Planting Science - Become a Mentor


A photo of past mentors during an in-person gathering in Colorado in 2016.  About twenty young adults are standing outdoors on a sunny day with a large rock formation in the background.It is a lot of fun interacting with students from an age group I don’t have the chance to spend a lot of time with. It is a good reminder of where public knowledge of plant science stands, and a great opportunity for me to practice explaining key concepts in a simple and straightforward way. - PlantingScience Mentor

Make a difference!

PlantingScience is a simple, effective and efficient avenue for outreach.  Plant scientists who mentor through our program can share their passion for plants and science with the next generation of young scientists and citizens. 

In just an hour a week during the session, our mentors support much needed plant-focused content in middle and high school science classes, and challenge widely-held stereotypic assumptions about who scientists are and what sort of work they do.  Our mentors help students see scientists as relatable and diverse, and to better understand the important work they do.

How it works:

Mentoring through PlantingScience takes place online via an asynchronous message board.  Scientists interested in mentoring simply need to do the following to take part:

  • Register for a free account on our platform.  You can create your account at any time.
  • Update your account profile to indicate your availability, what age levels and topics you feel comfortable mentoring, and how many student teams you would like to work with in a given session.  (Note that these settings can be changed at any time.)
  • Join a group. PlantingScience sessions run mid-September through November, and mid-February through April.  During this time you will receive e-mailed invitations to join groups that match your indicated interests. Accept the invitations to be assigned a team to mentor.
  • Check in 2-3 times per week during the session to post messages and respond to student teams.  Students will be working on a plant science investigation in their classroom and will be sharing their ideas, progress and questions with you via an online message board.

Mentoring takes about an hour a week for every two teams and can be done from anywhere with an internet connection.  However,  please be aware that agreeing to mentor a team involves making a commitment to post to teams every few days while student projects are active. The student teams rely on your help for their projects, and can get discouraged if they don’t hear from you regularly.


  • We accept scientists at all levels, from emeritus/retired professionals through advanced undergraduates, in academia, industry, and government.
  • We accept scientists located anywhere in the world. 
  • Scientists should be comfortable communicating in English, and be capable of adjusting your communication style to the fit needs of students at different levels.
  • Prior mentoring experience is not required, as support materials will be made available. 

Join us now!

Click here to register Complete the profile fields and confirm your e-mail. Make sure to indicate your availability and the number of teams you're comfortable mentoring in a given session. 

Contact PlantingScience staff by email ( if you have any questions about the program or how to join.


f_logo_RGB-Black_72.png 2021_Twitter_logo_-_black.png icons8-mail-30.png




NSF_Logo.jpg This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #2010556 and #1502892. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Copyright © 2022 PlantingScience -- Powered by HUBzero®, a Purdue project