College Prep and Instant Science at the U of M

It’s never too early to be preparing for college. SCL middle school students took a trip to the University of Minnesota on Tuesday, April 25 for a presentation on steps they can take in middle school for better success in college. The students reported that they found the information engaging and useful.

7th graders Serenity and Teagan had some great thoughts to share about their trip experience. Serenity appreciated when the presenter talked about the acronym FAIL: First Attempt in Learning. She said, “It was comforting to hear that it’s OK try again. It made me not as scared for college.” The presentation also made her want to change her study habits and be more focused. Teagan said, “It made me want to be more organized and figure out what I want to do in my life. I change my mind a lot, but I’m thinking about going to the U of M for Child Psychology or to be a pediatrician."

Students also experienced lunch in the large dining halls on the university’s campus, some eating in seats among college students.  “It wasn’t that weird, and it was nice to have a lot of options for lunch like Chick-Fil-A or Panda Express,” Serenity and Teagan said.

The afternoon was filled with fun projects in the College of Science and Engineering - about 12 different activities about nanotechnology set up on tables throughout the room. “Nanotechnology is about using small technology to work on big projects,” the girls explained. They liked all of the hands-on experiments where they saw instant results of the nanotechnology, such as when sand "magically" stayed dry when put in water.  Another station used tap water and a tiny amount of nanotechnology powder, and it quickly absorbed the water into a gel; they learned that this is the technology used in diapers. Students also worked with UV lights, magnets, water wicking fabrics, hydrogel, and more! Serenity said the trip made her want to continue studying biology and gave her a new perspective on possible careers.

Opportunities like this are designed to help students become the total student and prepare for a lifetime of learning! It is one of many experiential trips that is offered at SCL middle school.

Find out more about the middle school at

" Every child can find something to fit their interests, whether it's sports, fine arts, STEM, giving to the community, or helping others. We are proud to be part of the SCL family. "
- Rachel C., SCL Parent