Minnetonka Research: Premium Training Program For Future Scientists


Shae Horning

Ari Fogel and Liam Boris

As the course registration season continues for current 8th-11th graders, Minnetonka students should consider enrolling in Minnetonka Research. Minnetonka Research is Minnetonka High School’s premium STEM-oriented research program. The program is geared towards students who plan to study and work in the scientific field. As a full-year course, students plan, execute, and complete a science research project of their choosing which relates to their intended post-secondary goals. 

As Jai Chadha, ‘20, said, “[Minnetonka Research] student[s] design their own curriculum. It is absolutely amazing that we delve into our own interests.” 

Similar to Vantage, research students have the help of mentors and volunteers to guide them through the process. Minnetonka Research is a great program for students to safely test out if they would like to pursue a career in the scientific field. It is also a great addition to the High School, seeing that research programs are typically not available to students until their junior or senior years of University.

Chadha also mentioned that the program is beneficial because it “contributes to a student’s public speaking skills and other [professional] communication skills.”

Minnetonka Research offers two different levels in the program: Scientific Research I and Scientific Research II. Research I is open to sophomores and upper classmen, and Research II is only available to upperclassmen. Scientific Research I must be completed before Scientific Research II. Additionally, students must successfully complete either an AP or an IB course in their intended study of research. Lastly, and most importantly, Research students should have passion and excitement for the sciences.


Photo Courtesy of Shae Horning

This year, Minnetonka Research Students have the opportunity to compete in The Twin Cities Regional Science Fair ( TCRSF). Hundreds of high school students from across the Twin Cities will fill the Colosseum at the State Fairgrounds and present their impressive scientific research projects to experts and the public and will be eligible for various cash and other prizes. Students may enter their project into categories ranging from Social Sciences to Microbiology to Astronomy. 

The TCRSF is a unique opportunity only given to a select group of students across the state with prior teacher approval. The fair draws attention from companies such as 3M and Ecolab, allowing student entries to have an extremely influential and powerful audience. 

In addition to providing student researchers with a networking opportunity, the TCRSF “[strives] to motivate, encourage, and support all efforts with a philosophy of ‘everyone who tries is a winner,’” as explained in their mission statement. For all scientists, TCRSF acknowledges, a large success comes from the process and not necessarily the results, a value which the Fair shares with Minnetonka Research.

All in all, Minnetonka Research is an excellent program for future scientists, and for those who want to discern if they want to go into a scientific career. Minnetonka Research will be holding two more events this month for interested students. The first event will be an open house taking place during MAST on Wednesday, February 19 in room 2007. All interested students are welcome to attend. The second event will be a webinar taking place on February 24 at 12:30 pm. The annual Minnetonka Research Symposium will also take place on Wednesday, May 27 at 6:30 pm in the Commons. The symposium highlights and honors research students for their projects and work in the past year.

For inquiries about the Minnetonka Research program, contact Kim Hoehne, Minnetonka Research Director, at [email protected]