Do you remember a person or experience that influenced your choices about college, work, or volunteerism? Each of us is on a life-long journey to discover work that is meaningful and valued.
Exposure to possible careers and real-life work places can be an important part of that journey. Even during high school, students need to make choices about course work, college, and summer jobs, which will all influence the skills and knowledge they develop.
That’s why the MPCA invited 14 youth from Minneapolis Public Schools to learn about the types of jobs here and how these careers might connect with their interests. We shared our meaningful work with them so that they might join in too.
The students were part of Fast Track Scholars, a 6-week summer school program which intends to ease the transition for students entering high school. The course provides classroom science instruction, two weeks of science immersion at Wolf Ridge, and paid internship experience in the environmental field. The internship experiences are supported through the Minneapolis youth job program, STEP-UP, and include experiences at the MPCA, Wilderness Inquiry, and Conservation Corps.
At the MPCA, students learned about many areas of work, including work to monitor and protect air and water quality. Students got the chance to witness a demonstration on how the MPCA uses geographic information system (GIS) software to map contaminated groundwater, experiment with air quality monitoring equipment, received a tour of the air lab, and ate lunch with a staff member.
Some other activities occurring throughout the three day exploration at the MPCA include demonstrations of water and invertebrate monitoring and learning about the role of the MPCA and MnDOT in the partnership with MN Nature and Little Bohemia neighborhood to improve a community bike trail.