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Sample Survey 1

2004 Advisor Survey

Please answer the questions to the best of your ability, then click on the "Submit Survey" button at the bottom of the form. Please complete the survey one time only. If you have additional thoughts at another time, please email them to us separately. If a field is too small to hold your comments for a question, there is a "General Comments" question that has plenty of room.

We'll share with you the key results from this survey in our newsletter.

  1. How would you characterize your overall experience in the Science Buddies program taking into account everything including the application process, training, communication with staff, the Command Center, and, of course, the actual work with your team?
    Excellent
    Very Good
    Good
    Fair
    Poor
     
  2. Why did you sign up for Science Buddies? (check all that apply)
    I really enjoy science
    I considered it a way to "give something back" to the community
    I thought it would be fun
    I enjoy working with and helping young people
    I knew other people who were doing it
    I wanted the opportunity to interact with professionals that had backgrounds in a field of interest to me
    Other
     
  3. Would you participate in Science Buddies again?
    Yes
    No
     
  4. Would you recommend Science Buddies to a friend?
    Yes
    No
     
  5. Did you feel adequately prepared (trained) to help the students with their projects?
    Yes
    No, I needed more training on how to mentor someone
    No, I needed more training on doing a science fair project
    No, I needed more training on
     
  6. Compared to your expectations before you began to work with your Investigator, how would you characterize the skill level of your Investigator (i.e., his or her ability to successfully complete the Science Buddies program)?
    Above my expectations
    About what I expected
    Below what I expected
    I didn't know what to expect
     
  7. My Investigator (check all that apply):
    Was an active participant
    Was not an active participant
    Was easy to communicate with
    Was difficult to communicate with
    Followed my suggestions
    Did not follow my suggestions
    Other
     
  8. In what part of the project do you feel you were able to offer the most help?
    Choosing a question
    Helping with research of the topic
    Designing the experiment
    Performing the experiment
    Analyzing the experimental results
     
  9. How did you decide when to offer guidance to your Investigator about how to find an answer versus when to simply give the answer?
     
  10. Do you feel that you were able to offer your Investigator all the help he or she needed?
    Yes
    No, because I didn't have enough knowledge of his subject area
    No, because I didn't have enough time
    No, because I couldn't actually see what he or she was doing
    Other
     
  11. What parts of the Science Buddies Web Site did you use? (check all that apply)
    "Discussion Board" (the page where you talk to your teammates)
    "Assignment Folder" (the page with the timeline and the place to upload assignments)
    "Mentor/Advisor Forum" (the page where the staff posts daily answers to common Mentor and Advisor question as well as various program information)
    "Add/Edit Profile" (to post your picture and brief personal introduction)
    "Who's Online" (tells you whether any of your teammates are online right now)
    "How to Do a Science Fair Project" (which included separate pages for choosing a topic, researching a topic, variables, sample project, etc.)
    "Links" to science fair project ideas
    "Science Fair Gallery" (pictures of fairs)
    "About Us", "History & Mission", or "Sponsors"
     
  12. How did you find the information on the Science Buddies Web Site? (check all that apply)
    Easy to understand
    Hard to understand
    It was easy to find what I wanted
    It was difficult to find what I wanted
    I didn't use it enough to say
    Other
     
  13. Did you use the timeline in the Assignment Folder to help you plan your Investigator's project?
    Yes
    No, I never saw the timeline
    Not exactly, but it was useful in helping me remind my Investigator that he or she had a lot of work to do
    No, because it had the wrong dates from the very beginning (the team started work well after the timeline start date)
    No, because
     
  14. What improvements would you like to see made to the Science Buddies Command Center? (check all that apply)
    Don't log me off if I'm in the Command Center, but inactive for an extended period of time
    The ability to group the discussion board posts by subject line (also known as "threaded messaging"), rather than just by post date
    The ability to have the feedback form open while having the Investigator's assignment open at the same time (e.g. have two windows open so I can see their work while I compose my feedback on it)
    If my Investigator posts several messages or assignments within a short period of time, send me just one e-mail alert, instead of one for each action
    Add a "no response necessary" option to the Assignment Feedback form
    A way for the Mentor and Advisor to communicate privately on the Command Center without the Investigator seeing
    The ability to post questions and/or advice of my own to the Mentor/Advisor Forum (e.g. the Mentor/Advisor forum would become a place where Mentors and Advisors could talk to each other rather than only being a place where the staff can post messages)
    Other
     
