The Native Earth | Native Sky team will pursue the following objectives for the Choctaw Nation, Chickasaw Nation and Cherokee Nation:
- Identify specific earth-sky stories/legends and earth-sky words in the tribe's native language.
- Create STEM curriculum for middle school grades that interweaves the tribe's individual stories/legends and STEM principles from national/state standards.
- Test the relevance and effectiveness of the curriculum.
- Provide professional development opportunities for teachers.
- Identify the design principles of the curricula using an iterative process.
The first objective of the program is to identify earth-sky stories and earth-sky words in each nation’s language. We conduct our research by working directly with each nation’s leadership and elders in conjunction with the nation’s cultural centers and education and language departments. Once we have collected the nation’s most important earth-sky stories and words, we will create STEM curriculum for middle school grades that is unique and culturally relevant to each nation that also meets Oklahoma state standards. In the summers of 2023-2025, we will be testing the curriculum via summer camps at each nation and conducting professional development opportunities for teachers. Finally, once the curricula are complete, they will be available as an open educational resource for all to use.