Mentor Roadmaps - PlantingScience and the Scientist Mentor Role

The purpose of the asynchronous blog/online conversation is to provide one-on-one conversation between scientists and students. Through the conversation, students have opportunities to reflect on their evolving understanding, use you as a sounding board for their ideas and thinking, and enrich their knowledge of plants in their everyday lives and in life on Earth.


You help students to:

  • See the Fun and Interesting Side of Plant Science
    • Students are fascinated by “Did you know…?” such as historical tidbits or “science facts.”
    • Connect to the gizmos and travel of scientific endeavors.
    • Connect to current social issues of life problems.
  • See Scientists as Someone Like Them
    • How you decided to become a scientist
    • Your life stories/experiences
    • How you face struggles in science
  • Visualize Everyday Experiences with Plants
    • When you walk home from the school bus stop, what plants do you see? Do you have plants at home? (Help students situate their thinking in a familiar place)
    • What have you done with plants in school this year?
  • Put Forward and “Unpack” their Ideas About Biology Content
    • How do you think [insert vocabulary word or idea student is using] means?
    • How do you think that works?
  • Be More Reflective About their Ideas and Reasoning
    • I’m trying to understand what you mean by XXX. Tell me more.
    • How does XXX relate to YYY?
  • Use Data as Evidence in Making their Emerging Models More Sophisticated
    • What did you see? What didn’t you see?
    • Does this make sense with how you think photosynthesis [or XXX] works? Why or why not?
    • In your mind, is this the only possible explanation? What are alternative explanations?
  • Recognize Conflicts Between their Emerging Ideas, their Everyday Experiences, and Data
    • So if carbon dioxide is a gas, does it have mass? Does it take up space? What about when it is inside a plant?
    • Does that mean [contrast two claims]?
  • Reason About Cause-and-Effect Relationships and Build Mental Models
    • Does that mean that if [claim/idea #1] is true, then XXX should [also be true/happen]?
    • If A and B are true, what does this say about what happens when [condition]?