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Beind the Scenes at Polaris, Inc.

Last Friday, our Graphic and Product Design students got an amazing behind the scenes look at new product design and development at Polaris, Inc. We were hosted by the global head of new product development, who’s previous experience included automotive design in Europe for both BMW and Rolls Royce. He and his team gave us a great overview of how Polaris brings new power sports models to market across the 14 brands they own in snowmobiles, motorcycles, ATV’s, and specialty vehicles for business and the military.  They talked about everything from engineering to the decals on the gas tank. We also heard from one of their younger designers about his educational journey and his passion for his work.  We then got to go “behind the curtain” to their prototype area… a highly secure place in their headquarters visitors almost never get to see, and less than 60 people in the entire company are authorized to go. It was really remarkable, and our kids were sort of in awe.

On Wednesday, the Healthcare students had a fantastic experience at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. We were taken in rotation to different simulations in pediatric medicine such as trauma, acute care, and pain management. It was so cool to watch our kids “work” along side doctors, nurses, care coordinators, EMT’s, respiratory therapists, etc. during these amazingly realistic simulated scenarios.  Adding to the experience was KSTP’s Brandi Powell, an MHS alumni and VANTAGE mentor filmed a story for their evening news about the aging medical profession and how programs like ours are filling the need for a new generation of healthcare staffing. Here’s a link to the story:

Lastly, a group of our Digital Journalism kids went south to Des Moines last Sunday for the Iowa Caucuses. We were there to document focus groups that were being conducted at Waukee High School by VANTAGE project partners David and Jonah Stillman around “Generation Z” (16-21 year olds) and their attitudes and thoughts about the political process. It was amazing to watch our students work together as a documentary film crew / news team. They did man-on-the street type interviews, and we had a really great tour of the beautiful Iowa Capitol. It was fun to be there when the eyes of the world were on Iowa.