The Professional Development Initiatives department at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota has a successful 25-year partnership with 3M’s TWIST program. TWIST stands for Teachers Working in Science & Technology. Each summer teachers from Minnesota and beyond, who teach Science, Math, and Tech Ed in grades 7-12, spend six weeks doing research and development alongside a 3M scientist or engineer and their team. Participants tour labs, pilot manufacturing facilities, and receive a stipend from 3M for this summer work-study opportunity.
Saint Mary’s University has been a proud partner by aligning graduate credit with their TWIST experience, which has involved 182 learners over those 25 years. Participating teachers reflect on what it’s like to be a student again themselves and learn new material and procedures while identifying new industry contacts and resources. Ultimately this allows teachers to bring renewed energy and real-world science applications into their classrooms the following fall. The TWIST graduate credit experience positions these teachers to develop relevant hands-on curricula that will help educate the next generation of scientists. We look forward to continuing this valuable partnership with 3M for years to come.