LPI Invites NASA-Funded Scientists to Serve as Mentors for Boys & Girls Clubs

March 22, 2024

LPI Invites NASA-Funded Scientists to Serve as Mentors for Boys & Girls Clubs

The LPI’s Virtual Trips to Extreme Environments (VIRTEX) program is an innovative initiative aimed at inspiring the next generation of scientific pioneers. By connecting NASA-funded scientists, engineers, and technicians with Boys & Girls Clubs, the program bridges the gap between researchers and young minds.

From the depths of underwater laboratories to the peaks of remote mountaintops, NASA's pioneering researchers delve into the realms of extreme environments, unraveling the mysteries of our planet and beyond. Now, they are poised to share their exhilarating experiences and remarkable career pathways with young learners aged 10 to 15 at Boys & Girls Clubs, particularly those in historically marginalized communities.

The VIRTEX program invites NASA-funded scientists to serve as mentors, connecting with groups of students through virtual encounters that offer a glimpse into the heart of scientific exploration. Students will interact with experts who conduct research in a diverse array of extreme environments, including remote field locations, unique laboratory settings, and even aboard aircraft.

"What sets VIRTEX apart is that the interactions are student-driven," says Christine Shupla, the program’s project manager. "Students will be prepared to interview their mentors about their lives and careers and the topics that peak the students’ interest. Through revealing their stories and experiences, these mentors can serve as powerful role models for students from all backgrounds."

The program's time commitment is designed to be manageable, with mentors expected to dedicate a total of eight hours spread over two months (which includes up to two hours of training). During this time, they will engage in virtual interactions with student teams, providing a tour of their extreme environment and sharing insights on their career path and plans, hobbies, interests, and research.

For those intrigued by the prospect of becoming a VIRTEX mentor, the application process is now open. VIRTEX is particularly seeking mentors from historically marginalized communities. Interested individuals are encouraged to visit the program's website for more information and to submit their applications.

Questions? Contact us at [email protected].

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