Co-Mentors who go ‘Above & Beyond’… and Out To Space December 7, 2009Posted by jburnstein in Clubs, Mentor volunteers.
Tags: Astronomy, Mentors, Nomination, Volunteers
A short visit to Anna Strewler’s and Meredith MacGregor’s 7th grade Astronomy club was enough to understand why these women would have nominated each other as outstanding Mentors. The two work together well, and their girls stayed engaged and excited throughout the club session. Both are first time Mentors at the Amigos school — we hope they continue on with Science Club next semester! Thanks for your hard work.
Anna Strewler’s Nomination, by Meredith MacGregor
I would like to nominate my co-mentor Anna Strewler as going above and beyond. We have been teaching the 6th and 7th grade girls the Kids Capture their Universe astronomy curriculum. Anna started off the program not having much of a background in astronomy, but she has definitely made an effort to learn the material. At this point, she can answer most of the astronomy related questions that the girls ask. A large part of the curriculum is processing astronomical images using a program called MicroObservatory. Anna has pretty much mastered this program and does a great job explaining it to the girls. Overall, Anna is a wonderful person to work with. She does a great job engaging the girls and teaching the material. And, she is always willing to do an extra task whether it be bringing in her own computer for the girls to work on or printing out processed images. Anna is definitely an awesome co-mentor.
Meredith MacGregor’s nomination, by Anna Strewler
Using the phrase, “Above and Beyond” to describe Meredith MacGregor’s approach to our Astronomy club is particularly apt. As someone who has a strong background in our curriculum material, her drive to share that knowledge with others has continuously impressed me throughout our sessions. She never passes up an opportunity to expand upon the existing material, isn’t afraid to delve a little deeper into technicalities and mechanisms with the girls, and puts great value on sharing how each new activity, definition, or procedure relates to what professional astronomers and astronomy students like her accomplish on a day to day basis. Her willingness to share her personal experiences with and even questions about this material really has enhanced how the girls themselves connect with what they’ve been learning. This honest approach in her teaching style, I think, has been really instrumental in showing the girls that like Meredith, they, too have the right to question what we’re looking at. The level of comfort with personal inquiry on the part of every single girl in our club has grown immensely over the past several weeks, and I think this is owed to Meredith’s public display of her own learning experiences. Furthermore, this honest display has really gained for Meredith the girls’ respect in getting across material that can seem daunting. Throughout the past several weeks, I’ve watched as she’s grown more and more comfortable with sharing her own connection with astronomy, while simultaneously the girls have grown more and more confident in what we’re learning and expressing their own questions about it. She acts as a fun and solid example for each girl and for myself of a woman who enjoys, takes seriously, questions, and is at moments in awe of what she studies and this has had a major effect on the level of intellectual and personal comfort and growth I’ve witnessed our club members take on.