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NASA Taps OSU, Three Tribal Nations To Develop STEM Curriculum

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Oklahoma State University
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Oklahoma State University and the tribal nations of Choctaw Nation, Chickasaw Nation and Cherokee Nation have been chosen by NASA to create a STEM program that includes Native American culture in the curriculum.

The $3.3 million program is called Native Earth | Native Sky and is a collaboration between NASA, OSU and the three tribal nations. The goal is to weave Indigenous culture into the curriculum.

"Native science is science," said Dr. Kat Gardner-Vandy, a citizen of the Choctaw Nation. "And what really is best is when we can interweave the Native knowledge and their Native voice with what we might consider more western STEM principles."

The program is geared toward middle school students and will be available to all teachers throughout Oklahoma and beyond. Gardner-Vandy said that the curriculum will be developed over a five year period and will be tested among youth from each tribal nation.

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Allison Herrera is a radio and print journalist who's worked for PRX's The World, Colorado Public Radio as the climate and environment editor and as a freelance reporter for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs desk.
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