methionine
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:48 am
Occupation: Student

Will this hurt me?

Postby methionine » Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:18 am

Hi all,
My research project involves procedures that can only be performed in a lab. I have a mentor and I'll be doing my experiments there, but would having a mentor hurt me anyway? I keep getting the impression that the judges like it when kids do experiments on their own. I mean-- I am doing my experiments on my own, but I'm just doing them in a laboratory instead. Is that bad?

Thanks.
-M
People do not see the world as it is, they see it as they are.

suomiboy43
Former Expert
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2005 8:22 am

Mentor

Postby suomiboy43 » Mon Nov 13, 2006 6:05 pm

Hey,
I know from previous experience with science fairs that at the lower levels like school, county and region , there are very few projects that involve working with a mentor. However, many projects that do well at state and International science fairs involve mentors in some degree because the projects there get too complicated to do alone. I hope this helps.

-suomiboy43

tdaly
Former Expert
Posts: 1415
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2003 11:27 pm
Occupation: Planetary Scientist

Postby tdaly » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:00 pm

Having a mentor can be a two-edged sword. You need to be able to differentiate between what you did and what your mentor did. Judges don't care if you went into a lab and watched while your mentor did everything.

What impresses a judge is the student who goes into a lab, learns the techniques and protocols s/he will be using, and then does the work his or herself under the supervision of the mentor.
All the best,
Terik

zzzzdoc
Former Expert
Posts: 238
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:28 pm

Postby zzzzdoc » Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:09 am

I agree with Terik and also think a mentor can be a two-edged sword. But if you can articulately describe your experiment, and answer questions well about it when asked by the judges, I think it would be a positive. But if your involvement was in watching someone else do your experiment, and you look confused when asked questions about it, having a mentor will likely hurt you.

Personally, I like the idea, and have judged kids well who have had mentors. But I do like to throw in some in-depth questions to ferret out how much understanding they do have, so having one may lead to tougher questions. The good news is that if you ace them, you can hit one out of the park.
Alan Lichtenstein, MD
Anesthesiologist

Mens et manus
Veritas

He who laughs last...Thinks slowest.


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