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A Middle School Program To Attract Native American Students To Stem Higher Education

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.55.1 - 10.55.17



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Paper Authors

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Wei Lin

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G. Padmanabhan

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Middle School Program to Attract Native American Students to STEM Higher Education Wei Lin1, Luther Olson2, G. Padmanabhan1, and Carol Davis2 1 North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, USA 2 Turtle Mountain Community College, Belcourt, North Dakota, USA


A 3-year collaborative project between the Turtle Mountain Community College, North Dakota and the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction, North Dakota State University, “A Reservation Collaboration Initiative for Pre-college Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (RECIPE)” funded by NASA completed two years and is in its third year of activities. The project focuses on five components that are essential to realize an increase in the Reservation student participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines to pursue college education in those areas: informational activities, instructional activities, interaction with industry, interaction with Native American STEM professionals, and a collaborative framework among the University, Tribal College, and Reservation schools. Some of the project activities are: after-school enrichment sessions, weekend academy, summer camp, Tribal College gateway course improvements at TMCC, student meetings with Native American and other STEM and NASA professionals, and informational sessions about university and college campuses. In the first two years, ten middle school teachers and thirty Native American middle school students were impacted through the after-school enrichment activities. Selected NASA-developed lesson plans were modified and adapted for enrichment sessions collaboratively by the University, Tribal College, and Reservation middle school teachers. The state NASA resource person was frequently consulted during the project period. We expect to impact additionally five teachers and fifteen students in the third year. We have identified mathematics, chemistry, and biology gateway courses to be improved. Mathematics course was reviewed and improved first. Chemistry and biology courses are selected for review and improvement this year.

BACKGROUND North Dakota is a sparsely populated State with few urban centers and a vast rural area. There is a sizable NA population concentrated in the Reservations of the State. Each Reservation is served by a tribal community college (TCC) to meet the higher educational needs of the tribe members. There are five TCCs in the State: Turtle Mountain Community College (TMCC), Belcourt; Cankdeska Cikana Community College (CCCC), Fort Totten; Sitting Bull College (SBC), Fort Yates; Fort Berthold Community College (FBCC), Newtown; and United Tribes Technical College (UTTC), Bismarck. Typically Reservation and surrounding high schools feed the TCCs. There are two major universities in the State that draw students straight from the Reservation schools and from the TCCs. The tribal colleges and the universities have historically “Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Lin, W., & Padmanabhan, G. (2005, June), A Middle School Program To Attract Native American Students To Stem Higher Education Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15402

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