I enjoy mentoring high school students on independent research projects that relate to my topics of expertise: the psychological and social effects of video games, virtual worlds, avatars, and social media.
As a mentor, I support high-achieving students as they lead a research project about which they are personally passionate. In addition to bolstering college applications, this project enriches students’ abilities to engage in research and work with professors in their future universities.
Students may start working with me in 9th – 11th grade. The ~1-year mentorship plan follows this general structure (with flexibility):
1) We discuss how the student’s interests relate to their vision of future university pursuits. I help them articulate and narrow down the research questions they might want to pursue.
2) I provide training materials on research methods (~1 hour of videos & slide shows).
3) Student identifies relevant publications, generates an annotated bibliography, and drafts a literature review and proposed research methodology (4-5 hours of student work). I review and provide iterative feedback to guide student revisions ( 3-4 hours of student work).
4) Student prepares an IRB application (assuming human subjects will be used in the research). If the student’s high school does not have an IRB, I will communicate with the school on how to set one up — it is a relatively simple process requiring input from a science teacher and an administrator.
5) I help the student through the IRB process of creating an application and consent form.
6) Pending IRB approval, the student prepares the research materials (most likely, an online survey tool such as Google forms). I provide iterative feedback to guide revisions.
7) Student collects data and then I help them analyze the data using simple, free statistical tools (e.g., correlations in google sheets).
8) Student writes up Results and Discussion based on the data. I provide iterative feedback to guide revisions.
9) Student submits the paper to the International Journal of High School Research, the Columbia Junior Science Journal, or another high-school-oriented journal. In exceptional cases, I may advise the student to submit to a university-level research publication instead (note: the review process will likely take longer, but the publication will have a greater impact).
10) I continue to mentor the student on an as-needed basis, such as if the article needs to be revised for the journal or if the student would like my feedback on their college essays describing the research project.
Please note that I am only able to take 1-2 mentees per year. There is an application process to ensure that the student is interested in a topic relevant to my expertise and also willing to put in the effort to see the project through.
To learn more (e.g., fee structure) and apply, please complete the form below.
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