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The Illinois Science & Technology Institute (ISTI) is a STEM-focused nonprofit that provides programs and partnerships to connect companies with classrooms. ISTI supports schools and companies who want to impact the next generation of innovators, to build a stronger, more inclusive talent pipeline in Illinois. We are a bridge between the classroom and real world that facilitates collaboration between students and industry mentors.
ISTI created the Mentor Matching Engine (MME) to safely and securely connect high school students with mentors around long-term independent research projects. MME aims to catalyze authentic learning by promoting student inquiry and research. Students and mentors collaborate on projects where they have mutual interests. This not only makes the mentors’ time and expertise more valuable, students also learn about careers opportunities in their areas of interest. MME also helps to eliminate geographic barriers and transaction costs that exist and often prevent the ability of mentoring programs to scale.