Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 4:10 PM
NSF-OEDG MANOOMIN SCIENCE CAMP PROJECT: A MODEL FOR ENGAGING AMERICAN INDIAN STUDENTS IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATHEMATICS
The Manoomin “wild rice” Science Camp program, a partnership between the University of Minnesota, the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is an example of how a community-based participatory research project can become the catalyst for STEM learning for an entire community, providing effective learning opportunities for grades 5-12 and undergraduate students, elementary and secondary school teachers, and scientists from reservation, tribal college and university. The Manoomin Science Camp program is an outgrowth of “gidakiimanaaniwigamig” (“Our Earth Lodge” in Ojibwe) American Indian youth science immersion program which was initiated in 2003 by the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics and built a foundation of mutual trust. Focusing the research on a resource (wild rice) that has important economic, cultural and spiritual meaning for a community, we promote place-based education and support the development of strong science/teacher/community partnerships. During the proposal planning stage, the very focus of the camp was chosen by the Reservation Resource Management Division, to investigate how long and where Manoomin has been growing in the Reservation lakes using lake sediment core samples and other methods, and what conditions promote the presence of Manoomin so that its future could be assured. Key components of how we conduct the camps are the Circle of Learning, a conceptual framework that emphasizes trust- and relationship-building between researchers, teachers, students, and American Indian community members, and the Seven Elements of STEM Learning, a pedagogical framework derived from an extensive review of the literature on American Indian education which focuses on a holistic approach to learning that emphasizes the whole student.