1. Michigan Road Scholars (MRS) Complete 2016 Cycle Through State

    Mark Rivett posted May 6, 2016
    Michigan Road Scholars 2016

    Jo-Anne Perkins, of Cascade Engineering in Grand Rapids, explains the manufacture of trash and recycling bins to the Road Scholars. (Photo by Dana Sitzler)

    The 15th annual Michigan Road Scholars trek around Michigan ended on Friday, and the scholars agree it was a wise investment of time and resources. “The pace was exhausting, but well worth it,” said Bob Grese, professor of natural resources in the School of Natural Resources and Environment, and director of the Nichols Arboretum. “I appreciate this opportunity to see some of my students’ hometowns. Michigan is really remarkable. Every region is distinct from the others. This will help me appreciate the unique personalities and perspectives my students bring to the classroom.”

    “Every year, our scholars identify potential community/academic collaborations in which their expertise can make a solid contribution to current and future initiatives,” said MRS coordinator Dana Sitzler. “It happened again this year, maybe even more than in previous years.”

    Author: Dana Sitzler

    Associate Director of State Outreach| dds@umich.edu | 734-764-8029


  2. A Gathering of the Tribes

    Mark Rivett posted December 9, 2015

    Read Article at Michigan Today

    An immersive learning experience gives U-M students somewhat unprecedented access to Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Tribe rituals, customs and celebrations.

    A couple of students said it was the name for people of India, and they blamed Christopher Columbus for the confusion because he used it to describe the native people he found when he thought he had landed in the east. Others admitted they didn’t really know.

    Through the course Archives and Oral Histories, U-M students learn firsthand the history and traditions of the Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Tribe.

    “Their first writings were academic. You could tell they were well researched,” said Cecil E. Pavlat, Sr., Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Tribe community member and retired leader, who with others from the Upper Peninsula tribe helped U-M faculty create an immersive experience for the students. The hope was that giving them somewhat unprecedented access to Anishinaabe rituals, customs and celebrations would help students answer the Indian question a little differently in two writings that would follow. (Anishinaabe refers to the Ojibwe, Odawa, Chippewa and Potawatomi people of Canada and the United States.)

    Author: Laurel Thomas

    ltgnagey@umich.edu


  3. Dreamcatchers Summer Enrichment Program

    Mark Rivett posted July 1, 2014
    Dreamcatchers Summer Enrichment Program

    Students wait to test the effectiveness of their straw rocket design as measured by the distance traveled once launched. Students conducted distance trials then altered their design by decreasing weight to see if that increased or decreased distance traveled.

    A group of young students from the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians learned about energy conservation from U-M Professor Mark Moldwin this summer by running 60 meters to a make-believe grocery store, picking up one item, and running back. They did this three times. Another group ran to the store one time, picked up three items and ran back. A discussion followed about which group used the most energy, and other ways to conserve energy.

    They were part of a larger group participating in the Dreamcatchers Summer Enrichment Program, an annual month-long program each July for Native American students to enhance their educational experience through tribal history and promote awareness to others in the surrounding community.

    The 5 – 7th graders had a lesson in designing and testing the efficiency of a rocket made out of soda straws.

    Professor Moldwin also taught a group of 8 – 10th graders to study sunlight as a form of energy using spectroscopes and prisms, and making UV detectors. Other “optics” experiments proved that working in career fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) can be fun.

    Dana Sitzler, Associate Director of State Outreach, facilitated a meeting between Professor Moldwin, a Professor of Space Sciences and Applied Physics within the University of Michigan’s Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences within the College of Engineering, and Samuel J. Morseau, Director of Education, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, that created the collaboration.

    The Dreamcatcher program is based on Tribal Sovereignty curriculum being developed by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians as well as supplemental curriculum created by Chi Ishobak, the Four Winds Casino Resort, and local higher education organizations that involve principles of experiential learning which allow students to explore career fields in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The foundation of the curriculum includes four main topics, which are Reclaiming Our Identity, Rethinking History, Self-Determination, and Moving Forward.

    Author: Dana Sitzler

    Associate Director of State Outreach | dds@umich.edu | 734-764-8029


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