Overview of Program
A program where Intel employee-volunteers mentor students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as they make things in class. A volunteer is assigned to a three-student team, the teacher assigns a STEM or maker activity, and progress is shared via email. The volunteers provide encouragement and guidance; students help each other and develop problem-solving skills.
Once the program is setup, the teacher assigns, via email, a STEM or maker activity to the students:
- The teacher allows time to work on the activity and exchange email.
- One student sends an initial email to the group (student-team and volunteer), everyone else reads and responds to that email. The teacher is copied on all correspondence.
- As each activity has many phases (e.g. research, requirements, prototyping), each student has an opportunity to initiate an email. And, students encourage each other as they reply all (e.g. Adam, Good summary, I like …, I also noticed …, Beth).
- The teacher helps with writing short, descriptive email subjects, and with the concept of reply all.
- Some parts of the activity do not require email discussion; for example, students work together to create one activity conclusion, then one student leader sends it to the group.
After each experiment, the teacher sends a summary to the lead to highlight what is working well and suggestions for how to improve in the future. The lead and teacher meet to discuss the summary and plan the next activity.