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Cielo Astrobiology Research Learners on SAGANet.org!
The “Discovery Room” at Kyrene del Cielo Elementary in Chandler AZ provides an informal learning environment promoting science and discovery, in which students can explore a variety of science and engineering concepts in their free time (i.e., during lunch recess breaks).
About the Program:
In Spring 2013, six of our SAGANet.org mentors, heralding from across the country, were paired with families from the Kyrene del Cielo Elementary School “Discovery Room” in Chandler, AZ. Each mentor/family team met virtually for thirty minutes to one-hour, once per week, utilizing tools on the SAGANet.org platform. The program culminated with students presenting their science and engineering projects at the first Cielo Elementary School Science Fair, as part of the Kyrene del Cielo Celebrate Learning Night. The role of mentors was to provide guidance, support, encouragement and expertise in developing the child’s science fair project.
Student project presented at Celebrate Learning night at Kyrene del Cielo Elementary in Chandler, AZ.
Why We Are Unique:
The program explored a novel approach to science mentoring by pairing mentors with the entire family, such that mentors not only interacted with the students but also those adults who were helping the student to complete their project (i.e., typically a mother or father) as well as siblings. Our aim was to cultivate a science-friendly environment in the home, and to spark an interest in science not only in the student but also in other members of the household.
The Mentoring Experience:
SAGAN Mentor Julia DeMarines on her Discovery Room experience - As a mentor of a family in our Discovery Room collaboration, I had a great time getting to know the family I was working with and was even lucky enough to actually meet them face-to-face on a short trip to Arizona. The time commitment per week was very manageable and it was awesome to enrich the lives of these young students, as they equally enriched mine :) Please see a write up of what my experience was like here! Mentoring_Morton_family.docx