The SciTechsperience Internship Program headed south on Highway 169 last week to visit college campuses in Mankato and St. Peter. “It’s always fascinating to see the variety of higher ed options around the state,” said Becky Siekmeier, SciTechsperience Program Director. “Each one offers such a unique experience.”
The campus at Minnesota State University, Mankato, home of the Mavericks and the Minnesota Vikings training camp, has an upbeat, urban feel. It’s bordered by a small shopping district and is close to downtown Mankato. MSU serves roughly 15,000 students, and offers a wide variety of degrees, including more than two dozen in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Siekmeier met first with the department chairs of MSU’s College of Science, Engineering & Technology and then with STEM students, and was impressed by the commitment to learning shown in each group.
By contrast, the Gustavus Adolphus College is nestled among the trees on hills of St. Peter. The traditional looking buildings and circle drive create an instant feeling of community for the 2,400 students on campus. Gustavus offers a host of traditional liberal arts and STEM degrees including biology, chemistry, computer science, geography, geology, math and physics.
Siekmeier met with Vince Thomas, Internship Director in the Center for Servant-Leadership and chemistry professor Scott Bur before meeting with students. “It was clear very quickly that Gustavus has a focus on developing the whole person,” Siekmeier said.
Both campuses had plenty of eager STEM students ready to take the first step toward their future careers through an internship. New applicants will join seventy other Minnesota students enrolled in the SciTechsperience program, six of which have already found a match with a Minnesota company this fall.