Mentoring Youth in Laboratories and Field Work

Youth in Labs

UAF partners with schools across the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District to provide educational experiences for youth.  If you are interested in having a minor in your lab, the information below will help you prepare.

Mentoring a Minor: If you are going to be responsible for the minor during the lab work (no parent, guardian, or school district teacher present), you will need to complete:

  • a background check (These are due every 3 years if you are working with Minors.);
  • the protection of minors training (Due annually when working with minors);
  • talk to EHSRM regarding the need for a risk waiver;
  • determine any required safety training the youth may need; and
  • write a letter to the Parents/Guardians of the Youth discussing the activities in which they will participate. Example Letter.

Minor as a Volunteer: If you have youth volunteering in your lab, you will still need to take protection of minors training, complete a background check, and determine required safety training. In addition, you will need to fill out a volunteer form and send this to risk management for approval. Risk will ask you questions about what the minor is working on in the lab, the training and PPE that you will provide for their safety. In addition, you will need to ask for permission from the parent/guardian for them to volunteer in your lab. You can use the example letter above and tailor it to a volunteer position.

We are happy to help make this experience positive for both you and the student you are working with. Please give Brandon Cruz 474-6164 or Frances Isgrigg 474-5487 a call.

Youth In Field Research

So you want to take a minor with you on field research - what a great opportunity! Similar to minors in labs, the following will apply:

  • complete a background check (These are due every 3 years if you are responsible for a Minors);
  • complete the protection of minors training (Due annually when working with minors);
  • ask to EHSRM to prepare a risk waiver for the field research;
  • determine any required safety training the minor may need; and
  • write a letter to the Parents/Guardians of the Youth discussing the activities in which they will participate. Example Letter.

With field research, there are additional accommodations that will need to be made.

  • Separate sleeping quarters will need to provided unless the parent is along and sharing quarters;
  • Access to a communication device, just as with your colleagues, will need to be available at all times;
  • The rule of 3 will be very important with the minor on site - always have 3 people with the minor, with one of them having completed POM training & background checks; and
  • The minor should be trained to be safe in the field.

The above applies at all times with the exception of you bringing your own child into the field.

Should abuse of the minor occur during the field research, it is important to report as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours. Your first call should be to the UAF police department and your direct supervisor or Vice Chancellor or Associate Vice-Chancellor, or Human Resources, or EHSRM. The minor will need to know who to call should something occur.

A review of the policy is suggested regarding appropriate/inappropriate conduct and use of electronic media when contacting the minor.

We are happy to help in any way we can to make this experience positive for both you and the student you are working with. Please give Brandon Cruz 474-6164 or Frances Isgrigg 474-5487 a call.