A group of smart and driven middle school students from Minneapolis and St. Paul worked on group research projects at Wilson Library last week. The students came to the Libraries as part of the Minnesota Historical Society and the U of M’s Summer Athletic and Immersive Learning (SAIL) program, designed to help students prepare themselves for college both physically and mentally.
“After working out with Gopher athletes on TCF Bank Stadium field, talking with professionals of color, and eating lunch in a college dining hall, students not only engage in improving their research and writing skills by completing a History Day project in one week – they also enhance skills in collaboration, prioritizing, and problem solving,” said Brittany Pinales, who works at the History Day programs for the Minnesota Historical Society.
Each year, the University Libraries teams up with the History Day program to support the learning needs of Minnesota students.
U librarians, Gopher athletes team up
“SAIL participants spend their afternoons working at Wilson Library to complete a mini-documentary about a topic related to the history of athletics,” said Phil Dudas, Information Services Manager. “Using library resources like historic newspaper databases helps equip students with research skills that will prepare them for high school and beyond.”
Gopher athletes were a key part of the program both on and off the field. Athletes spent the week serving as academic role models and tutors by helping answer questions from students while they worked on their group research projects.
By providing mentors and modeling research skills, the SAIL program is designed to support students in the classroom and beyond.
“We aim to increase skills for the lifelong learner that can be taken outside of the classroom and into their communities,” said Pinales.