Factors that would support greater participation

  • Start Early:
    • Early start in elementary education
    • Grow our students—hands-on experiences, summer and other informal learning experiences
    • Increased participation of Native students in science fairs; Native science fairs
    • AISES chapters in high schools and middle schools can help students learn to like and understand science
    • Invest in better schools, programs, and teachers
    • Promote students with potential
    • Encourage traditional ecological knowledge
    • Incorporate Elders
    • More school programs and after-school programs
    • Encourage volunteerism
    • Buy in to the importance of environmental science
    • Summer programs
    • One-on-one outreach to students
    • Explain to students why they are well suited to this field
    • Explain to Native students why their background makes them natural geoscientists
    • Better communication about the geosciences
    • Explain how geosciences can help their community
    • Challenge students:  Here is the problem; here is how you can work on it
    • Math:  visual learning, but important not to separate out some students; make math relevant to Native students (use real-life examples, i.e.—basket weaving, beading
    • Teach math in context, applied math
    • Professional development for teachers
    • Break stereotypes of learners
  • Relevance:
    • Show relevance of the careers (how can I use this?)
    • What benefits can the student find in this study to their lives?
    • Show how the education is connected to protection and sustainable management of resources (Intro to Sustainable Development class) Make math relevant to something besides “just math”
    • Create more volunteer opportunities in the sciences in the community
    • Educate everyone in the community
    • Incorporate tradition
    • Be open and honest
    • Need to inspire students
    • Incorporate an experiential component
    • Presentation of issues regarding natural resources as impacting future generations
    • Need to recognize that Native students are diverse by geography and level of preparation
    • Climate change issues are urgent and students want to do something about these issues
    • Science needs to be presented as interesting, not a dead-end job, good career mobility
    • Travel—chance to learn and experience other cultures
    • Lab work/field trips excite students
    • Allow students to work in two paths (Native and mainstream science)  — is this getting better?  You see some who are blending both
  • Role Models:
    • Get graduate-school-level Native American teachers to teach at tribal colleges or tribal schools (role models)
    • Draw on local expertise
    • Find mentors for kids
    • Peer-mentoring
    • Conversation before leaving safe place
  • Support at the College level
    • Distance Learning
    • Do a better job of advertising opportunities and exploring careers
    • Need to have a place online to house all the opportunities, resources, and scholarships related to geosciences
      • agiweb.org
      • Serc.carleton.edu
      • Indigenousmapping.net
      • Geoscience Alliance website – what are the possibilities?
    • Get students connected on campus
    • Better advising so students aren’t told the wrong thing, which can make their academic programs longer and more expensive
    • Student service learning: students play a role in going back to their tribes to publicize their experiences, opportunities for other students, peer mentoring
    • Good mentors; family atmosphere
    • Need more job opportunities
  • Place-based Education (at all levels, K-12 and beyond)
    • When teaching Native students, place is foremost/fundamental
    • Don’t limit “place” (i.e., to the reservation)  Think where Native peoples are now and where they have been in the past, connect to history
    • Look at other successful models
    • Find ways to help students make a connection to their place
      • Encourage them to look
      • Connect students to science and scientists on their reservation
      • DNR/resource management on reservation
    • Close textbook and go out into the community to find your problems and issues, and your answers
    • Greater relevance for students
    • Hands-on – students find this important and valuable
    • Field studies don’t show the “ideal” situation that is often in textbooks, but teach the full complexity
    • A return to the old way is important to many—so we need to have teaching support for Native concerns  (example:  GEMscholars learned the Native community approach and knowledge about plants, a two-way exchange of knowledge
  • Good programs:
    • Wells Technology—example of a successful business in Bemidji, MN. Give tours to students, apprenticeships.
    • NSF Math and Science Partnerships
    • GEAR UP
    • Research Experiences for Undergraduates

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