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Mentoring Young Scientists

Helping Students Discover the Adventurous Side of Science
Mentoring_YS04Who is involved in Mentoring Young Scientists?

  • 7th grade students in the Buffalo Public School System
  • Responsible adults who can spare approximately 8 hrs./mo, and want to mentor a student as they become partners on a scientific journey of discovery. No science skills are required.
  • The program is a partnership among: The Buffalo Zoo - Buffalo Public Schools - First Hand Learning, Inc. - Erie Niagara Area Health Education Center, Inc. - Boy Scouts of America, Greater Niagara Frontier Council
  • It is made possible by a two-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership and a lifetime of learning.  Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

What is Mentoring Young Scientists?

A brand new, science-based, after school program for select 7th grade Buffalo Public School students that will help them:

  • discover the world of animals in an interactive zoo setting
  • develop a meaningful connection with an adult role model
  • create a project or study based on their favorite animals
  • strengthen life science skills to help improve academic performance
  • gain real life experiences in science
  • increase their confidence about, attitude toward and knowledge of life sciences

Where does Mentoring Young Scientists take place?

All workshops, activities and meetings take place at the most fun living laboratory around…the Buffalo Zoo.

During the program:

  • Student/Mentor pairs attend workshops approximately every other week to explore and develop skills in animal behavior, animal health care, and wildlife conservation.
  • Student/Mentor pairs get together in between workshops and occasionally during the summer to do fun activities related to the workshops and work on a student-driven project.

Why was Mentoring Young Scientists developed?

Research shows that after-school or out-of-school programs correlate with:

  •   higher grades and test scores
  •   improved attitudes toward school
  •   better work habits
  •   higher attendance rates
  •   lower incidence of risky behaviors

Research also shows that mentoring is linked to:

  •   higher attendance rates
  •   improved attitudes toward school
  •   greater likelihood of going on to higher education

We simply put the two together (mentoring and after-school programs) and… voila… We came up with Mentoring Young Scientists!

The Buffalo Zoo has a commitment to educating, uniting and encouraging the involvement of all young people in the conservation and preservation of nature. We strive to accomplish this with students who may not otherwise have access to first-hand, fun ways to learn about nature and the life sciences. Mentoring Young Scientists will help us accomplish our goals and will help students achieve more in science.

How can you get involved in Mentoring Young Scientists?

7th grade students and parents in the Buffalo Public School District: Contact the Education Department at 837-3900 ext. 128.

Adult Mentor Candidates: Contact Volunteer Services at 837-3900 ext. 132.

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