EnvironMentors Community USERS’ GUIDE FOR STUDENTS
1. What is the EnvironMentors Community? The Community (http://environmentors.net) is a place where you can: SHARE CONNECT
information about yourself and your project
with your mentor, chapter, and participants around the country
from issue experts, resources for research, and Encyclopedia of Earth
2. Getting Started Your Chapter Coordinator may send you an invite to the community or ask you to register at the beginning of the school year – either follow the invite link or go to: http://environmentors.net/user/register. The registration form collects information used to create your account and profile (required fields marked with *): • Username*: create a username that you will remember (and other people will see). • Email address*: this should be an account you check regularly so you can see if you have any new messages on the site (you can also set up text message notification). • Password*: create a password that you will remember. •
by clicking the Facebook button you will connect your EnvironMentors Community account to your Facebook account – this means you can sign in using your Facebook username and password (something you probably will remember more than your EnvironMentors username and password). This does not mean that we will have access to your Page 1
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Facebook account or that you will become friends with your coordinator or teacher – this is just an easy way for you to login in the future. Program Year*: this sorts each year of people and projects – use 2012 for the 2011-‐2012 school year (you are the EnvironMentors Class of 2012). If you are returning from last year, select both 2011 and 2012. Issues: If there is a particular issue you are interested in (energy, health, etc) select it on this list and you will join the Issue Group. Picture*: we should be able to see your lovely face. Firstname* and Lastname*: these need to be your real name. Who Are You*: select the category that fits best (should start with Student…). My Chapter*: choose your chapter (if it isn’t there check with your coordinator). My Mentor: Check to see if your mentor has created an account (if they haven’t yet, you can edit this later). Age, School, Books, TV, Movies, Music, Favorite Quote: Tell us a little more about yourself. Theme Color: You can set your profile page to be green, purple or brown – which color reflects your personality? What theme colors should we add? Captcha: enter the code so we know you aren’t a robot. Seriously.
• If you ever want to change your profile settings, simply go your profile page and click the edit tab above your profile photo. 3. Getting Around the Site Ok – you’ve got an account, now what? Here are some ideas: Status updates: Just like on Facebook – go to your profile page, type in the comment box on the top of the page, and this becomes your status. Tell us what is going on with you. Messages to your chapter orother students/mentors: Go to your chapter page and you will see a similar comment box – use it to post a message on the chapter “wall”. Or, find the profiles of other students or mentors in a chapter, go to their profile page, and add a comment to send them a message. Friending: While you are on another user’s page, look for “Relationships With You” and click the link to become friends. Content posted by your friends will appear on your “Community Wall” page. Photos: Next time you meet up with your mentor, bring a camera and take some photos. Then go to your profile page and look for the Upload a photo linkunder Student Menu below your profile photo to add photos to your profile page. Later in the year be sure to add photos of chapter activities or behind the scenes pictures of your research in the field or lab. Video: Even better than photos – why not capture some video of you and your mentor, post it to YouTube (check with your chapter coordinator if you need access to a YouTube account), and then add it to the community. Once the video is on YouTube, look for the Add a video link under Student Menu below your profile photo to add videos to your profile page. Basically, be yourself, have fun, and get to know other people around the country involved in EnvironMentors. Page 2
Sample Profile Page:
4. Your Project So, this is all about EnvironMentors, right? We want you to share a little about your project – what are you working on? How is it going? Any questions for experts (mentors and chapter staff) from around the country? First… Create Your Project Page: On your profile page, look for the Create a project link under Student Menu below your profile photo, and click on it to create your project page. Here are the things you need to enter for your project (required fields marked with *): • Project Title*: Something that clearly explains what your project is about. • Project Photo*: A photo that illustrates your project topic (at first you can use something from an internet search, but then you can replace with a photo taken during your project). • Issues: Please select the issue your project most relates to (you can select more than one) – this is required to be eligible for the issue-‐based scholarships at the National Fair. Page 3
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Project Description: At first, use this box to tell us about your topic and hypothesis. As you make progress over the year, you can add more here – explain your methods, results, etc. Tasks: Check off everything you have completed on your project – as you do more through the year, check off more to keep your project page up to date. Location: If you are working at a field site, tell us where by adding info about the location. Project Links: Are you working on a Google Doc or Spreadsheet that you would like to attach to your project page – just add the link here (your coordinator can help you figure out how to use and share Google Docs for your project). File Attachments: You can also post documents that you created for your projects to your profile page to share with your chapter coordinator or mentor.
Next… Project Comments: On your project page you will see a comment box (just like on the profile or chapter page) – add a comment here to give us an informal update on your project, like how your day in the field went or something your mentor did to help with your project that you want to share with the community. This is basically your project blog. And… Photos/Videos: Don’t forget that you can add photos and videos of your research project that will show up on your profile page (see the instructions above). Also, keep an eye out for photo contests – you could win prizes just by posting a few photos. And, of course, you can keep updating your project page over the course of the year, so be sure to keep it up to date! 5. The Community Is Here To Help! The first part of using the community is getting your profile and project page set up, but there is so much more you can do. Here are some ideas: Looking for project ideas? Check out the Projects page or the Chapter Projects box for previous years’ projects to see what other students have done. Looking for an expert? Mentors from around the country are an incredible resource and can help you with your expert interview. Go to the Mentors page and use the Expertise menu to list the mentors who might be able to help and then leave a message on their profile page. Or go to the Issues page related to your project to start see what people are working on and to start a new conversation.
Looking for more info about your topic? Encyclopedia of Earth (aka EoE, www.eoearth.org) is an amazing resource for online research (it is basically like Wikipedia, except written by scientists, so you can use it for research). Go to the Resources page or one of the Issues pages to see latest headlines from EoE. Looking for resources about research, scholarships, or college access? Check out the Resources page – lots of great links and downloads to help with your project and beyond. Who is using this site anyway? Check out the Community Wall to take the pulse of the EnvironMentors Community – see who has logged in recently, what comments have just been posted, who is working on their project, and see news from the chapters and DC office. Can I get text messages instead of emails? Yes! Whenever some posts something on your page or project, or adds to a conversation that you are involved in, you will get an email (this goes to the email address you used to set up the account). But if you don’t do email and would rather get text messages from your mentor or coordinator or whoever else is sending you a message, you can set your account up with your phone number. Click the My Account button in the top right of the page and then click the Mobile Settings tab. Just enter your phone number, your country (United States) and confirm the number – you will then get a text with a code you enter here. You can set this to net send messages at certain times. You then need to change any subscriptions you are already receiving through email – click on the Notifications tab and then the Subscriptions button and then click the edit link next to any you want to receive texts for (like your profile name and your project name) and then change the send method to SMS and click save. Whew – that was a lot of steps, but now messages will go straight to your phone as a text (charges from your phone company for viewing text messages still apply). How do I change other settings – like my email address or message settings? You account settings can be accessed by clicking the My Account button in the top right of any page. Click the edit tab to change your username, password, or subscription/notification settings (for example, email or text). The Notification tab is where you can change specific subscriptions – like the emails you get when someone posts a comment on your project page. Any other questions? First check with your mentor and chapter coordinator – they are here to help. But if you have any other questions about how to use this website, send an email to Jessica Soule at email@example.com (DC office) or Bill Finnegan at firstname.lastname@example.org (web master). Also, let us know how we can make this site even better!