Project encourages alternative energy careers for studentsby Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A cooperative project between colleges in Minnesota and North Dakota is encouraging high school students to consider alternative energy careers.
Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead and North Dakota College of Science in Wahpeton are providing science kits for teachers to use in the classroom. They also offer high school students access to high-tech equipment over the Internet.
Moorhead campus Provost Jerry Migler said alternative energy has been slowed by the economic downturn, but he said the schools are looking to the future.
"The economics will return and when that happens I think the message we're trying to share with students is that if you're thinking about a long-term career, the-long term outlook for careers in alternative energy is really pretty bright," Migler said.
Michael Burke, chair of the applied science and technology department at North Dakota state college of science, said the college also plans to give high school teachers remote access over the internet to one of its bio reactors so they can conduct their own research.
"We've done that with our electron microscope and it's worked wonderfully," Burke said. "The high school teachers and kids just love it. It's such a leap in technology for them. I mean these kids just get very excited about the science and it's a real turn on to them academically I think."
The goal of the project is to serve high schools throughout Minnesota and North and South Dakota.