AIRONET Visiting Scientists Program for Montana Reservation Schools

Montana Apprenticeship Program (MAP)

PI: Sara L. Young, American Indian Research Opportunities, Montana State University
[2000-03] The overall goal of the Montana Apprenticeship Program (MAP) is to increase the pool of disadvantaged high school students who have the interest and potential to pursue careers in health, science and engineering professions. Additionally, MAP offers opportunities for K-12 inservice and preservice teachers of disadvantaged students to update their knowledge and skills in modern research tools and techniques as well as to strengthen their teaching skills. A total of 20 students , 4 teachers and 2 preservice teachers are recruited each spring from an established network of Montana schools with significant disadvantaged student enrollment. The main components of MAP are a structured "hands on" summer research experience for both students and teachers under the direction of active science and engineering research mentors and a series of presentations given by local and regional health professionals and MSU scientists and engineers, as well as others from the region who share their expertise highlights of current research and careers in their fields.

[1998] The AIRO program proposes to provide a Visiting Scientist online program for reservation high school students who are interested in science and engineering. The Visiting Scientist program began as a discussion of biomedical issues and has expanded to include Internet resources into the discussions. In 1997, as a part of the Montana Space Grant Consortium grant, topics related to NASA were initiated. This project proposes to expand the focus on topics related to NASA or to science fields pertinent to NASA projects/careers. Reservation high school students who participate in the six week summer Minority Apprenticeship Program (MAP) are the primary users of AIRONET�s Visiting Scientist program. The grant would include a wider audience of American Indian high school students through connectivity with high school science teachers and their entire classes.

The project will provide a half-time salary for the Visiting Scientist project coordinator who will contact and provide technical assistance for science teachers in high schools on each of the reservations to have their classes participate in the online discussion groups on a regular basis as a part of their curriculum. The expansion of the program to science classes rather than just the students who attend MAP each summer will greatly increase the number of students who will be interacting with campus researchers and science faculty. A minimum of one third of the Visiting Scientists would be in a field directly related to aerospace engineering or other fields related to NASA careers.

[1997] The American Indian Research Opportunities program proposes to provide Internet and electronic mail/conferencing to American Indian high school and Tribal College students and faculty via a toll-free service throughout 1997 after which time the majority of these students and faculty will have access without a toll free number. The conferencing will be conducted through AIRONET, an already established electronic mail and conferencing system that began in 1993 and is currently serving over 300 American Indian students and tribal College faculty throughout Montana, and in most instances, is their only access to Internet and electronic mail. One of the most successful aspects of AIRONET is the regular "Visiting Scientist" program that provides reservation students with access to on-going discussions with their peers throughout the state and a scientific research. With funding from NASA to assist in maintaining this outstanding service, the AIRONET program proposes to expand into the area of NASA related research by including a quarterly NASA researcher as a part of the Visiting Scientist program with the additional goal of including a current NASA astronaut as a featured Visiting Scientist at least once during 1997.

Contact Information

Mail: Sara L. Young, Director
American Indian Research Opportunities
311 Roberts Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717
Phone: (406) 994-5847
FAX: (406) 994-5559

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Updated June 19, 2006