Tag Archives: engineering

icouldbe.org Executive Director speaks out on STEM in the Huffington Post!

We’re excited to announce that our executive director Kate Schrauth penned an article for Huffington Post Science titled “Mentoring the Next Generation towards STEM careers” – you can read it here.

An excerpt from her article:

“It’s inspiring and encouraging when these relationships form and students grow beyond the classroom, beyond graduation, to a life of promise and success. But we can do more. We can build a nationwide, unified effort to encourage more women and minorities to pursue STEM careers.”

Let us know your comments and thoughts on the article! And please share it with your friends and coworkers – especially those in STEM careers who might be able to pass on their knowledge through the power of mentoring.


icouldbe.org STEM mentors will help students with science projects this year!

We’re very excited to announce a new partnership that will provide students working on science projects with dedicated online mentors in STEM fields!

In case you’re unaware, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. There is a dire need in the U.S. for people to fill STEM careers; there are many science and technology job openings, but not enough people to recruit. A major place where this problem can be addressed is within our education system.

There is an amazing initiative happening in upstate New York called the Dr. Nelson Ying Tri Region Science & Engineering Fair (Ying TRSEF). The fair was created to allow students to explore their talents and challenge their minds in STEM fields. It’s available to students in grades 5-12 throughout 24 counties, which until 2006 had no regional access to the International Science and Engineer Fair.

This year, a group of these students will have the help of eMentors (provided by icouldbe.org!) during the creation of their science projects.

Ying TRSEF is engaging in a pilot program with icouldbe.org to provide students building their science projects with volunteer eMentors employed in STEM careers. These volunteers will mentor the students through the process of preparing for the fair on March 17 and 18. Using the icouldbe.org discussion boards, each mentor will help her mentee identify the science fair topic/question, make a plan to gather data to answer said question, understand ethical and safety procedures and analyze data and draw conclusions.

At the conclusion of the fair, mentors and mentees will continue the mentoring partnership by transitioning to the icouldbe.org curriculum. The mentors will then guide students through units that will help them identify future goals specific to post-secondary education and careers in various sectors.

We’re hopeful that this is just the beginning of a much bigger initiative to mentor students and create an interest in STEM careers. With mentors who already have vast experience and a passion for jobs in these fields, who better to pair with students to help them realize their capabilities and dreams?

Next month we’ll post an update from the science fair on March 17-18. We can’t wait to see what these kids create!

For more information on Ying TRSEF, visit www.yingtrsef.org.

Photo credits:
science lab counter. March 6, 2009 Meghan McDonald on Flickr.com Creative Commons

Mentor Spotlight: Sam C.

When I was an engineering program manager in the aerospace industry, one of my most enjoyable activities was working with just degreed young engineers. Guiding them through the processes of what engineers really do, letting them, with guidance, take on and successfully complete a project provided me with great rewards.  I was even able to help a few win their Professional Engineer (PE) status. When I retired I wanted to teach motivated high school seniors advanced mathematics to hopefully guide them into a STEM career.  That turned out to be something that couldn’t be done for a number of reasons.

Embedded in the above is why I enjoy working with icouldbe.org students. It is my hope that by providing guidance and encouragement to those  young people, some of them will choose the route I followed in my professional life.  There is a tremendous need for young, bright military officers and others schooled in STEM courses and ideas.  It appears that some I’ve worked with have a leaning to go in that direction, that is rewarding. This great country provided the framework within which someone like me of humble beginnings through commitment could achieve whatever they set out to do. Working with young people like those in icouldbe is one way I have of giving back. Finally, just working with young people who want to better their lives to make a greater contribution to society in the future is a significant accomplishment.

Welcome back students and mentors!

Fall is in the air, and students are back in the classrooms; otherwise known as our favorite time of the year here at icouldbe.org! We’d like to offer a big welcome back to students and mentors, both those that are returning and those that are new this year.

We already have 600 students registered so far this year, and another 1,200 will be registering in the coming weeks.   For the 2011-2012 school year, our goal is to serve 2,500 students.

We couldn’t be more pleased to sign up so many students for the icouldbe.org program. This means more students will receive one-on-one attention from an adult mentor, who can give them help with their studies and offer support as they begin to dream up all the possibilities available to them after high school graduation – all through our online program.

All these new students mean we have a need for more mentors. So we’re putting out a call-to-action to all of YOU to sign up to become an online mentor!

In case you’re not sure what being an icouldbe.org mentor entails, here are some quick facts:

  • Mentoring is carried out completely online. Mentors work with students through a series of online activity modules for the duration of the school year, as students progress through the icouldbe.org curriculum.
  • Mentors communicate with students using icouldbe.org’s activities, email system and discussion boards.
  • Mentors are paired with students who have an interest in their career field.
  • Mentors only need to commit one hour per week, per mentee. You can mentor anywhere you have access to a computer, whether it be at home, at work or on your daily commute!

We’re currently in need of mentors in a few specific career fields: Health Services, Media Communications and Engineering. However, we are always accepting mentors in every occupation!

Please head to our website for more information if you are interested in becoming a mentor. We are also preparing to set up several webinars in the coming weeks to educate more on online mentoring. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please email Michelle Derosier for more information.

You could make a huge difference in a young person’s life – all through a convenient, easy-to-use online program. We hope to hear from many of you soon! Many thanks to all of our supporters and mentors!

Photo credits:
Computer in photo class. August 26, 2010 Lauren Coleman on Flickr.com Creative Commons