Become a Mentor

The Science Fair Mentoring Project relies on volunteers from the community to mentor the students it serves. The more mentors we have, the more students we can help. Below is some information on the responsibilities, rewards, and requirements for becoming a mentor for this program.


Mentor Responsibilities:

  • Complete a short training (online or face-to-face)

  • Flexible schedule: volunteer as much or as little as your schedule allows

  • You do not need to be a science-minded person: support, training, and guidance provided to mentors throughout the program.

  • Background check required at no cost to volunteers


Benefits to mentors include:

  • A fulfilling opportunity to be engaged in and give back to the community (pay it forward).

  • An opportunity to impact and inspire our youth by helping them build confidence, grow interpersonal skills, and explore science in a way they may not have otherwise been able.


How We Support Mentors

We will send weekly email reminders with information to mentors so you know what is going on each week before you attend the session. 

Assist with any questions you have. You don't have to be science-minded to volunteer with this program.  You just need a interest and willingness to work with kids.  We will take care of the rest.


Read what past mentors have said about our program


Ready to sign Up?

  1. Complete this online form to let us know you want to mentor.

  2. Complete a simple online background check conducted and paid for by Austin Public Schools. If you have passed a background check with Austin Public Schools in the past 3 years or are a student in the Austin Public Schools district, you do not need to complete this step.

  3. Attend project orientation online at your convenience or in person. This orientation will help mentors learn more about this program, its origins, goals, the student population at Austin Public Schools, how to connect with their mentees, and the scientific method.

This program currently offers after school mentoring for 3rd and 4th grade students at Neveln Elementary School and mentoring during the day to 3rd and 4th grade students at Banfield Elementary School.


Mentoring at Neveln Elementary School

Below are dates mentoring is being conducted at Neveln Elementary School. Mentors are not required to attend every mentoring date. Volunteer as your schedule allows.

Please be at Neveln at 2:30 pm. Mentor sessions end at 4:00 pm. Mentoring dates for the 2018-19 program are provided below. You do not need to attend all of these dates to mentor at Neveln. Volunteer as your schedule allows.

  • November 15, 29

  • December 6, 13

  • January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

  • February 7, 14, 21


Mentoring at Banfield Elementary School

Mentoring is also conducted on a variable and flexible schedule at Banfield starting in November and going through the end of February.  Mentoring takes place weekly between 9:a the 2:30p at the school.  Please let us know what time(s) you are available to meet with students weekly so we can pair you with mentees.  Jake Vela, the Success Coach at Banfield, is there to help if you need it while you work with your students.

Since there is a lot of relationship building between the mentors and students, we ask that you pick a mentoring time you can commit to throughout the mentoring season if you volunteer at Banfield.

Please contact to find out more about volunteering at either of these schools.

Mentoring at Southgate Elementary School

Our program at Southgate Elementary School is provided to 4th graders only and is administered by the teachers at the school.  It includes a short program that guides the students through lessons on the scientific method, forming a hypothesis, and collecting data culminating in a classroom experiment.  

The full program at Southgate Elementary School is being conducted in two of the 4th grade classrooms and is led by two of the teachers Southgate Elementary.  The full program covers all the same concepts and lessons as the short program, but the students are also provided with all of the supplies necessary to complete and present a project for the science fair.

We need volunteers to help these students complete their experiment and build their boards for the science fair.  Southgate students will be completing their experiments on January 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, & 30 from 11:15a-12:15p. Volunteers need to be able to complete the steps of their experiment (students will have a copy of this and all of the supplies they need to complete the experiment) and record their data on a data table (also provided to students).

These students will then be building their boards and practicing their presentations on February 18, 19, 20, and 21 from 11:15a-12:15p.  Volunteers need to be able to help students organize and create their trifold board for the science fair (all supplies provided) and practice their presentation.

People can volunteer as much as they are able.  Come for one hour on one day or volunteer on multiple days.  Whatever works for you.    

Please email us at with any questions or if you would like to volunteer to help on these dates at Southgate.