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      Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers receives $80,000 grant

      Students in Gear Up (a partner program with Mind Trekkers) experiment with static electricity

      Michigan Techâ??s Mind Trekkers program has built a positive reputation in the community for bringing more science and engineering to high school students.

      Monday afternoon, the State Farm Insurance Youth Advisory Board presented Mind Trekkers with a grant for $79,916 to expand their programming at Hancock, Calumet, Lake Linden, and Lâ??Anse high schools.

      â??Weâ??re going to buy new experiments,â?? said assistant coordinator for youth programs at Michigan Tech, Liz Fujita. â??Weâ??re going to have the students suggest experiments; whatever they want to do, and whenever possible, weâ??re going to buy classroom sets. So, the students use the demos, but then all of those materials stay in the school.â??

      Mind Trekkers goes beyond what is taught in the classroom to more fully explain the scientific process behind every day phenomena. For the students involved, itâ??s rewarding on many levels.

      â??It allows you to be able to see if this is the program you want to go into, or the field, and it shows your ability,â?? said Hancock High School ninth grade student, Savannah Stroud.

      â??At first, I was kind of skeptical, like, â??Oh, science. Iâ??m not really good at science,â??â?? added Hancock High School ninth grade student, Maija Markkanen. â??But then after I was in the program, I was like, â??Oh, wow! Science is actually pretty cool.â??â??

      From learning about static electricity to making ice cream with liquid nitrogen, Michigan Techâ??s Mind Trekkers aims at showing students that science and learning can be fun.

      â??Around middle school and high school, you might have students self-selecting out of science, but we know itâ??s really cool especially when itâ??s something you look at and feel and do,â?? Fujita said. â??It loans itself to just exploring and tinkering.â??