Conference: 2023 STEM Summer Camp for Indigenous Middle School Students in Utqiagvik, Alaska

Project: Research project

Project Details


Engineering workforce development (EWD) is a national priority and need that is particularly critical in producing the next-generation engineers in Indigenous communities in Alaska who can address the increasing infrastructure challenges due to accelerated climate change. EWD should start at as early an age as possible to instill STEM interests and concepts in K-12 students. Pennsylvania State University (PSU) will organize a 7-day STEM workshop with a focus on engineering for Indigenous middle school students in Utqiaġvik, Alaska in summer 2023. The workshop will be organized and led by Dr. Ming Xiao, Professor of Civil Engineering (CE) at PSU with the assistance of two PSU CE undergraduate students. The workshop is a collaborative effort with Iḷisaġvik College in Utqiaġvik, and the college will provide meeting space and logistics. Participants will include 20 middle school students, mainly from the villages in the North Slope Borough (NSB), Alaska. Students will participate in seven hands-on group activities. An elder from the local community will be invited to participate so that the western science and engineering knowledge and Traditional Knowledge will be taught together to the participants. The workshop in Utqiaġvik, Alaska will support development of an interest in STEM, and particularly engineering, in middle school students with the ultimate goal of training future Arctic STEM scientists and engineers. The participants will also have an opportunity to explore how Traditional Knowledge and western scientific and engineering knowledge can be co-taught to Indigenous Alaskan middle school students.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Effective start/end date3/15/232/29/24


  • National Science Foundation: $49,615.00


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