Target hosts Tech Experience Tour for Mounds View High School students

March 31, 2017

MHTA — Target recently hosted a group of students from Mounds View High School for a unique Tech Experience Tour. MHTA provides these distinctive Tech Experience Tours for students interested in learning more about STEM careers and the high tech business world.

Students from Mounds View visited Target’s North Campus in Brooklyn Park and learned about how employees at Target work — through collaboration, continuous learning and experimentation. Target team members walked the students through a day in the life of a Target employee.

The Mounds View High School students were mostly Juniors and Seniors in Mounds View HS’s AP Computer Science Principles course. This course takes an inquiry approach to many CS topics – everything from cybersecurity, to big data, to programming is covered. Since no one person is an expert at all of these topics (the teacher included), students are challenged to constantly be learning new things from news sources or through reading documentation of code. That’s why Target’s presentation message of “always keep learning” was spot-on for the group.

Ryan Douglas is a Senior Operations Analyst in Agile Practice who helps Target teams to get up to speed on new technology and practices in The Dojo. Ryan led the students through a series of exercises used in The Dojo with Target employees. One activity called the ball-point game demonstrated the benefits of pausing, reflecting, and refining a technique which brilliantly illustrated the concept of iterative development for the students.

“Students had a prompt about iterative development on an upcoming task and students who attended the field trip had a real “feel” for what iterative development looks like and feels like,” said Kaitie Obryan, Math and Computer Science teacher at Mounds View. “Students saw the real-world connection to their classwork by seeing that reflection is constantly part of Target’s process too. It was hands-on learning at its best!”

In addition to participating in the activities, the students received a tour of the campus, and had the opportunity for a Q&A session with Ryan, his colleagues in the Dojo, and a group of folks engaged in Target’s Technology Leadership Program (TLP).

The visit was organized by Obryan and Jake Krings, Director – Transportation Engineering at Target and member of the MHTA Board of Directors.

Other participating Target team members included:

  • Ryan Douglas, Sr Operations Analyst – Agile Practice
  • Lauren Freier, Scrum Master- Agile Practice
  • Benjamin Smith, Sr Engineer, Security
  • Rilee Krier, Technology Leadership Program Trainee
  • Alexander Wolf, Engineer

Maddie Wang, a student from Mounds View who attended the tour, was recently named a winner in both the national and Minnesota Aspirations in Computing Awards. Maddie recently discussed her experiences and the importance of this award at our Women Leading in Technology event — video can be found here.

For more information on Tech Experience Tours, visit If you’re interested in hosting a future tour, please contact Tim Barrett, MHTA’s Director of STEM Education and Workforce Development at

If you’re a STEM educator looking to connect with a business, be sure to also visit our get STEM Minnesota website at


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