How We Work

The Mentor Matching Engine is an invitation-based platform to bring together Mentors, Students and Teachers for personalized independent student research projects in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Community Building

Community Building

By connecting mentors and students electronically, we are able to offer high quality mentoring experiences for students and mentors alike in a safe and secure environment while  eliminating geographic barriers.
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Mentor Matching

Mentor Matching

Each participant will design his or her own guiding research question and will be able to find mentors on this platform to guide them in conducting their research.
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Collaborating

Collaborating

We offer students access to mentors from industry, universities and colleges and federal laboratories to collaborate on high-quality research and development project and mentors the opportunity to work with Illinois's brightest future scientists.
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The Mentor Matching Engine was built and is administered by a partnership of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, the R&D STEM Learning Exchange and Northwestern University.  The Mentor Matching Engine is hosted on IMSA's CoolHub collaborative learning platform, and is a central feature of the R&D STEM Learning Exchange's offerings as part of the Illinois Pathways Initiative. We hope that you have a valuable experience on the Mentor Matching Engine and welcome your feedback and comments.  

What people are saying

Students value authentic research experiences

Ayana Jamal

Student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

"Conducting authentic research in high school has meant the difference between accepting the average and reaching for the unimaginable. Through independent research projects and participating in a STEM Inquiry and Research program, I learned to think critically, develop research skills at the professional level, interact with scientists from across the globe, and push myself to my mental limits. It has provided me with extraordinary opportunities I never knew existed, and for that I will always be grateful. Upon entering college, it was also easier for me to obtain a position in a laboratory and get ahead in the track I want to be on in life. The authentic research I did in high school has helped me grow as an individual academically and personally, and it has prepared me for the career and world I will face in the future."

Jeff Bubley

Student at Techonion - Israel Institute of Technology Medical School, Haifa, Israel

"Performing research in high school was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made. It taught me how to truly think in a scientific way. It helped me get into a great university, and I am about to start medical school in the fall. I know that I would not be as successful as I am today had it not been for my ability to perform research in high school and the mentoring that came with it!"