On Target – Minnesota Twins SPARCS IT Up Again

On Target – Minnesota Twins SPARCS IT Up Again

On Target – Minnesota Twins SPARCS IT Up Again

The Minnesota Twins are widely known for their longstanding involvement with the Minnesota Aspirations in Computing Program (MNAiC).  The year-round program inspires and empowers students in high school who identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary to advance their technology education and career interests. 

Information Technology (IT) is fully on display throughout Target Field and central to day-to-day operations of all Major League Baseball’s entertainment experiences that fans have grown to expect. This year’s event participants viewed the soon to be massive new scoreboard currently under construction for the 2023 season as well as recently remodeled control booths, communication rooms, and many of the behind the curtain gadgets and gizmos used by Twin’s staff to improve player production as well as the spectator experience.  A data analyst provided an engaging exploration of data points and tools that measure and inform trainers and ultimately the players to improve their pitching, hitting, throwing, and position techniques. 

On hand were Elise Buzzell and Lin Pierce, two MNAiC previous award honorees who were selected by the Twins as summer interns. Lin was a high school (Rosemount) and college intern (U of M) who recently returned in 2022 as a permanent employee.  Elise, a current high school senior at Two Rivers High School, was heard encouraging her peers to apply for the computing award and to become involved in the mentoring and job shadow offered opportunities, as well as paid summer internship options that MNAiC and business partners routinely provide.

When asked what event participants took away from the event, three of the participants offered these views:

“[I learned that] networking is the key to everything.”

“I learned about networking, and how simple conversation starters/putting yourself out there can go a long way.”

“I was impressed with how the Minnesota Twins utilize technology in all aspects of their entertainment business to ensure a high-quality experience for fans and players.”


The National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) leads the charge to ensure the technology workforce is comprised of highly diverse talent.  Minnesota has enjoyed the support of the national center for 11+ years as one of 84 state affiliates.  CLICK HERE to learn more about NCWIT and why it matters to diversify the technology workforce.  


Shelley Andrew, Twin’s Manager of Business Systems, was the chief architect of the day-long event. She is passionate and committed to exposing students from diverse backgrounds to a career in tech. Shelley believes hands-on, immersive events like SPARCS are essential for inspiring and sustaining female interests in tech.  According to Shelley, “I was first inspired by the young women at one of the Aspirations Awards Ceremonies earlier in my career.  I knew I needed to get involved with the program to help them continue their STEM journey from the classroom to the workplace.  It has been a privilege to host the students and show them an area of technology that they can consider as a career – professional sports and a major league facility.”  This previous event recording showcases what participants derive from a SPARCS day at Target Field.


Starting in 2014, SPARCS learning and networking experiences became a complementary MNAiC program strategy to inspire and empower young women in secondary schools to Go for IT!  Learn more about SPARCS.


Starting in 2012, educators, businesses, technologists, and community-based organizations united to support high school students to become our next, best Minnesota-grown tech talent. Learn more about the Minnesota Aspirations in Computing Awards (MNAiC).


The IT Center of Excellence engages employers, educators, technology professionals and learners to develop a more robust IT workforce in Minnesota. A Center of Excellence within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, it is located at Metropolitan State University, St. Paul Midway campus. For more information, visit IT Center of Excellence.

If you or your company would like to learn more , contact russell.fraenkel@metrostate.edu