ODYSSEUS II CONTEST
OVERVIEW OF MENTORING FRAMEWORK
The ODYSSEUS mentoring programme intends to match a person with knowledge and / or professional experience on space science and technology with a team of pupils or a student, who can benefit from this experience. The objectives are to provide support for the pupils / students and informal guidance at the preparation of their entries to the Odysseus contest.
An Odysseus Mentor should lead, inspire and motivate his or her pupils / students to learn about space by sharing concepts, ideas, approaches and resources beyond their usual school curriculum or university courses. A mentor will provide guidance and recommendations to help the team of pupils / student to develop their entries to the Odysseus contest and will serve as a resource to space science knowledge. Depending on their availability and the time for which they have volunteered for, the Odysseus Mentors could provide guidance to more than one team of pupils or student.he ODYSSEUS mentoring programme intends to match a person with knowledge and / or professional experience on space science and technology with a team of pupils or a student, who can benefit from this experience. The objectives are to provide support for the pupils / students and informal guidance at the preparation of their entries to the Odysseus contest.
Characteristics of a an Odysseus Mentor
An Odysseus Mentor should:
- Have expertise in his or her field of knowledge (e.g. science education, space technology, biology, astronomy, engineering etc.) and ability to help the pupils / students to develop an entry for the Odysseus contest
- Be willing to commit time and energy to the relationship with the young students interested on space and science
- Strive to learn and practice the ability to give constructive feedback
- Have a genuine interest in developing potential of European youth for the future
Responsibilities of Odysseus Mentors
Mentor responsibilities include the following:
- Helps the pupils / students to develop their capabilities in terms of knowledge of scientific concepts and tools
- Acts as a resource for information about space science and technology
- Enables pupils / students to develop a new understanding over science and space related matters.
- Gives guidance on how to start and/or develop an entry for the Odysseus contest and leads pupils / students to the right direction through scientific investigation and research.
- Identifies informative space science reference material, including resources of data to observe and understand the natural world.
- Challenges pupils / students to think and discuss about space and science concepts and to form coherent scientific arguments.
- Listens actively pupils’ / students’ concerns about the scientific and technical aspects of their projects.
- Serves as a sounding board for ideas concerning the fields of the Odysseus Contest.
- Establish trust with the pupils / students they guide and maintains confidentiality
- Offers support, advice and counsel during the period of entries’ preparation.
- Offers constructive and meaningful feedback and critical analysis of the ideas and work of the Odysseus contestants.
- Shares unique experiences about science and space and his/her knowledge of important tools and skills that can help pupils / students develop a new understanding over scientific matters.
Mentors do not and must not substitute the teacher, responsible for a team of pupils competing in the Pioneers category and are neither responsible for registering the team of pupils in the Odysseus contest, nor for supporting and coaching the team in their everyday work for preparing their entry to the contest.
The Mentoring Process
- Only pupils and students registered to the Odysseus contest could apply for mentoring through the Odysseus Network of Mentors.
- Odysseus contestants will make the initial contact with the mentor via the contest site or through the Odysseus contest organizers.
- The Mentor should decide within 5 days from the receipt of the request and after assessing the needs and the objectives of the team of pupils / student requesting mentoring, whether he/she will accept to guide the team / student requesting his / her guidance. During the matching process the contest organizers may also contact both parties to talk through the match and confirm suitability.
- The Mentor should explain the role of the mentor, explore the expectations of the pupils / student and agree with him /her upon some common procedures.
- A broad recommendation would be that mentors and contestants will meet, once a month for a one-hour conference call /Skype conference. More frequent brief meetings may take place depending upon individual preferences, goals and by agreement of the mentor and team of pupils / student.
- The exact frequency and duration of mentoring sessions will be agreed in advance between the mentor and the team of pupils / student and should be always clear that there is no obligation of availability of the mentor outside of agreed sessions – phone meetings.
- The mentor will schedule the monthly phone / Skype meetings, depending on his / her availability.
- The team of pupils / student will establish the meeting agenda and send it to the mentor prior to the monthly teleconference.
- All pupils / students registering to the Odysseus contest will be advised that, if they would like to connect with an Odysseus Mentor, to respect the mentor’s time, to openly share success and failures and to be receptive to feedback and coaching.
- The first meeting should include:
- Induction guidelines
- Agreement on future ways of working together in the context of the preparation of an entry to the Odysseus contest.
- Subsequent meetings might include:
- Reflection on progress with the development and submission of the entry
- Identification and exploration of problems
- Identification of resources and information needed and ways of acquiring them
- The provision of feedback
- The discussion of issues and concerns of the pupil / student.
- The Mentor is free to adjust mentoring to meet the changing needs of pupils / students, such as providing verbal encouragement, demonstrating skills, or just being available if needed.
- The Mentor could end the mentoring relationship at any time he / she thinks that mentorship has fulfilled its purpose, or there is a change of commitments, or he / she is not able any more to help the team of pupils / student, or the team of pupils / student are not willing to work out his / her suggestions. Prior to ending the mentorship the mentor should inform the Odysseus contest organizers or the coordinators of the Network of Mentors about this decision.