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Co-Mentors who go ‘Above & Beyond’… and Out To Space December 7, 2009

Posted by jburnstein in Clubs, Mentor volunteers.
Tags: , , ,

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 and Meredith explain the activity

Anna explains the activity

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

Meredith sets up one-word 'Planet Poetry'

Meredith sets up one-word 'Planet Poetry'

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.



1. girlstartblog - December 8, 2009

Congratulations Anna and Meredith! You are both “star mentors”! Thank you for everything you do every week to inspire girls in science! That is what we aim to do every day at Girlstart (www.girlstart.org). We are giving you virtual “high fives”!!

~Julie Shannan
Deputy Director

Connie - December 8, 2009


We love your program at GirlStart!


2. Connie - December 8, 2009

Anna and Meredith,

Thank you for really sharing of yourselves. That is truly the greatest gift for the girls. I love that you have nominated each other–clearly you are learning from each other and have great respect for each others’ contribution.

Knowing that we have such reflective mentors like you working with our girls certainly makes me smile!

Thanks again!

Executive Director

3. Kareen Wilkindon - December 9, 2009

You ladies run an awesome club! I’m honored to be able to see it so often.

4. 2010 Year-in-Review « Science Club for Girls - December 20, 2010

[…] Toy Design, created by MIT mentor Emily Conn; Archaeology, created by Harvard grad student and mentor Bridget Alex; and Sports Nutrition, created and taught by Wellesley professor Connie Bauman and her […]

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