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All Students Gathering September. 8, 2010 Michael Farquhar, Associate Professor of Mathematics Joe Kotowski, Chair of Engineering Gloria Liu, Coordinator of Center for Promoting STEM Bob Sompolski, Professor and Dean of Math and Technologies Carol Ward, Professor of Biology

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All Students Gathering September. 8, 2010

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All students gathering september 8 2010

All Students Gathering

September. 8, 2010

Michael Farquhar, Associate Professor of MathematicsJoe Kotowski, Chair of Engineering

Gloria Liu, Coordinator of Center for Promoting STEM

Bob Sompolski, Professor and Dean of Math and Technologies

Carol Ward, Professor of Biology

Oakton Community College

Des Plaines, IL

*Funded by the National Science Foundation grants, DUE-0230682 and DUE-0622329




  • program directors

  • mentors

Purpose of mentoring

Purpose of Mentoring

The purpose of a mentoring relationship is to provide guidance, pass on knowledge, share experience, provide a background for more sound judgment, and establish friendship.1

Not to provide tutoring.

Goal of stem mentoring program

Goal of STEM Mentoring Program

To provide an effective support system that attracts and retains students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields as they pursue a career in STEM.

To establish a network of resources and opportunities for STEM students.

What to expect from a mentor

What to expect from a mentor?

A mentor

encourages his/her mentee to think, act, and evaluate.

praises, prods, connects, and listens.

helps a student identify and develop his/her potential and shape his/her life.

encourages the student to use his/her strengths, follow dreams, and accept challenges.

During first meeting with mentor

During First Meeting with Mentor

Complete Student-Mentor Contract

to discuss ground rules for the mentoring relationship

Establish regular meeting days and times

Identifying each other’s expectations

Identify meeting space

Determine how to contact each other if appointment must be rescheduled

Discuss how to end mentoring relationship when program ends or if situation requires a termination of the relationship.

Discuss appropriate mentor activities

Confidentiality – FERPA (Confidentiality is maintained within the program.)

Possible mentoring discussion topics

Possible Mentoring Discussion Topics

  • Establishing a meeting schedule

  • Study skills (time management, test taking),

    not tutoring

  • Setting academic, career, and personal goals

  • STEM activities most relevant to interest and beneficial for career development.

  • Results of the Midterm Progress Report

  • Choosing a major or career

  • Selecting 4-year schools

  • Navigating through the transfer process

  • Internship, job search, interview skills, writing a resume. (Consider to attend workshops offered by Career Services.)

Goal setting

Goal Setting

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do” ~Epictetus

Setting goals helps

  • direct attention

  • regulate effort

  • increase persistence, and

  • foster strategies and action plans.

Goals allow you to focus your energy and time! To prioritize!

How to set goals and reach them

How to set goals and reach them

  • Write SMART goals

    • Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results oriented, and Time bound

    • Difficult but attainable goals lead to higher performance.

    • Make the goals self-directed rather than assigned by someone else.

  • Commit to goals

    • Receive feedback and support from your mentor and other people around you

Program requirements


  • Six (6) meeting times with your mentor for at least 30 minutes each time

  • Four (4) STEM-related activities

  • Submit by deadline

    • Student-Mentor Contract

    • Signature Form

    • Midterm Progress Report

    • Goal Setting

    • Classes and Work Schedule

    • Attitudinal Surveys (pre & post)

  • All required mentoring documents are available at

Stem activities

STEM Activities

Activities are announced through:

  • Email from (add to your e-address book)

  • Online STEM Calendar of Events

  • Facebook (CP-STEM & STEM Club)

  • LinkedIn

Highlights of upcoming activities

Highlights of Upcoming Activities

  • Field Trip to International Manufacturing Technology Show – Sept. 15, 8am – 1pm

  • Mathematical Sciences field trip to Northwestern – Sept. 30

  • QED, a play about the life of Richard Feynmann by Peter Parnell at Northwestern University - Sept. 23 – Oct 10

  • 2nd All Students Gathering Wed., Dec. 1, 2:00pm, Rm 1604 Des Plaines

  • Expert Forum - TBA Des Plaines

  • Skyway STEM Poster competition – Feb. 11, 2011

    See STEM Calendar of Events for complete list

    and info on how to register.

Scholarships fellowships and internships at oakton and beyond

Scholarships, Fellowships, and Internships at Oakton and beyond

At Oakton

APEX Scholarship

Last year, not all available funds were awarded.

Apply soon and early.

Ask for help or clarification.

Oakton scholarships

Not all funds were awarded due to lack of applicants.

Study Session Facilitation Fellowship

Oakton Internship Program

Outside Oakton


Professional organizations, for example:

American Chemical Society

Society of Actuary

Illinois Society of Professional Engineers


How to be successful in STEM?


Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset. New York: Ballantine Books.


What do you believe about your intelligence? (Choose one of the following.)

Your intelligence is something very basic about you that you can’t change very much.

(fixed mindset)

You can learn new things, but you can’t really change how intelligent you are.

You can always substantially change how intelligent you are.

