loading page

Impacts on College and Graduate Student Mentors from Guiding Secondary Students in a Community-based Climate Change Outreach Program
  • +3
  • Kathryn Boyd,
  • Megan Littrell,
  • Christine Okochi,
  • Anne Gold,
  • Erin Leckey,
  • Rebecca Batchelor
Kathryn Boyd
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Corresponding Author:katie.boyd@colorado.edu

Author Profile
Megan Littrell
CIRES University of Colorado
Author Profile
Christine Okochi
CIRES University of Colorado
Author Profile
Anne Gold
University of Colorado at Boulder
Author Profile
Erin Leckey
University of Colorado Boulder
Author Profile
Rebecca Batchelor
Author Profile


Mentorship experience can be transformational for college and graduate students as they learn how to talk about their science field, articulate their work, learn how to listen, and step away from the focus on their own work. The Lens on Climate Change (LOCC) program engaged secondary students in place-based, environmental science in an informal learning environment. Small groups of students worked together, with the guidance of graduate student science and community college film mentors, to produce a film about climate change, as they perceived it to be relevant to their local communities. The majority of student participants came from historically underserved communities, and the program aimed to provide students with opportunities to engage with science and technology in ways that differ from opportunities available in traditional schooling. The graduate student science mentors and community college film mentors played a critical role in supporting students in their exploration of the topic and learning about local climate change. This presentation explores the impacts on mentors and how the LOCC program influenced their experiences and interests in science education and outreach. Using a qualitative case study approach we examine mentor responses to questions about their mentorship experiences. These responses were collected before and after their experiences in the program, as well as through follow up interviews after the program had ended. Mentors fell into several categories based on how the LOCC program influenced them. Some mentors experienced a transformational impact, where the LOCC program played an influential role in their future career goals. Others felt the program helped them cement their career interests and plans. Several mentors did not experience as much impact on their career trajectory. We examine these relationships in the context of the project to consider how their experiences prior to and through LOCC may have influenced these outcomes.