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Mentors - Frequently Asked Questions

For those who are new to PlantingScience or to this platform in particular, we have created a set of instructions to answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding accessing the website. If you cannot find the answer to your question on this page, you can submit a ticket to the PlantingScience team, and we will respond as quickly as possible.

Click on each heading for more information on a particular topic.

How do I set my profile to "Available"?

Editing your profile is easy; follow these step-by-step instructions on how to adjust your availability in your profile. Please be sure to set your profile to "Available" if you plan to mentor for the current session. If, however, you would prefer NOT to mentor until another session, please be sure to mark your profile as "Unavailable." We cannot guarantee that you will not get invitations, but it should reduce the number of invitations prior to and during the current session.

What is the process for joining project teams to mentor?

Teachers and liaisons will invite mentors to join their classroom's group, and mentors should receive an invitation via email to join the group. Mentors should review the group overview to determine whether s/he would be a good fit for one of the teams in the classroom; there, mentors will have the option to accept or decline the invitation.

Upon accepting this invitation, mentors have agreed to be added to a project team within that group to mentor a team of students. Teachers or liaisons will then add mentors to project teams. Mentors should receive an email once they have been added to a project team. For step-by-step instructions on how to accept or decline an invitation to a group, click here.

How does mentor matching work?

Liaisons and teachers are reviewing your profile to determine whether you would be a good fit for the classroom's investigation themes and goals. Be sure to complete your profile, mark it as available, and make sure that you select enough investigation themes that you would be comfortable to mentor. This would increase the likelihood of being selected as a mentor.

If you find yourself 2-3 weeks into a session without any invitations, please contact the PlantingScience team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and we will try to assist you in finding a team.

How do I know what projects I am mentoring?

If you missed the email inviting you to a group, you can log into your dashboard and check the menu on the left in the "Groups" tab and the "Projects" tab. If you have new invitations to any groups, you will see a red dot next to the word "Groups" in the menu. If you have been added to new projects, you will see a red dot next to the word "Projects" in the menu. You can click on either item and see all groups or projects to which you belong or have been invited.

Click here for a guide on how to access projects to which you've been added.

My team hasn't posted in a few days or more. What do I do?

Post something anyway! Maybe you've had a spectacular (or horrible) week in the lab/field, and this is the place and time to let students know about it. Also, log into your project page to see if the students have updated their "Project Info" page. You will not receive notification of these changes, even if you've signed up for project notifications

How do I post comments on my student teams' (projects') pages?

Your students are excited to communicate with you! This platform allows you and your students to keep track of conversations by allowing users to comment directly on specific posts. Review the How to Access Projects guide for more information.

How do I submit tickets with questions about the website?

I haven't been invited to mentor yet. What can I do to expedite this process?

Excited to get started mentoring? You're not the only one! Luckily, PlantingScience has hundreds of available mentors at any time, and sometimes it's possible your profile has been overlooked. Be sure to have a complete profile, with a picture of yourself in action (in the lab or field), and select as many Investigation Themes as you feel comfortable mentoring. Keep in mind that the more themes you're willing to mentor, the more likely you'll be chosen to mentor. Say you've done all this, and you've STILL not seen any invitations - contact the PS Staff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and we can recommend you to teachers who might be struggling to fill their project teams with mentors.

Remember to review your invitations and respond to them within 3 days!

I've been asked to video conference with a class - what do I do?

While video conferencing with mentors is not required or even necessarily common with all PlantingScience teachers, sometimes teachers ask mentors to video conference with their classrooms before they start their projects. Sometimes teachers ask mentors to video conference with their mentors after they have finished their projects. Still others like to have a video conference with mentors both before AND after the students start their projects, which can be a nice way for mentors to ask questions and also see results and conclusions of projects. Meeting "face-to-face" with a classroom has many advantages, so we've compiled a few tips to you to consider if you've been asked to participate in a video conference. Click here for more information.

What are "Investigation Themes"? Do I need to know anything about them?

Teachers who participate in PlantingScience select an Investigation Theme for his/her class to follow. The topics range from agronomy to photosynthesis to genetics and more. Please take a few moments to review the Teacher's Guides or Mentor Tip Sheets for these themes to get a sense for what students will be doing in the classrooms. You can then update your profile to indicate for which theme(s) you are willing to mentor.

How do I contact PlantingScience staff?

When in doubt - say, a student posts their last name or you have a technical issue with the website - please do email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for assistance.