(growth mindset)


Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset. New York: Ballantine Books.


What do you believe about your personality?

Choose one of the following.

You are a certain kind of person, and there is not much that can be done to really change that.

(fixed mindset)

You can learn You can do things differently, but the important parts of who you are can’t really be changed.

No matter what kind of person you are, you can always change substantially.

You can always change basic things about the kind of person you are.

(growth mindset)


Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset. New York: Ballantine Books.



Mindset are powerful beliefs that

Shape our motivation.

Are changeable.

Carol Dweck


Think about someone you know who is steeped in the fixed mindset.

Think about how they’re always trying to prove themselves and how they’re supersensitive about being wrong or making mistakes.

Did you ever wonder why they were this way?


Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset. New York: Ballantine Books.


Think about someone you know who is skilled in the growth mindset – someone who understands that important qualities can be cultivated.

Think about the ways they confront obstacles.

Think about the things they do to stretch themselves.

What are some ways you might like to change or stretch yourself?


Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset. New York: Ballantine Books.


Now, imagine you’ve decided to learn a new language and you’ve signed up for a class. A few sessions into the course, the instructor calls you to the front of the room and starts throwing questions at you one after another.

How would you respond as fixed mindset?

How would you respond as growth mindset?


Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset. New York: Ballantine Books.


Grow your mindset

A mentoring project

Think about someone that you admire, perhaps a specialist in your field of interest.

Do you think this person as someone with extraordinary abilities achieved with little effort?

Go find the truth! Find out what efforts went into their accomplishments and admire them more!


Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset. New York: Ballantine Books.


Grow your mindset

Think about times other people outdid you and you just assumed they were smarter or more talented.

Now consider the idea that they just used better strategies, taught themselves more, practiced harder, and worked their way through obstacles.

Find out what strategies and approaches others did to outperform you.


Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset. New York: Ballantine Books.


Give the gift of growth mindset

Create an environment that teaches the growth mindset to people in your life (friends, family, colleagues), especially the ones who are targets of negative stereotypes.

What growth-mindset compliments can you give?

Even when the negative label comes along, they’ll remain in charge of their learning.


Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset. New York: Ballantine Books.

All students gathering september 8 2010

Fill in the blank.

What makes a good _________?

(specialist in your field)

Research online, through interviews, and experience, and with your mentor what makes a good specialist in your field of interest.

The next 3 slides provide a sample.

What makes a good


According to Karl Weierstrass, a famous German mathematician, "A mathematician who is not also something of a poet will never be a complete mathematician." A mathematician appreciates beauty,symmetry, and order in nature andin logical and analytical thought. She should have a logical mind, a sense of curiosity, the desire and ability to solve problems, and numerical aptitude. A mathematician cannot be easily discouraged, for solving research problems often requires months of work. Some mathematical problems have remained unsolved for centuries. An applied mathematician must be able to communicate effectively and bring structure and analytical rigor to what is often a morass of confusing information. A mathematician, however, need not be a genius; a desire to work hard and an ability to formulate problems in mathematical terms is what makes a good mathematician.

What makes a good…?

What makes a good1


Be enthusiastic and constantly ask questions.,1159,AR.html

Be confident about asking questions, focus on learning rather than worrying about being embarrassed.

Shrewd observers with great imagination.

Combines imagination with rigorous experiments.

Good scientists are emotional and enthusiastic about their work until it is time to analyze the data, at which point they become objective and critical.

What makes a good…?

What makes a good2


The best engineers are problem solvers and innovators. It can save some time if they've already solved exactly the same problem, but the latest problem may be different in some way. Good engineers may find a solution based on similar experiences, or invent a totally new solution. They look at the "traditional" capabilities of a system or component, and see new, untapped potential. The "grammar" of engineering is most easily learned. A good engineer may need only a few days to learn about a new component or technique, and has the ability to apply fundamental technical knowledge within the context of an overall design. Learning the "poetry" of engineering requires much more time and effort, but allows good engineers to incorporate new concepts into original and elegant solutions.

What makes a good…?

What makes a good3

Extension to the “What makes a good…?” project

Research what it takes to be good at …

Warning: Be vigilant of myths and stereotypes about various STEM careers and about how to become good in a field.

What makes a good…?

All students gathering september 8 2010


The upper part of the pyramid is where U.S. policy makers want U.S. industry to be

in order to remain competitive in the global economy.

Securing job and improving the economy

What is Oakton doing to foster creativity?

Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Laboratory Research (BIO240/CHM240)

Pilot Research and Design (RAD) Project-Based Mentoring Fall 2010


Geared to students with more experience

Current Projects

MajidGhadiri – solar energy

George Tootelian – NASA’s Lunabotics Mining Competition

At end of semester All Students Gathering, present results, efforts, what learned, and what’s to be done

Contact Gloria Liu for more info or to sign up for this pilot program.

Securing job and improving the economy

Wrap up

Wrap Up

Get as much as you can out of your mentor relationship!

Before you leave today

Complete the Attitudinal Survey

Pick up

Student-Mentor Contract

Signature Form

Declare Major Form

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