Engaging Students in Minnesota History through Internships and Education
The Minnesota Historical Society is launching a new component to its internship program by providing opportunities for high school students to develop work-readiness skills and learn about career paths available at the Society.
The Society strives to attract interns from underrepresented communities to encourage engagement and diversify the institution. Students are placed across the Society in various departments and sites.
The Society also includes college students in its internship program. To enrich their experience, they participate in activities together over a semester-long period. The activities focus on learning more about the Society, current issues and trends by meeting staff and sharing intern experiences and building professional networks.
During the 2010-2011 school year, Arts and Cultural Heritage funding supported 43 interns who contributed nearly 4,000 hours in 14 programs across the Society.
Education – Interns assisted the education department with research for curriculum text books, public programs and served as History Day mentors. An intern working with the Teacher Education Division researched and developed a plan for introducing students to Hmong culture and history. This work serves as the foundation for a Hmong story cloth activity kit, modeled off the Oijbwe Shoulder Bag Activity Kit, to be developed in spring 2012.
Collections – An intern cataloged and conducted research on the Society's jewelry collection. Upon completion of the internship, she submitted a blog post titled Human Hair Jewelry for the Collections blog.
Marketing Department – Interns with writing and design skills supported the department with design requests and publicizing events. Interns wrote, researched, designed press releases, supported social media campaigns and pitched stories to a variety of news outlets.
MHS Press – Interns in the Press made significant contributions to the department by supporting editorial and graphic design work. A graduate level intern compiled The 1968 Project which is the accompanying book to The 1968 Exhibit. A design intern worked with MNopedia staff and produced the logo for the project that can be seen on the web site.
Developing a passion for history often starts well before adulthood. To foster this interest, the Minnesota Historical Society has developed an internship program to serve both high school and college students during the 2010-2011 school year. The funding to date has supported the hiring of staff and the initial recruiting for this program. To enrich the internship experience, the Society is introducing additional discussions and classroom presentations for all college interns over a semester-long period. In addition, the Society plans to launch an educational summer program, in partnership with the University of Minnesota, directed at disadvantaged youth, focusing on skills that address the Minnesota State Learning Standards for History and Social Studies.
(c) Programs. $3,000,000 in 2010 and $4,750,000 in 2011 are for programs and purposes related to the historical and cultural heritage of the state of Minnesota, conducted by the Minnesota Historical Society.