The opening ceremony for the summer camp of Nurturing American Tribal Undergraduate Research Experience, known as NATURE, is set for Monday, June 5, at NDSU’s McGovern Alumni Center.
Now in its 13th year, the two-week science, technology, engineering and mathematics camp for tribal students in North Dakota features laboratory visits, field trips and demonstration projects in a variety of science-related areas during the first week of camp. The students experience activities at both the NDSU and University of North Dakota campuses. During the second week, the students conduct hands-on research. This year, some of the participants can choose to conduct research both weeks at either NDSU or UND.
The program is sponsored by the North Dakota Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.
Participants include students and faculty from tribal colleges and high schools and faculty from NDSU and UND. The aim is to improve STEM education for the students while building a pathway to pursue careers in those disciplines.
“This program continues to be a window for students to a potential STEM career,” said Robert Pieri, program coordinator and NDSU professor of mechanical engineering, noting the students give presentations on research projects on the closing day of the camp. “This experience allows them to see themselves in a rewarding and useful career field, helpful to themselves, their family and their tribe.”
A total of 18 to 20 North Dakota Native American college and high school students will participate in this year’s camp. Students are recruited each year by faculty from North Dakota’s tribal colleges: Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, Sitting Bull College, Turtle Mountain Community College and United Tribes Technical College. This year, a student from a primarily undergraduate institution in North Dakota also is participating in the program.
NATURE programs are supported by the State of North Dakota and the National Science Foundation under NSF ND EPSCoR Track 1 Award OIA-1355466.
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