Are you interested in being a special guest at a Geering Up program?
Mentor events are a key component of our programs. Our mentors work with thousands of youth each year and help these youth picture themselves in STEM fields. Together we can inspire the next generation of STEM leaders!
What a typical Mentor Event looks like:
Being a Special Guest
In our Summer Camps and Saturday Clubs, we invite mentors to join us for a short presentation followed by an activity. What this looks like depends a lot on the age of the kids. In kindergarten – grade 6 presentations are short and activities focus on basic science skills (observation, testing a hypothesis). In Grades 7 – 12 there is more room for in-depth discussion.
Generally speaking, the presentation is 5-10 minutes long – even shorter for younger kids! We encourage mentors to share a bit about the work they currently do and how they got into the field. Photos of the mentor as a kid (or teenager) are always a hit and help bridge the distance between our guests and the class.
Following the presentation and questions, we invite our special guest to join us in a class activity. If there is an activity (30-45 minutes) that you would like to bring with you – let us know and we’ll help you set up. Otherwise, you can join in an activity our instructors have prepared. As our special guest, you will float between groups as they work on the activity providing guidance and answering any questions.
Joining a Panel Discussion
For our Saturday Events, we invite Mentors to join us for a panel Q&A. Students will have the opportunity to ask our guests about their work and how they got into their perspective fields. Afterward, Mentors are invited to join the students for lunch to continue the conversation. These events are usually for older students (grades 7-12) and the discussion is focused on career path choices and the workplace culture in STEM fields.
We want to help youth picture themselves in STEM fields and connect this work with their personal values (helping their community, working with people, solving problems). It’s helpful if the mentor can share a bit about why the work in their current job and how it connects with their values. We often ask the mentor to share the story of how they got to where they are. Stories that include setbacks, uncertainty, and silly anecdotes are encouraged! Please talk about that year you spent traveling Europe or the softball team you play on; we need our youth to see STEM professionals as dynamic people with real lives.
Studies show that youth often (mistakenly) believe that they can only pursue STEM if they are universally good at STEM and have few other interests. We believe that meeting role-models with diverse interests and backstories help our students align STEM to their own personal values and picture themselves in these fields. We want to share the message that STEM is a space where everyone is welcome and anyone who is determined can succeed!
When Are Mentor Events?
We’ll contact you to confirm your availability. Usually, events occur at the following times:
Saturday Clubs – 10:00am – Noon (Year round)
Saturday Events – 11:00am-1:00pm (Year round)
Summer Camps – As scheduled between 9:00am-3:00pm Monday-Friday (July & August)
Mentor Sign Up Form
Are you ready to help inspire youth? Sign up on the below form and we’ll let you know about upcoming events!