Volunteer educators' perceptions of mentorship involvement: grades 9-12 robotics

Date
2023-12-01
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Abstract
As non-educators increasingly support volunteer-based STEM programs, adopting pedagogically aligned mentorship training is required to support developing and retaining subject-specific mentorship practices and volunteer engagement with equity, diversity, and inclusion in STEM communities. This research aimed to understand how informal educators develop their personal mentorship practice and investigate volunteer’s understanding and engagement with equity, diversity, and inclusion within competitive FIRST robotics competition teams. Using a qualitative, collective case study, eight volunteer mentors participated in virtual interviews, using constructed personal artifacts for self-reflection and presentation, concluding the 2021-2022 mentorship season. A conceptual framework of constructionism, project-based learning, and communities of practice guided this study, using an inductive thematic analysis process to interpret the findings. The study's results highlight that artifacts guided mentors’ communication related to mentorship as a practice and increased acts of authentication through subject-specific language.
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Keywords
Mentorship, Volunteer, FIRST Robotics Competition, STEM, OST club
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