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Campus Activities

INSTEM Academy sessions conclude for summer

Jun 29, 2022

INSTEM student 3D printingThe Valley City State University Great Plains STEM Education Center (GPSEC) hosted students on campus for INSTEM Academy sessions June 5-9 and June 19-23. A total of 38 students from New Town Public Schools and Eight Mile School District in Trenton, N.D. participated in a wide variety of STEM classroom and lab experiences taught by VCSU faculty. Students also took field trips to area STEM-related businesses including the Red River Zoo, Aldevron, Doosan-Bobcat and John Deere Seeding Group.

INSTEM student surgery simulationJamie Wirth, Ph.D., GPSEC director, reported that the sessions were a tremendous success. “The students had a wonderful time and were fully engaged throughout the academies. We are very happy with how the sessions transpired. The most popular question on the students’ outgoing reflections was ‘can I come back again next year?’,” said Wirth. 

Since 2018, GPSEC has been conducting the week-long summer STEM academies for cohorts of North Dakota Native American middle and high school students. INSTEM’s mission is to increase awareness and interest in STEM careers among N.D. Native American K-12 students, while also providing them with the opportunity to live and study on a college campus to increase future higher education enrollment and self-efficacy in STEM academic content. The cohort model is designed to have participating students return each year through high school graduation. Plans are already underway for summer 2023.

Alan LaFave, VCSU President, commented, “We know that early exposure and training in the STEM disciplines makes a positive impact on these students and their potential career trajectories. The INSTEM program at VCSU provides outstanding opportunities for these participants. We appreciate the organizational efforts of Dr. Wirth, Dr. Ketterling and all who participated to provide a positive experience for these students and we look forward to future academies.”

INSTEM students on VCSU footbridge