As part of Washington County School District’s K12 Internship Program, Snow Canyon High School seniors and Dixie State University concurrent enrollment students are gaining hands-on learning experiences and national networking opportunities through the university’s Digital Forensics Crime Lab.
In addition to working in the lab, students Aurianna Dunn and Gracie Newby participated in special events such as the lab’s open house exhibition and attended the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Annual Conference in Seattle, Washington. While at the conference, the student-interns networked with industry professionals and participated in a one-day academy as high school seniors.
“I got contacted by the internship program director asking if I had any interest in having high school interns and I thought, ‘Absolutely! Let’s give them as much as we can,'” said Mark Spooner, director of Dixie State’s Digital Forensics Crime Lab. “They came in and interviewed with me, and it’s been great having them. You won’t find two smarter students.”
Both students said their time interning at the DSU Digital Forensics Crime Lab is helping shape their future college paths and careers.
“Getting the exposure on different aspects of forensic sciences was helpful,” said Dunn, who added that the experience helped her solidify her specific interests in the field of forensic sciences.
The hands-on learning experiences the students gained by attending the conference and participating in the internship as a whole is a key component of Dixie State University’s “active learning. active life.” approach to education. By offering students active learning opportunities, access to industry partnerships, and internships, the university prepares students to enter the workforce career-ready.
“The way this will set us apart going into college, with more experience is crazy,” Newby said. “I am just so grateful for it.”