The Effects of Science Mentoring on Mentee Confidence



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



SMART, or Science Mentoring to Achieve a Richer Tomorrow, is a service project within the Bonner Leaders program of the Honors College. We strive to increase personal confidence and science STAAR scores of 5th-grade mentees at Shearn Elementary through hands-on science experiments and one-on-one mentorship. We choose science mentoring because hands-experiments ensure the students stay interested, and regular investigations of the scientific process aid students in developing critical thinking skills. Most important of all is the sense of achievement that the mentees get to enjoy when they successfully answer a practice STAAR question or skillfully carry out a science experiment with the aid of a mentor. We hope that this sense of achievement pushes mentees to become more confident in themselves and their skills, and this research project provides the analysis to back up that claim. At the beginning and middle of the school year, each mentee filled out a short survey that quantified how confident they felt about science, the STAAR test, and the school year to come. The two scores of each question from the beginning and middle of the year were compared for each mentee, and the differences of each question were averaged. The overall average demonstrated a 6.25% increase for all 3 survey questions, with relatively large variation between each question. It would seem that SMART was able to marginally increase the confidence of these students in one semester of mentoring, but the p-value came out to 0.3404, demonstrating no statistical significance.