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Strengthening Native American Pathways To Science And Engineering Education

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Inquiring MINDs

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1023.1 - 7.1023.9



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Paper Authors

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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

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Session No: 2270

STRENGTHENING NATIVE AMERICAN PATHWAYS TO SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING EDUCATION G. Padmanabhan, Wei Lin, Robert Pieri, Floyd Patterson, Sharon Cobb North Dakota State University

Carol Davis Turtle Mountain Community College


Native American population is highly underrepresented in mathematics, science, and engineering professions. In order to increase Native American participation in MSE professions, their pathways to science and engineering education need to be strengthened. Native American high school students in the Reservations need to be nurtured, motivated and encouraged to pursue higher education in MSE disciplines. The College of Engineering and Architecture of North Dakota State University and the five Tribally Controlled Community Colleges in the State of North Dakota are currently working on a multi-year collaborative project to increase the number of Native American students pursuing college education in mathematics, science, and engineering disciplines. Motivating and encouraging the high and junior high students from the five Reservations in the State to pursue college education in engineering is one of the major objectives of the project. Currently in its third year, the project is engaging groups of high and junior high students from three of the five sites. The project started with one tribal site in the first year and increased one tribal site a year. At the end of the fifth year we hope to have all of the five sites participating in the activities. The activities include a series of one-day weekend academic sessions, one per month through the academic year, and a two-week summer camp at each tribal site. The topics were selected, and lesson plans developed, and presented collaboratively by NDSU faculty, TCCC faculty, and Reservation high school teachers. The students were presented practical day-to-day problems involving simple math, physics, chemistry, biology and engineering in an informal and friendly atmosphere requiring them to think, analyze and seek solutions. Each session included an introduction of the topic, a talk by a community representative connecting the topic to the cultural background of the students, common applications of the topic in day-to day life, background material on mathematics, science, and engineering, hands-on activities, and presentation of results by the students. Because of the vast distances and multiple sites involved, part of the academic activities were conducted in a distance-education mode. The success of the weekend academies was evident by the fact that most students who attended the first academy remained in the program for all of the academies through the year and continued for the summer camp.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright ã 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Padmanabhan, G. (2002, June), Strengthening Native American Pathways To Science And Engineering Education Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10762

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