JEDI Mentor Handbook

…Supporting Elected Middle School/High School Students

mentor snap5 mentor snap4  mentor snap2Success Strategies

The most important strategy for mentors is consistency in being available to your mentee. It is important to schedule regular meetings and keep to your commitments.  Students respond to structure and routine. During scheduled meetings, your role is to have targeted objectives, listen closely and help your CSO design his/her pathway of success. Make time for youth-centered discussions and brainstorming activities.

Students campaigned and were elected by their peers for this position.  Your CSO is not the average student! I have met them all personally and can tell you that they all have the desire to perform well at their official duties. They have natural leadership qualities and are motivated to make change Please do all you can to foster their love for learning. Studies show that students learn more (from adults) when engaged in hands-on, fun, thought provoking activities. For example, you could engage your student by participating in exploration activities found online, at the Science Center, and AZ SciTech Festival. During these learning opportunities, you contribute perspective and guidance which is a valued complement to the CSO’s experience.

Finally, a big initiative of STEM education is to expose students to career pathways within Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-and Mathematics. Ask, “what problem do you want to solve?”  instead of, “ what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Please share your career story and help your student understand how to consider, achieve and plan for their future.

mentor5As a Mentor you are a…
Good Listener
Fun Person
Friend – Teacher – Coach
Role Model

Building Your Mentor Skills (Awareness)

Prepare for a rewarding time with your Chief Science Officer. We researched a few tips to guide you into making this experience memorable for both of you! Please adapt the following recommendations:

mentors at camp1

Maintain a positive yet realistic attitude

Expect and manage change

Don’t give up

Take action to make the future better

Seek help when needed

Tips to build a positive relationship with your CSO

Be caring and supportive
Spend quality time to get to know each other
Read articles together to help stimulate conversation
Take your CSO to your place of business
Work together – establish realistic and achievable goals
Create a comfortable atmosphere that facilitates sharing
Encourage your CSO to problem solve and make decisions
Help your CSO feel comfortable about school and the future
Laugh and have fun

The 21st Century Learner

Students today think differently about learning than how we think about learning. Consider even the way you were taught to learn. This is not the way our kids are being taught to learn! Local classrooms are actively implementing Project-Based learning, Inquiry Based Learning activities for their students.

Student centered learning environments teach students:
How to Follow a Process
How to do Research
Teaming/Collaboration is how Problems are Solved
Problem Solving skills
Communication Skills
Make Cross Curricular Connections – Science is does not occur only in Science Class!

Also, we suggest you familiarize yourself with engineering design process as a framework within inquiry based learning. Very similar to the Scientific Method and Computer Programming Process Design Cycle, the engineering design cycle helps your student understand the interaction cycle of testing solutions.

Remember, we all grow from both success and failures. Students will treat Information you provide as a commodity. You can expect deeper questions and deeper learning!  Encourage your students to wonder, explore and experiment!

We are training today’s students for jobs that don’t yet exist! It’s important to expose your CSO to all possible career pathways. Help them to convert this information into intelligence! Refer to  AZ Department of Education Workplace Employability Skills Standards as a resource to help guide your students towards soft-skills and behaviors that will help them be successful.

Fostering Program Goals

On campus, CSOs are expected to serve as the “STEM voice” for their student body, identifying opportunities for their school such as programs, speakers, workshops, field trips, science nights, and clubs and ensure such experiences reflect interests of their peers. Additionally, CSO’s are to serve as the school’s external point of contact for the STEM-based organizations to meaningfully connect with their school. (Refer to CSO Goals)

Off campus, CSOs are to serve as an ambassador helping to communicate STEM happenings with the community, building partnerships and advocating future opportunities with local business and industry and participating in important state level workforce conversations related to STEM and education. In addition, they will team will their CSO peers as part of a state-level cabinet.

Youth Safety – Protecting Your Mentee

To help keep our students safe, we recommend all mentors possess a fingerprint card issued by the state of Arizona. The Department of Public Safety website states, “If you will be working in the education field (public or charter), whether it be student teaching or tutoring, you will need to obtain an “Identity Verified Print” (IVP) Fingerprint Clearance Card”. Please see more information on how to obtain your fingerprint card at .

Working with students can be an enjoyable yet important responsibility. Be aware that there are possible obstacles that can affect your student performance such as language, poverty, an undesirable home setting, depression, and harmful behaviors. If you are concerned about your mentee, please seek advice immediately from a teacher or program administrator. Teachers are required by AZ state law to report all possible events with endanger your student’s safety and well-being.

We highly encourage the use of technology as an interface medium with your student. As minors, we must be diligent to ensure that our students utilize positive digital communication skills.  It is our responsibility to protect our students from Internet based dangers.

It is suggested to review the guidelines set forth in the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) which was enacted by Congress in 2000 to address concerns about children’s access to obscene or harmful content over the Internet. Educators and librarians are familiar with CIPA as funding is available based on the requirements-

Technology is wrapped around the core of our lives. It happened so fast that we have not even paid attention to it. But now, it is part of our daily experience. We are raising a generation of kids who think about technology from a different perspective than we do. They expect access to the web and Internet ready devices. To thrive in the 21st century, we need to create digital citizens and leaders. Students need to be taught how to build a good reputation and brand for themselves within their digital footprint.


Jeremy Babendure, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Arizona SciTech
(480)250 7764
Susan Farretta, MAEd
Education and Program Director
(480) 785-5335