A mentor is an advisor or consultant with much experience in your area of research or engineering.   A mentor may also help with setting practical goals, developing other contacts, identifying resources, offering career advice and serving as a role model.

Students sometimes find mentors by contacting research institutions, or Google searching the topic to identify names of current published researchers who might agree to help.  Alternately, WSSEF has many connections within the scientific community and we may be able to assist you.

Some mentors may be able to offer resources in the way of lab space, equipment and material.  This is dependent upon COVID restrictions in effect.

Before you reach out, you should have some idea of what you want to explore.  The mentor will be impressed if you have studied the literature and prepared yourself.

If you are having trouble finding help, contact  and we will do our best to connect you with someone.  Please tell us where in Washington State you are located; what topic you are interested in and why; and, how many hours a week you expect to spend on this project.


Helpful links:

  • The Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) offers student research resources at:  Research @ Home
  • Resources for choosing projects are and
  • Ideas for younger projects can be found at and, developed by Home Depot and Discovery Education.
  • Starting points for the most advanced projects can be found by exploring the ISEF abstract database.  This includes all top projects from ISEF finalists over the last eight years.
  • A science journal and mentorship program publishing research by middle and high school scientists is at  Journal of Emerging Investigators, founded by some Harvard graduates.
  • A visual interface to identify the state of scientific research is at
  • Neuroscience Tutorials introducing the breadth of open resources available from Dr. Kaitlyn Casimo, Allen Institute for Brain Science.