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Science Jamboree Project – Mentors

In November, students from across the University deliver science related sessions for 300 Beavers, Cubs, Brownies and Rainbows from Merseyside and Cheshire.  These sessions allow the young visitors to gain their science-related activity badges. Involvement in the project allows undergraduates to flex their imagination, develop their self-management and communication skills and gain an entry into their Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR).

Student teams are supported by mentors who help the students to take responsibility for their activities and ensure that the activities are ready for the Science Jamboree.

Click here to see what Merseyside Scouts had to say about SciJam 2018

Who are the mentors?

Mentors come from across the University and from a wide range of backgrounds.  Previous mentors have included academic and professional services staff, post-docs and post-grad research students.  Many have experience in outreach or working with young people, some are current researchers, some are involved in scouts and guiding but all of them have enthusiasm and belief in the value of the Science Jamboree Project for both the student volunteers and the young visitors.

This year we are hoping to recruit undergraduates to act as mentors; these students will be in their third or fourth year and have volunteered at the Science Jamboree or other event involving young people.

What do mentors do?

Mentoring is a small leadership role which will involve about 3-6 hours between October and November. Mentors support a student group to refine ideas for sessions to make them manageable, achievable and safe. They work with the team to keep track of their progress during the project and make sure they complete tasks* to deadlines. Tasks that have to be completed by students include: activity plans, equipment ordering, risk assessments, handouts, trial, attendance at Jamboree. The teams may choose to produce their own resources to create a new activity or use one of the pre-made activity packs containing a plan, list of supplies needed, a risk assessment and a leaflet for the young people to take home.

Mentors advise, troubleshoot, and support the student mentees pragmatically. Mentors should question whether the activity being developed is deliverable in the allocated time, on budget and provides an appropriate turnaround time between sessions. Mentor should offer coaching on appropriate science communication, age appropriate for the audience.

Mentors are directly supported by the Science Jamboree Organising Team and they will act as a liaison with their mentees and the organisers.  This means they will approve purchases, space requests and trial times.

They will also attend the group’s activity trial (with one of the Organising Team) to assess if it is suitable for the jamboree and are welcome to attend on the day to see their mentees in action! (Mentors will be required to have attended safeguarding training if they are attending the Science Jamboree Day).

What’s in it for mentors?

“My involvement in the science jamboree has provided me with valuable experience in a leadership role, which I feel has improved such skills as communication and time management” (Mentor, 2016)

This is a great opportunity to work with a team to deliver a project on time.  It will also provide:

  • an opportunity to lead & communicate with students from different disciplines
  • an opportunity to be involved in outreach and improve your own science communication
  • an opportunity to network with staff and students across the university
  • maximum reward for relatively little effort

How do I get involved?

Contact the Science Jamboree Organising team by sending an email to

We will be supporting new mentors with some training about how to support outreach through mentoring.  The session lasts about 1 hour and we will run sessions on:

  • 11th September | 14:00 | CTL-1-MECH |
  • 13th September | 11:00 | CTL-1-MECH |
  • 3rd October | 13:00 | CTL-1-MECH |

To register for one of these session please click here.


Q.  Does the mentor have to be available at the Science Jamboree Day?

A: No, but they tend to turn up to cheer their team on. They will need to have attended safeguarding training to attend on the day.

Q: Does the mentor get a Science Jamboree badge?

A: Of course!

Q: Is there support available?

A: The Sci Jam team will provide an induction and mentor pack so that the objectives of the event and activities are clear. They will be available for questions and to coach on science communication and offer examples and ideas of what makes a good activity.

Q. Will I mentor a team from my department?

A. Not necessarily – sometimes it’s good to mix and match

Q. Will the Organising team set up my mentor meetings?

A. No, we will send you the contact details through VITAL and then leave it up to you and the team to set up meetings.