Native students continue to be underrepresented throughout U.S. universities and colleges, especially in engineering and science programs. The problem is especially troubling because these fields represent the fastest-growing occupations in the country, leaving many looking for ways to bridge this gap.
Mark Griep, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and his team may have found a solution. In partnership with tribal colleges throughout the United States, they created sustainable, and culturally and locally relevant, laboratory experiences so Native students can study topics significant to their communities. Students and teachers share these methods locally and regionally through workshops, outreach and recruitment.
“The Sharing Cycle of Science Learning: Connecting Community Topics to Tribal College Lab Courses” by Griep, Beverly R. DeVore-Wedding, Janyce Woodward and Hank Miller, published in the spring 2016 issue of Great Plains Quarterly, describes this innovative educational process. In addition to enhancing current STEM education, “The Sharing Cycle of Science Learning should also lead to greater involvement of the community in tribal college affairs and greater outreach of the college in K-12 education, both of which should increase the number of students attending the tribal college.”
Other features in the issue (Volume 36, No. 2) include:
In “Documenting Art and History: The ‘Back to Fort Scott’ Materials in the Gordon Parks Papers,” Lorraine Madway explores the manuscripts of famed African-American photographer, writer and filmmaker Gordon Parks and shows how he examined the role of racism in his classmates’ lives following their time at Plaza School in Fort Scott, Kansas.
In “Interdependence and Colonization: Metis Auxiliaries and the North-West Mounted Police, 1874-1895,” Aurelio Ayala and Peter J. Carrington reveal the partnership between Canada’s North-West Mounted Police and the Metis people who worked as scouts, guides and interpreters during the colonization of western Canada and how this cooperation was vital to establishing peaceful relations with First Nations.
Great Plains Quarterly is an interdisciplinary academic journal published by the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The issue is available via the University of Nebraska Press as an individual copy or as a subscription or online via Project MUSE through participating university libraries. For more information, click here. 30 Writer: Melissa Marsh, Center for Great Plains Studies