Friday, February 17, 2012

Mentoring future scientists


MENORING MOMENT: Long, center, talks with students at the fair.


“What is the effect of the release angle on the distance a baseball travels?” “What is the effect of different light filters on the heat produced by the light?” “What is the effect of odor on the attraction of fruit flies?”

These are some of the questions 54 students from the James P. Timilty Middle School in Roxbury explored with the help of MGH mentors through the MGH/Timilty Partnership, a program of the Center for Community Health Improvement. Over the course of several months, the seventh- and eighth-grade students met biweekly with their mentors to develop research projects. Their collaborations culminated with the school’s annual science fair held Feb. 6 through 9.

While many of the MGH mentors have been involved in the MGH/Timilty Partnership for a long time – the program is now in its 23rd year – others, like Bill Hynes, executive director of Pathology, were participating for the first time. “This program offers a great opportunity to have an impact on the life of a young person,” says Hynes.

In addition to the 54 mentors, 75 MGHers volunteered as science fair judges, talking with students about their projects and later voting on them.

Janet Long, senior compliance consultant for Human Resources, has been a judge for three years. “It is inspiring to know that every student participates, and also to see how the partnership with MGH staff is helping students gain awareness about the possibilities of science careers.”      

The MGH mentors and their students will celebrate their scientific partnerships at a March 8 event. On March 10, 15 of the students will be among the 21 students from Timilty who compete at the citywide science fair.

Read more articles from the 02/17/12 Hotline issue.

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