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STEM Students Travel to MSU

Students in the STEM Academic Community had the opportunity to explore the science programs and buildings at Michigan State University, as well as talk to current students at the University
STEM Students stop in front of the College of Engineering building on Michigan State University’s campus for a quick group picture. Photo Courtesy: Megan Bartley

  On Tuesday, Dec. 5, STEM students took an educational trip to Michigan State University (MSU), to learn more about the college and tour the different science programs they offer. They left at 5 a.m. and returned at 9 p.m. the same day. 

  “They talked about why MSU is unique compared to the other schools, like [the] yellow and blue school that they compete with. What was cool is they talked about [how] they really want to get undergraduates into research labs, and sometimes when you’re in a really big school, you really don’t see that till your junior and senior years, even in graduate school, but [at] Michigan State they are making a very big push in trying to make it like a small school at a big school. They are trying to get undergraduate students into labs and pay you while you are doing this kind of work,” Physics teacher and trip coordinator Megan Bartley said. 

  The students toured the different STEM areas on the campus, including the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) and the STEM learning center. They also were informed in the form of lectures. They learned about the College of Engineering school, the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the College of Veterinary Medicine. 

  “I [liked] the osteopathic section where we [got] to talk to the med students. I thought that was pretty cool. I personally have an interest in the medical field and osteopathy, which has a D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) instead of an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) degree, which is something I didn’t even know existed,” sophomore Laila Hautala said. 

  Whether the students were interested in veterinary medicine, doctor practices, engineering, etc. There was at least one or a few areas of study introduced on the trip that intrigued them. 

  “I’m looking into different colleges [and] getting closer to going into college. [I’m] wanting to see all the options around me and figure out what’s going to be best for me and my path to becoming a mechanical engineer,” junior Jack Schopp said. 

  While lectures and presentations from experienced individuals can be extremely factual and informative, hearing from a student who has experienced the process of applying and getting into the school can help students figure out if MSU is a good fit for them. 

  “They brought in two residents, so people who are in [medical] school there, and they were actually people who [had] done rotations here [in] Traverse City. They worked at [places] like Copper Ridge Surgery Center, etc., so they just talk to the students about what it was like to be a medical student and how you get into medical school, etc.” Bartley said. 

  Although students missed an entire day of school, the trip was an opportunity that they possibly could have missed if they were not able to go.

  “[MSU] has a standard tour, but I made those appointments with all of those places. I called directly to each [facility] so we got a special presentation just for us. I think it gave us more information about the actual areas of study [and] what you would experience if you chose to go to MSU,” Bartley said. 

  Without Bartley’s efforts to make this trip memorable, the STEM students wouldn’t have been able to experience these things on a standard tour.

  “I learned a lot that I didn’t know about the school and if I had just gone there myself it wouldn’t have been the same,” Schopp said.

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Emma Howell-Leman, Podcast Coordinator
Emma Howell-Leman is a sophomore in her second year of newspaper. She likes to learn about current sports and people's opinions on certain topics. She has decided to take newspaper to broaden her knowledge of current events, get out of her comfort zone, and talk to new people. Emma rides horses at a local barn that her mom owns and competes competitively around the U.S.

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