  15. Where did you do most of your communications with your Team?
    Computer at school or work
    Computer at home
     
  16. How often do you check to see whether you have e-mail?
    A couple times a week
    Once a day
    More than once a day
    Every hour
    Continuously
     
  17. Did your Investigator's project come out better than it would have without your help?
    Yes
    No
    Maybe
     
  18. What was the best thing about the Science Buddies program? What gave you the most satisfaction?
     
  19. What was the worst thing about the Science Buddies program?
     
  20. Would you be interested in receiving an e-mail newsletter throughout the year, similar to the one we have during science fair season, that contained information on (check all that apply):
    General news about the Science Buddies program
    Advice/tips on being a good Mentor or Advisor
    Science lectures or events in the Bay Area
    Tours of scientific facilities like biochemistry labs, astronomical observatories, & particle accelerators
    Science clubs in the Bay Area
    Summer programs in science for high school students
    Science competitions
    Exhibits at local museums
    Other

     
    I wouldn't be interested in such an e-Newsletter
     
  21. Would you be interested in having Science Buddies sponsor any of these events where you could meet other Mentors, Investigators, and Advisors (check all that apply):
    Talks by prominent scientists, engineers, or astronauts
    Tours of scientific facilities like biochemistry labs, astronomical observatories, & particle accelerators
    Tours of local museums
    A pizza party with a science program of some kind
    A pizza party with just pizza (and something to drink)
    Other

     
    I wouldn't be interested in attending such an event
     
  22. General comments:
     
  23. There needs to be a balance between help originating with you, the Advisor, versus help originating with the Mentor. Our original intent was that the Advisor was a "back stop" to monitor the traffic between Investigator & Mentor, and help or correct only occasionally. Were you ever in doubt about when to "jump into" a conversation originated by the Mentor?
    Yes
    No
     

    Some teams had more than one Mentor. For the next two questions, please answer according to your opinions about the most active Mentor on your team.

  24. In comparison to the time and effort you contributed to mentoring your Investigator, how would you characterize the time and effort your Mentor spent?
    My Mentor spent more time and effort than I did
    We spent about the same amount of time and effort
    My Mentor spent less time and effort than I did
     
  25. How would you characterize your team's Mentor? (check all that apply)
    Was slow to answer questions
    Was quick to answer questions
    Participated too little
    Participated too much
    Participated just the right amount
    Gave encouragement
    Did not give encouragement
    Gave us helpful & understandable advice
    Did not give us helpful & understandable advice
    Was easy to communicate with
    Was difficult to communicate with
    Other
     
  26. What is the most important improvement we could make to the Science Buddies program?
    Better screening and application process to ensure motivated students
    Better screening and application process to ensure students have necessary skill level
    Additional features or changes to the functionality of the Command Center
    Other
     
  27. Ask an Expert is an online bulletin board staffed by volunteers who offer help to anyone and everyone's science fair project questions (from students not in our mentoring program). We established Ask an Expert as an experiment this year, and we were so pleased with the results that we plan to expand the program next year. Volunteers on Ask an Expert will work with a larger number of students, but generally in less depth than with our existing mentoring program. We also plan to organize Ask an Expert so that the time commitment is less than that required for mentoring. Would you be willing to serve as an expert?
    Yes, I would be willing to serve as an Expert IN ADDITION to being an Advisor for my own team(s)
    Yes, I would be willing to serve as an Expert INSTEAD of being an Advisor
    No
     
  28. With our program growing from 30 students to over 500 students in just two years, we discovered that it is difficult for our small staff to personally monitor so many teams. In order to handle as many students as possible, one idea we actually experimented with this year is to create a new volunteer role of Advisor "supervisor". An Advisor supervisor reviews somewhere between 5 & 10 teams on a regular basis, reporting any deficiencies to the Science Buddies staff for resolution. This entails logging into Command Centers, reading discussions, briefly looking at assignments, and monitoring the teams' progress and interaction (but not having to actually do any mentoring). We estimate this takes about an hour a week. Would you be willing to participate as an Advisor "supervisor"?
    Yes, I would be willing to serve as an Advisor supervisor IN ADDITION to being an Advisor for my own team(s)
    Yes, I would be willing to serve as an Advisor supervisor INSTEAD of being an Advisor
    No