College of Natural Science & Mathematics

Sample Mentor Letter

Note: Below is an example of a letter that is delivered by each student to their mentor, with the Research Project Guidelines and Assignment Schedule attached. This letter would be printed on the school’s letterhead paper.

August 23, 20__

Dear Mentor;

Thank you for contributing your time and effort to help this student with his/her research project. The Alaska Statewide High School Science Symposium (ASHSSS) provides an opportunity for students to conduct original experimental research (using the scientific method) and share the results of their work with other students in a manner similar to that of professional scientists. Working with a mentor such as yourself can greatly enhance a student's experience of performing "real" science.

The role of the mentor can vary greatly depending on the type of project and the desires (and schedules!) of the student and mentor. A mentor should certainly act as an advisor to the student, discussing the project with the student at each phase to make sure that the experiment is designed and carried out in an appropriate manner and that the student's conclusions are appropriate, given their results. A mentor may also help the student generate ideas, suggest appropriate methods for carrying out the experiment, provide equipment and/or laboratory space, train the student in the use of laboratory instruments (and supervise the use of instruments, as appropriate), and even help the student plan their time to stay on schedule in order to complete the project in time to participate in the ASHSSS.

Several times during the course of the project, I will ask for your signature on a form. This is to make sure that the student is communicating effectively with you and is making reasonable progress. Your signature will indicate that you have discussed the work with the student and (if appropriate) that the student has made important and/or suggested changes. Attached are two pages of information, including general guidelines as well as a schedule of assignments and due dates. With this letter, the student should also give you a copy of the ASHSSS Student Resources and Guidelines booklet. The student has additional details regarding each assignment, along with the necessary mentor approval forms. If you have further questions, feel free to contact me at school or at home. (My contact information is below.)

Thank you for the time and energy you are investing in this student.


[Teacher name]

contact information for [Teacher name]:
school phone:
home phone:

This page taken from ASHSSS Advisor Resources Fall 2004, page 5