MSU President's Newspaper Column

April 2, 2022

Science carnival is an example of Mayville State’s outstanding opportunities for aspiring teachers, as well as area elementary school students

The MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room was filled with children, parents, and grandparents who came to experience science hands-on with Mayville State teacher education students on the evening of March 28. It was a thrill for me to be there and see how our students were providing fun and meaningful activities for area K-6 school kids. The science carnival was made possible through funding from the Regional STEM Days for Students Grant sponsored by the North Dakota STEM Ecosystem Board.

The event was sponsored and hosted by the Mayville State University Student Education Association (SEA). SEA is an organization made up of aspiring school teachers who are enrolled at Mayville State University. Our local group is connected with the Student North Dakota United (SNDU) organization which gives soon-to-be educators the opportunity to learn not only from each other, but also from a network of campus advisors and from the finest professionals in education. Mayville State students have the opportunity to serve in leadership roles in this organization, which gives them valuable experiences even before they become practicing teachers.

I’m extremely proud of our Division of Education. Mayville State is recognized statewide and beyond for producing some of the best K-12 teachers anywhere. Mayville State’s roots are in teacher education as the institution was founded as a Normal School in 1889. We have not lost sight of that original mission and Mayville State continues to provide outstanding educational opportunities for those who wish to pursue careers in teaching. Nearly 800 of those currently teaching K-12 students in North Dakota graduated from Mayville State University. There are Mayville State-educated teachers working in nearly every North Dakota county.

The demand for teachers in North Dakota and throughout the nation is huge. By supplying highly prepared graduates, Mayville State University is meeting a critical need for our state. Our graduates have no trouble finding employment upon graduation. Many have secured employment even before graduating. Some are able to help out by serving as substitutes in area schools before they have completed their degrees.

One of the reasons Mayville State’s teacher education program is so very successful is that our students are able to work with young school students very early in their educational journey. They observe and interact in area school classrooms throughout their enrollment at Mayville State. This is good not only for the Mayville State students, but also for the K-12 students. Our students work hard to provide meaningful experiences for the students with whom they interact, and opportunities for one-on-one interaction is a great benefit to them.

The Science Carnival held on March 28 is a great example of that one-on-one interaction. Mayville State pre-service teachers manned the stations and those who attended were able to participate in activities at the various stations. They could make fluffy slime, lava lamps, shrinky dinks, stress balls, Newton’s cradles, invisible fire extinguishers, and oobleck. At other stations they were able to learn about fingerprinting, plant flowers, see how aluminum foil rocks work, realize the importance of hand washing via glo-germs, and learn about constellations by visiting the star lab. A Lego challenge and building and modeling were also among the activities offered at the fair.

I am Comet Proud of our students who provided this opportunity for area children. Students involved were Julia Johnson, MiKara Johanson, Kaydon Kenfield, Sarah Bickford, Kade Elliott, Rachel Krueger, Mercedes Hegland, Jenna Lindberg, Jenna Johnson, Mary Hilgemann, Courtney Boll, Sadie Mathews, Thomas Gieske, Jamison Kramer, Sidney Olson, Nick Rexine, Allie Hjelmstad, Kylee St. Croix, Katelyn Johnson, Avery Moen, Hanna Millar, Daphne Kenniger, Aiko Hatano (volunteer Japanese Outreach Coordinator with Japan Outreach Initiative), Phillip Maritato, Paul MacSteves, Gerrit Bjornstad, Kaitlin Ensign, Sydney Brekken, Abby Kessel, and Nicole Fierro.

I am equally proud of our Division of Education faculty members who model what is means to be an outstanding teacher and to make a positive difference in the lives of students. These educators stay abreast of the latest educational trends and practices and incorporate their knowledge into a teacher education program that provides the best possible education for aspiring teachers. We owe these outstanding individuals a huge debt of gratitude. They are touching the future.

Mayville State’s Division of Education has several new initiatives underway, including a new Master of Education degree. Learn more about the opportunities in teacher education at