Local STEM program remembering Anishinaabe traditions

MARQUETTE– One new two week program made possible through a grant, is educating local students in Native American traditions, cultures, and knowledge.

ReImagine STEM Summer Youth Academy is for dual enrolled students, through the academy students gain four credits in a special topics course in Native American studies. The academy is free giving students the opportunity to learn creative ways to approach science, technology, engineering and math from a different view point than the average classroom.

“It’s not even Reimagine as it is remember,” Native American studies director April Lindala said. “We want to remember some of the traditions that were done before European contact and the idea of how do you combine engineering for example with today’s idea of engineering. But remember what did Anishinaabe people do and so the professor behind me is doing a Birchbark canoe workshop, that involves a lot of engineering.”

Seventy five students from seven different states applied, but the program could only take 48 making it as diverse as possible.This week the classes are held at Northern Michigan University with facility teaching from other universities as well.Next week the students will take learning outside the classroom. The academy is funded through the National Science Foundation Grant and one of 37 pilot projects currently going on around the United States.