Mentors at SheTech Explorer Day
SheTech Explorer Day is unique because of the level of mentorship girls receive during the event. Mentors will play the critical role of providing engaging dialogue and context as the girls experience hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Ideally, mentors will be current employees at technology companies who are eager to help local girls interested in STEM fields draw real-world connections between the day’s activities and the career pathways available to them. SheTech Explorer Day makes it easy for busy companies to build their local tech talent pipeline through a robust and engaging STEM platform for girls. While all mentors would ideally come from industry, mentors can also be educators (K-16) or professionals from other fields.
How mentors can get involved:
1 Facilitate a TechZone booth: In the morning, all girls go through a TechZone with immersive booths set up for girls to experience shorter STEM activities (i.e., making LED bracelets, playing with polymers (instant snow!), 3D-printing, and more!). Mentors will facilitate these activities at each booth (ideally, two mentors per booth) and help ensure that girls have a fun, hands-on and insightful experience.
2 Facilitate a workshop: In the morning, girls experience fun and interactive workshops (in small groups) that showcase real-world skills while highlighting career opportunities in STEM fields. Workshop presenters will provide all materials. Here are examples of creative workshops delivered at other SheTech events.
3 Mentor the TechChallenge: The TechChallenge at SheTech Explorer Day provides girls with the opportunity to solve a problem with their peers, present their solutions to an audience and compete for prizes. Students will be divided into groups and paired with mentors who will guide them through the experience. The goal will be to conceptualize and create a solution to a given challenge. Mentors will guide the groups through the structured problem-solving process (shown in the flow below), assist with time management, and ensure all students are engaged. Mentors may also assist with social media coverage and their company’s involvement with SheTech. Neither the girls nor the mentors are expected to have any expertise in the given challenge area. The purpose of the TechChallenge is for students to become familiar with the technical problem-solving process, not to learn all the ins and outs of the technical details within the challenge.
Identify Problem ⇒ Brainstorm ⇒ Design ⇒ Evaluate/Re-design ⇒ Share Solution
When students have completed the evaluate/re-design session, each group will create a presentation of their solution using materials available at each table (e.g., markers and paper). A committee of industry partners will then review and score group presentations to select a winning team based on the given set of criteria. Additional instructions will be provided at the mentor training and during the event.
A typical SheTech Explorer Day schedule:
Morning: Workshops & TechZone
This format allows mentors to spend half the day or the whole day supporting SheTech Explorer Day. Any mentors who assist with TechZone booths or workshops can also mentor during the TechChallenge, if their schedules allow. The organizer of your SheTech Explorer Day will coordinate mentor schedules.