Activities and Projects

Merle "Misty" Brave Position: TCUP Outreach Coordinator/Faculty

Education and training

BA Biology Colorado Women's College
MA Science Education University of Northern Colorado

Highlights

Lifelong educator -9 years
Christa McAuliffe Educator - National Foundation for the Improvement of Education/National Education Association
Christa McAuliffe Fellow - United States Department of Education

Activities and Projects

AISES Chapter

OLC's chapter is an award-winning Chapter. Having received the Outstanding Chapter for Community Service and Outreach two years in row puts them in the same category as larger institutions for exemplary work. They are known for

  • Monthly meetings
  • Scholarship, fellowship
  • K-12 Outreach
  • Food sales, athletic tournaments for fund raising
  • AISES Region 5 Leadership Conference
  • AISES National Leadership Conference
  • AISES Annual National Conference
AIHEC

OLC Math and Science students participate in the annual AIHEC conference. The department has had winners in the Science Bowl, Science Poster and Science Oral competitions. OLC has hosted the conference in Rapid City. Competitions at the conference include academic as well as non-academic categories. This conference is meant to create new and strong relationships within the AIHEC organization and among the Tribal Colleges’ staff, faculty, and students while working to demonstrate to the general public our dedication to the AIHEC mission, retrieved from its website, to: maintain commonly held standards of quality in American Indian education support the development of new tribally controlled colleges promote and assist in the development of legislation to support American Indian higher education encourage greater participation by American Indians in the development of higher education policy.

LSOP

The Little Shop of Physics (LSOP) from Colorado State University has been a part of the Department’s outreach program for approximately 5 years. The group travels to Pine Ridge and sets up shop in various schools in the fall. OLC students go to Ft. Collins in January and assist in the annual Open House hosted by LSOP. Over 4000 people attend this event. Math and Science students attend an annual two-day Make and Take in the spring. They are able to replicate the projects that LSOP takes around to the schools on the reservation. Use of the replicated projects makes our out reach activities more exciting and hands-on. LSOP

Summer Teacher Research

These teachers have gained an out doors experience and an appreciation for the amount of science information that can be found right in our backyards. It is a “select” group chosen because of their past participation in math and science activities. They have developed lesson plans that are used in their classrooms as well as in the summer Math Camp. Learning how to identify their areas of scientific interests was a focus as well as writing abstracts and looking for potential funders to get the resources needed for their areas has been a main goal with the group. The Little Shop of Physics from Colorado State University has played an integral part to the success of the program. They have provided activities and materials to help the teachers in their respective classrooms.

Math Camp

The OLC Math camp is held yearly in Kyle at Pejuta Haka College Center. Activities that promote a hands-on approach are presented to participants grades K-adult. The activities promote math and it’s integrated nature with science and other disciplines. Teachers from the summer teacher research group are the instructors for the camp. Participants receive gifts for their attendance.

Career Fair

The Math and Science Dept host a Career Fair twice yearly. Representatives from tribal programs have booths that promote their departments. Students from the local tribal schools and surrounding areas are invited. The Math and Science Department also set up booths at the local high school career days a well.

Outreach Activities

Local schools have various activities that involve their parents and students. The Math and Science Department takes activities to the schools and provides things for them to gain an appreciation for STEM. An annual science day is held during Lakota Nation Basketball Tournament. Hundreds of people come through the set up and enjoy the activities.

Science Fair

A reservation wide science fair is held annually in the spring. The fair started with 4 schools and 12 projects. It has grown to include all 16 schools on the reservation and surrounding areas with over 250 projects. All of the fair’s participants receive ribbons and certificates. The projects receiving the most points for each grade level are termed “Best of the Best”. For grades K-3, they receive pizza parties and grades 4-12 receive I-pod Shuffles.

Teacher Lesson Plans and other Resources

The lesson plans were developed in various teacher-training programs. Various web sites can be found on Internet to help you with your classroom activities.

SEMAA (Michelle Salvatore)