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Oklahoma Tribal Nations Pathway Elements

As part of the process of developing a community centered pathway, we piloted several activities in collaboration with stakeholders that had the potential to become part of a longer-term sustainable pathway. Four such activities are described below.

Jones Academy Choctaw Nation STEM Camp 2017

July 10 and 17, 2017

Participants: 19

The Oklahoma Alliance was invited to present two short 2-hour presentations in July at the Jones Academy. The Jones Academy is a Bureau of Indian Education school. Founded by the Choctaw Nation, Jones Academy serves students from 29 tribes. It is recognized as a top performing school in mathematics and reading. These presentations were held during the Jones' Academy 2-week summer STEM Camp for students entering grades 9 to 12. Dr. Jake Walter, the State Seismologist at the Oklahoma State Geological Survey and faculty member at Oklahoma University, and Norma Neely presented the activities, which were related to earthquakes and earthquake hazards.

Super Science Saturday

April 21, 2018

Participants: 15 students (elementary and middle school), along with a 6-8 parents or grandparents.

This pilot activity occurred on April 21 from 9am-4pm at the Absentee Shawnee Tribe Multipurpose Building, in Shawnee, OK. The event emerged from the 2nd stakeholders meeting and was a collaboration between the American Indian Institute (EarthConnections), the Absentee Shawnee Tribe, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Native Explorers, University of Oklahoma (OU) School of Geology and Geophysics, Shawnee Gem and Mineral Society, and the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS). Approximately 15 students (elementary and middle school-aged) participated, along with a 6-8 parents or grandparents. In the morning students were introduced to rocks from the Shawnee Gem and Mineral Society and each student received a selenite crystal and a rose rock. Kent Smith of Native Explorers, and a paleontology graduate student who is a Native American, brought skulls of extinct mammals for students to examine as they explained how Oklahoma has changed through the ages. They also led a draw-a-scientist activity which included a discussion about who can be a scientist.


In the afternoon, Dr. Jefferson Chang, and Dr. Molly Yunker from the Oklahoma Geological Survey engaged students in three geoscience explorations: 1) investigating and describing characteristics of large hand samples of rocks, minerals, and fossils, 2) exploring the GeoKIDS kit which includes 9 mineral and fossil specimens that each student could take home, and 3) a seismology activity involving the Raspberry Shake seismograph. The day concluded with the students watching a Magic School Bus episode about venturing into the Earth's interior, and each student was given the accompanying book. Each student also received an Aii bag with a notebook, mechanical pencil, and magnifying lens. The students were surveyed at the end of the event, using the engagement instrument provided by Kristin O'Connell.

SSS GeoScience Day.pdf (Acrobat (PDF) 900kB Jun24 18)

View more pictures from Super Science Saturday »


Jones Academy Choctaw Nation STEM Camp 2018

June 27-28, 2018

Participants: 26 students (entering 9th-12th grade), along with 10 adult helpers

As part of the week-long STEM camp run by Jones Academy for Native American high school students, the students visited OU and OGS on June 27 and 28. As part of this experience, OGS provided a 3-hour "GeoXP" (Geology Experience) for the group. 26 students were registered (entering 9th-12th grade), along with 10 adult helpers. They visited the Sarkeys Energy Center, where OGS is housed. The group rotated through a series of five (5) stations about geology within the building. The stations included: 1) a geology lab with a working stream table and augmented reality sandbox, 2) a scavenger hunt using the museum-like displays of rocks, minerals, and fossils in the building, 3) exploring the rock, mineral, fossil kit of large hand specimens, 4) assembling and identifying samples with the GeoKIDS kit, and 5) a seismology station where kids learned about seismographs - both table top and research grade, and learned about Oklahoma's seismic network from the State Seismologist, Dr. Jake Walter. Finally, all subgroups came back together for panel discussion with geoscientists at different levels within their careers, including a graduate student, a seismic analyst, a field technician, a field geologist and petroleum geologist, an education specialist, and a research seismologist. Each individual introduced themselves, and then there was time for Q&A with the panel.


BLOSSM: Bridging Local Outreach & Seismic Signal Monitoring in Oklahoma

Ongoing interactions

Participants: ~25 Schools/libraries/museums are hosting stations so far

This is the primary focus of the OGS's involvement in EarthConnections. It was started before the Oklahoma Regional Alliance and is funded outside of EarthConnections. The Bridging Local Outreach & Seismic Signal Monitoring (BLOSSM) in Oklahoma program is placing 100 seismographs in educational and free-choice learning institutions across the state to address the local problem of increased seismicity. This project is currently underway, in the second phase of a three-phase implementation model with regional professional development workshops for teachers being planned. This program is supported through funding from the state of Oklahoma. IRIS, our national partner, also has experience that can help BLOSSM succeed.