Technical Education Post

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National Science Foundation Invests in Tribal STEM Education


By Sara Friedman

shelf of glass beakers

Through the National Science Foundation’s Tribal Colleges and Universities Program(TCUP), the agency has awarded $14 million in grants to four tribal colleges and universities to establish Tribal Enterprise Advancement centers with a focus on science and engineering. The goal is to create the next generation of scientific professionals to serve as decision-makers and intellectual resources for their tribes and communities.

  • The Tribal Enterprise Advancement Center for Community Marine Research at Northwest Indian College will focus on research and educational outreach regarding marine matters in the waters of the Salish Sea of the Pacific Northwest U.S. coast. This work will help the Lummi National Resources Department of the Lummi Nation manage its aquatic resources to protect water quality.
  • Navajo Technical University’s Advanced Manufacturing Center will establish an Advanced Manufacturing Center and develop four new degrees and certificate training programs in advanced manufacturing technology, including several focused on additive manufacturing.
  • United Tribes Technical College’s Intertribal Research and Resource Center will conduct research and providing training and assistance to tribes in planning and managing multiple resources. The center will be able to offer first-time research facility positions, employ a sustainable STEM research and outreach model and utilize a coordinated interdisciplinary approach to research, outreach, learning and education.
  • Aaniiih Nakoda Water Nic’-Mni’ (Water) Center at Aaniiih Nakoda College will conduct and integrate findings from four related water research studies on issues of critical concern to the Fort Belknap Indian Community. The center will offer education and training programs to provide community members with the skills, experience and credentials to address local water issues effectively, and gather and share information that can be used by the community to make informed decisions regarding the proper care and use of the reservation’s water resources.

Having a trained scientific and engineering professional workforce, positioned for employment in tribal, state and national government agencies, will change the economic well-being and quality of life for reservations and other native communities,” said Jody Chase, program director in the NSF’s Education and Human Resources Directorate. “We anticipate these new centers will produce greater innovation and economic expansion within the communities served by the TCUP institutions.”

More information about the new Tribal Enterprise Advancement centers can be found here.

Tom Shaw

Technical Education Post, Online Publisher

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