Coon Rapids teacher works at 3M laboratory in summer program

While Coon Rapids High School students were enjoying summer vacation, one of their teachers was working on real-world science projects in a different type of classroom – a 3M laboratory.

Melanie Bristor participated in 3M’s Teachers Working in Science and Technology (TWIST) program this summer as a part of her continuing education through St. Mary’s University.

The six-week TWIST program provided middle school and high school teachers with opportunities to work alongside 3M scientists and engineers on research projects such as evaluating materials for healthcare products and investigating adhesives for industrial applications.

Bristor was one of 10 St. Mary’s participants who will bring these real-world science applications into the classroom this fall.

“At a time when there is a push to more effectively engage students in science, technology, engineering and math education, St. Mary’s is helping enhance teachers’ understanding of how scientific concepts are applied in the real world,” said Scott Walker, the director of Graduate Professional Development for Educators (GPDE) at St. Mary’s University.

“TWIST positions these teachers to develop hands-on curricula that will help educate the next generation of scientists.”

Since 1993, 142 students have earned graduate credits through St. Mary’s for their participation in the TWIST program.

Participants may choose to use their credits toward attaining graduate degrees or renewing their state teaching licenses.

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