the level of the audience 6. Make instruction time as informal as possible with lots of 2-way Q&A Adapted From: IEEE /MPOT

18 12 Good Mentoring Dos 7. Constantly connect the material to the real world 8. Provide candid appraisals but always be constructive 9. Empower the team to succeed autonomously 10. Always be patient, upbeat, and optimistic 11. Celebrate accomplishments 12. Always give credit where credit is due (always them, never you) Adapted From: IEEE /MPOT

19 Considerations when Working with Schools Know the school culture, procedures, and policies Respect teachers time constraints and need for structure Obtain feedback from faculty advisors early and often Recognize that schools may have had negative experiences in the past At times, well-meaning groups approach schools and then fail to follow through May introduce some school resistance until you prove reliability and value Be aware of the existence of other outside programs You might be competing for student s time with other clubs and ECAs Effective two-way communication is essential to your success Establish good lines of communication Mentor partnerships often depend on individual relationships you ve built Adapted From: ABC s of School-Based Mentoring Hamilton Fish Institute Any turn over with your faculty or school administration since last year? 19

20 Considerations when Working with Minors Two Adult Rule AVOID SITUATIONS IN WHICH YOU ARE ALONE WITH A MINOR When it is necessary to speak privately with a minor, find a place within sight of others to confer , Texting and Social Media Do s and Don ts DO NOT INTERACT WITH ANY STUDENT OR TEAM MEMBER ELECTRONICALLY DO communicate with students or parents through your school advisor DO review your social media security settings DO NOT or text directly with students or team members DO NOT Share phone numbers with students or team members DO NOT Friend students or team members Adapted From: PSEA.org - Social Networking Tips and Information 20

21 Code of Ethics Provided by: The STEM Education Alliance 21

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