CONTACT: STEPHEN PRADARELLI
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: June 20, 2001
Summer program brings Native American high school students to UI
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- High school students from Native American tribes throughout
the Midwest and New Mexico are spending part of this summer at the University
of Iowa, getting a glimpse of college life and learning how to conduct research
in fields as diverse as archaeology and environmental sciences.
Iowa First Nations Summer Program 2001, which began last week and concludes
Friday, June 29 with a colorful closing ceremony in Kent Park, has brought
together 23 students representing the Navajo, Lakota and Pueblo tribes.
For 12 years, the Iowa First Nations Summer Program (previously called the
Iowa American Indian Science and Engineering Society Summer Program in the
Life Sciences) has blended college-level lectures, laboratory work, computer
experience, field trips and other activities at the UI. During the intensive
three-week program, students are immersed in health, life and environmental
sciences, as well as liberal arts disciplines, while getting the chance to
learn about each other's cultures.
The students prepare for college while exploring career possibilities and
working with native teachers and role models. Joe Coulter, Ph.D., UI associate
provost for diversity and director of Opportunity at Iowa, is a member of
the Citizen Potawatomi Nation of Oklahoma and the Iowa First Nations Summer
Program director. And the group's teacher this year is John Brewer, an Oglala
Lakota from Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South
Dakota. Brewer has been involved with the program from its beginning.
Also involved since the beginning of the program is the UI College of Education,
whose science education division secured the initial grant for the program.
Staff in the college's Education Technology Center are volunteering time to
train the students how to use computers for research they'll conduct while
at the university.
John Achrazoglou, coordinator of technology and lecturer on instructional
design and technology in the college, said he and his colleagues are showing
students -- some of whom have had little experience with computers -- how
to search the Web for information, how to use spreadsheet programs to analyze
and chart their data and how to put together Power Point presentations at
the end of the three-week session.
Also, for the first time this year, the students are being given their own
Web sites to post any papers they write, journal entries, photos and their
"We see this as a way for students to put up things on the Web so their
work can be evaluated and shared with other students," Achrazoglou said,
adding that his involvement with the program "has been very fulfilling
for me over the years."
Students also have plenty of time for social activities. The schedule includes
games, bowling, canoeing, a scavenger hunt, a ropes course, dancing and field
trips. And the closing ceremony often includes talks by elders on the importance
of higher education, traditional foods and round dances.
For information and photos from last year's Iowa First Nations program,