Connecting Students to STEM through Lakota Values at the Sinte Gleska University STEM Horse Camp

Posted on: May 1, 2018   |   Category: Participant Spotlights

Two, 2-week long “STEM Horse Camps” were developed and held in the summer of 2017 at Sinte Gleska University. The camps overlay the cultural importance of horses with the biology and environmental role of the animal to introduce K-12 students to basic STEM concepts. Each student in the camp completed a horse-related bioscience research project and presented a research poster during the camp.

What is the impact?

Introducing new and innovative ways to connect STEM education to all cultures improves the diversity of researchers contributing to the advancement of science and technology. The STEM Horse Camp helps broaden the understanding of science and technology by utilizing cultural connections and lessons so that our young people become technologically responsible and cognizant citizens.

What is the significance of this outcome?

Sinte Gleska University is a Tribal College located in Mission, South Dakota, on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. The STEM horse camp is a unique way to provide students with lessons in STEM education through learning to ride and interact with horses.

STEM Horse Camp activities include horse anatomy/care lessons and horsemanship instruction. In the afternoons students learn about STEM fields through short lectures and hands-on activities. A green house tour and other trips for research data collection keep students busy as the work to prepare a research project and poster by the end of the camp. Connecting STEM lessons to culture helps teach students critical thinking skills such as problem solving, making observations, and asking meaningful questions.