Guide for SHARP Mentors

Making the most out of your SHARP mentorship experience.

What's expected of a SHARP mentor?

  • mentor a high school student in the lab for 8 weeks, ~5 hours/week
  • attend an orientation to learn more about the program
  • make sure your student knows how to get in touch with you
  • give your student something hands-on to do; shadowing alone will get boring for both you and the student
  • submit a short weekly log
  • attend the end-of-program student presentations
  • permission from your PI to participate

Key Considerations

  • Make your project feasible and accessible for a high school student! The students might have had AP Biology, but most likely not. Make sure that you can explain your project and experiments to someone in layman’s terms, and have your student explain it back to you to make sure they understand. If there is a small portion of the project that you can “give” them to work on as their own, that will serve to motivate and increase their interest and excitement about science.
  • Make your project hands on! The more that your student is able to do in lab the more exciting and interesting it will be for them. Whether it is genotyping, cloning a PCR product, or simply pouring a gel or making a buffer, this will likely be your student’s first exposure to laboratory work so even what we consider to be mundane tasks might be exciting for them.

  • Be more than a research mentor! You probably remember what it was like to be in high school and trying to figure out where to go to college, what to major in, what to do with your life, etc, and your student will probably be all ears to hear about your experiences. Share with your student any advice you may have about majors, jobs, where to go to college, or anything else you can think of!

  • Show your student as much as you can! Introduce them to your lab mates, to other labs, give them tours of your facilities, take them to research seminars, etc. This summer is their chance to learn about how science is done and what research is like so be sure to give them a taste of everything!