The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a significant grant to the Native American Astronomy Outreach Program of Lowell Observatory earlier this month. The grant will help spread the unique science education program to the Kayenta Unified School District.
For nearly a quarter century, program co-founder Deidre Hunter and a dozen other Lowell Observatory have been bringing common core, next generation sciences, and Navajo tribal standards together to educate students of the Navajo and Hopi Nations of Northern Arizona.
“The goal of the Native American Astronomy Outreach Program is to help teachers get kids excited about science,” says Hunter. “We work with 5th through 8th grade teachers on the Navajo and Hopi Nations. I match an astronomer with a teacher for one year. During the course of that year the astronomer goes out to the classroom and does hands-on astronomy activities with the teacher and the class.”
The full program is a mixture of classroom science experiments, and outdoor observing of the night sky.
“The astronomers host star parties at night” Hunter explains. “Then, in the spring, they can bring the class on a field trip to Lowell Observatory to observe on our research telescopes.”
The Native American Astronomy Outreach ...