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Mentors Information

Do you enjoy working with kids?  Want to give back to some of Chicago’s future innovators and entrepreneurs?  We’d love to have you mentor with us!

We are looking for mentors to share their real-world expertise with our student inventors by going into our participating schools and leading classroom discussions and activities.

Mentors will be asked to visit a participating classroom to share real-world experience and to offer feedback to the student inventors on their projects.

It is important for the student inventors to see real adults who possess the invention mindset.

Want to get involved today? Fill out the Mentor Signup Form. But first, be sure to check out the steps below:

  1. Review this orientation slideshow
  2. Review the Chicago Student Invention Convention Mentor Requirements and Expectations
  3. Review the available Mentor Opportunities (participating schools, teachers, and classroom availability)
    • You will be asked to rank your top three choices, in order, within the signup form.
    • Schools marked by an asterisk are Chicago Public Schools, and will require a background check against sex offender registries


What is the role of Mentor?

As a Mentor, your role is twofold. You will encourage and guide students on the invention process. In addition, you will also share insights about your career as a STEM, invention, or entrepreneurship professional or as a student studying a STEM, invention, or entrepreneurship subject and explain how your work impacts the world. Even if your profession is not STEM-heavy, every professional can promote the guiding principles of Invention Convention.

As a Mentor, you will embody these Guiding Principles of Invention Convention:

  • Empower students to express their ideas and gain confidence in themselves through showing that you value their ideas
  • Give every student opportunities to use their imagination, engage in creative problem solving, and the space to present his or her ideas
  • Engage students in the scientific/invention process and develop their interests in STEM, invention, and entrepreneurship
  • Invest in students that will become our future leaders and innovators


  • December
    • Sign up for preferred opportunity via the Mentor Sign up Form
    • You will receive your classroom match
    • Coordinate with your teacher to schedule the first visit
  • January
    • Classroom visits
    • Coordinate with your teacher to schedule your following visits
  • February
    • Classroom visits
  • March
    • Classroom visits
    • Assist with school’s Invention Convention (optional)
  • April
    • Judge inventions at citywide Chicago Student Invention Convention (optional)



  1. Act as support for teacher and class
    1. Expose students to STEM, invention, and entrepreneurship careers
    2. Speak on STEM, invention, and entrepreneurship related career path and share how work impacts the world
    3. Provide feedback to students on their inventions
    4. Provide guidance on invention process
    5. Judge student inventions at school-wide competition (schedule permitting)
  2. Timely communication with your assigned teacher
  3. Commit 5-10 hours of service between January-March

Interested in getting involved?

Contact the Chicago Student Invention Convention Program Manager:

Contact Allison James

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