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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 12:28 p.m., Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mentoring program helps students in science, math

The Maui News

KIHEI The Maui Economic Development Board has announced a program to provide Hawaii students in science and technology with opportunities to be mentored by professionals in their fields through MentorNet, an online project, The Maui News reported.

The program is sponsored by the MEDB's Women in Technology Project with access provided through any of the campuses of the University of Hawaii system.

MentorNet provides a one-on-one pairing with professionals in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) industries, who are willing to serve as mentors to graduate and undergraduate students, providing advice and information on their fields.

According to MEDB, the MentorNet programs provide students with "real world" access and have matched nearly 20,000 proteges and mentors since 1998.

Students will need to join a MentorNet Community and file a protege profile to be reviewed by potential mentors in their chosen fields.

For information, contact Isla Young with the Women in Technology Project at 875-2307 or by e-mail at isla@medb.org.

In a related announcement, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye reported that the Congress has approved the America COMPETES Act that expands on projects for math and science education.

It includes a provision directing the National Science Foundation to develop a mentoring program for women interested in pursuing science education, modeled on the Women in Technology Project.

Inouye noted the Women in Technology Project has expanded across Hawaii with programs to assist female students who are interested in STEM careers.

He said it is important for the government to encourage women to pursue STEM opportunities.

"We need to ensure that we do not neglect a segment of the population, but rather maximize all of this country's great human resources," he said.

The act approved by the Senate on Thursday requires the National Science Foundation director to establish a program to provide grants to two-year colleges to recruit and train STEM professionals who will mentor women and minority students.

The program would also require assistance for students in identifying, qualifying for and entering technical careers.

For more Maui news, visit The Maui News.