St. Thomas Engineer Magazine



After months of collaboration between St. Thomas’ Playful Learning Lab and St. Paul Metro Deaf School, they were featured on the PBS television program, “SciGirls.” The episode included the partnership of St. Thomas students from Code and Chords – the Playful Learning Lab project that creates dynamic visuals out of music – and three students from Metro Deaf School. The episode showed the girls learning to code and storyboard visual presentations for a song, and finished with a live performance

at the Science Museum of Minnesota by St. Thomas’ Cadenza Singers, with the girls’ visual presentation on a massive screen behind them. “My heart is bursting with pride and joy about this episode!” said Playful Learning Lab Director AnnMarie Thomas, a professor in the School of Engineering and Schulze School of Entrepreneurship. The partnership started in 2018 after PBS reconnected with Thomas, who was a mentor on the “SciGirls” pilot episode in 2009.

Emily Meuer ’18 participates in a Twin Cities Public Television filming of a “SciGirls” episode on campus last summer.


Senior mechanical engineering major and St. Thomas swim and dive team member Lucas Manke got out of the pool on Nov. 22 to a full phone. Many of his friends and family knew what he didn’t: Manke had just been named the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps top cadet in the nation.

Manke is the second St. Thomas student in the past year to receive the honor among thousands of cadets after Air Force ROTC cadet Savannah Johnson was named the Air Force’s top cadet in the nation (see back cover) last spring. Manke has excelled as a full-time student-athlete at St. Thomas and is a member of the University of Minnesota’s Gopher Battalion for his ROTC unit. After graduating this spring, he will commission as a second lieutenant in aviation. “The rigorous academics of the School of Engineering, along with the personal attention from the world-class professors, pushed me to always strive for the best,” Manke said. “The faculty and staff here really care about the success of their students. I have felt that support since day one and it has continuously motivated me to put my best foot forward.”

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