University Summer Camp Student Track Archives

The goals of the Summer Camp at NDSU include introducing tribal college students to STEM disciplines and career opportunities, exposing them to city and campus life, attracting them to four year STEM programs, and engaging tribal high school and college faculty in career improvement and lesson development. This two-week camp is usually offered in the first two weeks of June each year. The camp has two tracks, tribal college student track, and instructor and teacher track.

Student Track

In 2011, fourteen American Indian students from three tribal colleges participated in the camp. Concurrently, five Tribal college faculty and seven Reservation high school math/science teachers worked together with the faculty from NDSU and UND to develop lesson plans for the high school summer camps in June and July at the tribal college sites and for the upcoming Sunday Academy sessions, one Sunday a month through the academic year 2010-11. A two-day workshop will be held later in August at NDSU for the tribal college faculty and teachers to practice and perfect the hands-on activities in the lesson plans they developed for the Sunday Academy for the upcoming academic year.

The topics covered in the projects included: energy and the atmosphere, light interference patterns, Franklin's gull chicks, invertebrates, food science, rainfall simulation and overland flow, synthesis of gold nano-particles and nano-rods, and electron microscopy. Five student groups worked with NDSU faculty and two with UND faculty. The seven student presentations on the closing day of the camp showcased the collaboration of 14 American Indian students from tribal reservations across North Dakota and faculty and graduate students from the state's two research universities. Opportunities for recreation and social interaction provided for the students to experience campus and city life by the Office of Multicultural Student Services at NDSU and by the American Indian Center at UND added fun to the rigor of the camp. Students also had the benefit of experiencing a fire- side story-telling by Clifford Canku, assistant professor in Dakota Studies and listening to a guest speaker Malea Powell, an American Indian rhetoric scholar from Michigan State University. The camp concluded with a closing ceremony with a closing prayer followed by a luncheon.

Robert Pieri, professor in mechanical engineering, directed the camp with assistance from G. Padmanabhan, professor in civil engineering and NATURE coordinator, and Chad Ulven, assistant professor in mechanical engineering. Adnan Akyuz, assistant professor in climatology; Wendy Reed, associate professor in biological sciences; Deland Myers, director of school of food system; Clifford Hall, associate professor in food system; Xuefeng Chu, assistant professor in civil engineering; Alan Denton, associate professor in physics; Scott Payne, assistant director of electron microscopy center; Jayma Moore, research specialist in plant pathology; Yechun Wang, assistant professor in mechanical engineering; Anne Denton, assistant professor in computer science; Prakash Ranganathan, intsructor in electrical engineering (UND), Vasyl Tkach, associate professor in biology(UND), Hanying Xu, director, environmental analytical research lab (UND), and Carrie John, post-doctoral research associate in chemistry (UND) were the primary resource faculty for instruction and project mentoring in the camp. Austin Allard and Kayla Allard, undergraduate students, assisted in instruction and logistics of the camp. Many other faculty helped in department tours and laboratory demonstrations.

The 2010 Camp opened with a traditional American Indian prayer by Clifford Canku, assistant professor, Dakota Studies program, English department, followed by the rededication and unveiling of the name plate of the Sacred Grandmother Earth's Gifts of Life Garden. A luncheon followed. Pamela Mohl, representing Sen. Ken Conrad, read a letter of congratulatory message from the Senator wishing the camp well. Then, five American Indian STEM professionals made presentations about their experiences and career prospects to the participants.

2009 Camp at NDSU opened with a traditional American Indian prayer followed by a luncheon.Participants then had the opportunity to attend the dedication event of the Sacred Grandmother Earth's Gifts of Life Garden. Five American Indian STEM professionals made presentations to the participants about their professional experiences and career prospects.The six student presentations on the closing day showcased the collaboration of 12 Native American students from tribal colleges of the stste and the faculty and graduate students of the state's two research universities. The camp concluded with a closing ceremony.