Role Models and Mentors

Role models matter, and mentoring works!

One of the most effective ways to encourage students to consider nontraditional careers is to introduce them to diverse role models, particularly role models with whom they are able to relate, by gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, location, etc. Providing a diverse representation of role models begins to challenge stereotypes around careers where some groups may traditionally be underrepresented. For example, women and people of color are underrepresented in most STEM fields, specific disciplines including engineering, physics, and computer science. But when we introduce our students to female engineers, or black computer scientists, we begin to shift the status quo and transform popular image and belief of who “belongs” in STEM, to include every type of person.

This webpage serves as a resource for primarily two groups of people:

  1. Educators seeking STEM role models and mentors for their students
  2. STEM professionals seeking to become a role model to students

Websites to Connect with or Volunteer as a STEM Role Model

  • STEM Role Models: The National Role Model Directory is a source for finding professionals from a wide range of STEM careers.
  • Fab Fems: The FabFems directory is a national database of women in STEM professions who are inspiring role models for young women.
  • MentorNet: MentorNet connects STEM professionals with college students in a structured mentoring program.
  • Spark 101: Spark 101 delivers dynamic, real-world STEM content to classrooms.
  • Nepris: Nepris connects teachers and students with the right industry experts, virtually without having to spend much planning time or leaving the classroom while providing an effective way for companies to extend education outreach and create equity of access.
  • Role Models in Science & Engineering Achievement: These influential scientists and engineers serve as great examples for the next generation seeking a career in STEM (list curated by the USA Science and Engineering Festival).
  • Women in Space enables you to view what the historic heroines have accomplished on their missions to space and what the current modern female marvels are accomplishing in their day-to-day job role.
  • Women@NASA shows the many ways you can get involved with Women@NASA.

Volunteer STEM Speaker Bureaus

These speaker bureaus are networks of STEM professionals that are ready to be role models! You can request a speaker for your campus event, a judge for your science fair, a mentor for your robotics club, or other events that are STEM and career related.

Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex Area

  • StemFire: STEMfire connects North Texas school districts to industry professionals who are passionate about volunteering to inspire young students. Discover the opportunities and enhance STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education for next generations!
  • High Tech High Heels Speakers Bureau: HTHH connects STEM professionals with local organizations to inspire and encourage middle school and high school students, especially under-represented minorities, to pursue careers in STEM fields.
  • DFW Technology and Education Council Speaker Bureau
Austin/Central Texas Area

Tools and Resources for STEM Role Models

Tools and Resources for Educators Hosting STEM Role Models

Mentoring Resources

  • Mentoring Toolkit: This toolkit describes how to create a successful mentoring program.
  • iMentor: iMentor builds mentoring relationships that empower students from low-income communities to graduate high school, succeed in college, and achieve their ambitions.
  • MentorNet: MentorNet connects STEM professionals with college students in a structured mentoring program.
  • Mentor: The National Mentoring Partnership: MENTOR’s mission is to fuel the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships for America’s young people and to close the mentoring gap. They engage with the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to ensure that all youth have the support they need through mentoring relationships to succeed at home, school and, ultimately, work.

STEM Activity Resources

  • TeachEngineering: TeachEngineering is a searchable, web-based digital library collection populated with standards-based engineering curricula for use by K-12 teachers and engineering faculty to make applied science and math come alive through engineering design in K-12 settings. The TeachEngineering collection provides educators with *free* access to a growing curricular resource of activities, lessons, units and living labs.
  • Access STEM: Resources for STEM for persons with disabilities
  • How to Smile: Are you looking for new ways to teach kids about math and science? Do you want activities that meet you where you live, whether your “classroom” is an active volcano, the shark tank at the local aquarium, or your own kitchen table?
  • eGFI (Engineering- Go for it!): Here you will find a variety of tools to boost your students’ math and science skills, enliven the classroom with engineering projects,
  • Engineering is Elementary:  EiE® is a project of the National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®) at the Museum of Science, BostonEiE serves children and educators in grades K- 8 with research-based, teacher-tested curriculum materials for schools and out-of-school time programs.
  • Design Squad: The DESIGN SQUAD NATION website is an online community that grew out of the DESIGN SQUAD television series that aired on PBS KIDS. The website offers many examples that contextualize engineering concepts and spurs kids to explore those concepts on their own or with a parent or educator.
  • NAPE STEM Career ToolkitSTEM Career Toolkit is a research-based guide for counselors and educators on how to encourage every student to consider a future career in STEM. The toolkit provides an overview of STEM careers, introduces positive language for talking with students, and connects the effective messaging with practical take-away tools, activities, and resources.

State and National STEM Networks

  • National Girls Collaborative: The vision of the NGCP is to bring together organizations throughout the United States that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Each state has it’s own collaborative, and you can find those through the national site (For example, Texas Girls Collaborative)
  • STEMconnector: STEMconnector® is “The one-stop for STEM Information.”

Relevant Articles

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