Mentors - Getting Started

Getting Started with Butterfly Effect


Thank you for agreeing to be a mentor for Butterfly Effect. We depend on volunteers like you to enrich the education of gifted young people.


As a mentor, we ask that you engage in the following activities:

i. Visit the Butterfly Effect website once or twice a week to leave comments on various student posts (approximately 3-4 comments each week).

ii. Once you have been connected to a student, engage in a one on one mentor relationship to support the student's inquiry project.


Please follow these instructions to begin:


Access the Butterfly website. (


Click ‘Join’ and fill out the account credentials form. From here, your email address will need to be verified. Please check your email and click the link to verify your account.


Personalize your profile.

Because students often don’t have the opportunity to meet their mentors, please post a picture that clearly shows your face.


Publish your bio.

Tell us about yourself.   

i.   On the home page click on the ‘post’ button.

ii.  Choose ‘Mentor Profile’ from the drop down menu.

iii.  Enter your full name in the title bar. In the body, called 'Mentor Profile', put your areas of expertise and a short (approximately 200 words) bio in the body of the post.

iv.  Check off the ‘Mentors’ category on the right hand side of the screen.

v. Click ‘Publish’.




To begin leaving general comments for students: (Please try to leave comments for both Canadian and Kenyan students)


On the bottom of each blog post that each student produces there is a ‘post comment’ button.  Click on this and enter your comment.


Mentor comments are intended to:

  • Help students generate an essential question.
  • Encourage students to research their topics.
  • Encourage students to cite their sources and include a link on the Butterfly site.
  • Check student sources to make sure they are valid.
  • Help students choose valid sources and avoid hoax websites.
  • Suggest helpful links and information sources.
  • Inspire students to overcome obstacles in their projects.
  • Challenge students to broaden their critical thinking skills.




Initiate first contact:


i.  Click the 'Post' button and select ‘Private Messages’

ii. Click on ‘Start New Private Message’.

iii. On the left-hand side click ‘add participants’.

iv. A new screen will pop up. Click on your student’s name from the list of participants

v. Scroll to the bottom of this screen and click ‘Continue with Dialog Creation’.

vi. Add a subject and then type a welcome message in the body area.

vii. At the bottom right of the screen click ‘Start Private Message Now’.


Plan a Chat Event to share your knowledge.


STEP 1: Send your student a ‘Dialog’ (see #5 above) to set up the best time for your chat session.


STEP 2: Follow these instructions to set up the Chat Event:

i.   On the home page click on the ‘Post Content’ button.

ii.  Click on ‘Chat Room/Event’.

iii. On the next page fill in the following:

a. Choose ‘Chat Event’ (do not use ‘Chat Rooms’ because the conversations can not be saved and we want to be able to archive the conversations).

b. Add a title that relates to your conversation.

c. Choose your start date.

d. Choose Event Duration as 24 hours so the conversation can continue with other students even after your mentoring session is over.

e. Leave ‘Live Moderation’ as Disabled.

f. Leave ‘Chat ID’ as Auto-Generated Chat ID.

g. Click ‘Create Chat’.


Note: Please use the Butterfly Effect website as the primary method of sharing information and discussions with your student. We want the broader community to observe share in your learning. Please avoid using the ‘Dialogue’ area for conversations about student projects.




Butterfly Effect is an online classroom, bringing together people of all ages and professions. In order to maintain a safe and productive learning environment, we ask that you abide by the following guidelines:


-      Please engage in discussions in an appropriate, professional manner. Although we encourage users to get to know one another, personal discussions should be left to other platforms.


-      Students and mentors come from many different social, economic and ethnic groups. It is not appropriate to ask for, or offer financial support.


-      Mentors and students should not meet in person before contacting a Butterfly Effect coordinator.


Any questions or concerns? Contact Donna Usher at:, for further information.