The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $1.4 million to an Oklahoma consortium aimed at providing access to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) educational opportunities to nearly 1,500 American Indian students. The grant will enable tribal communities and partners to increase the number of American Indians who choose careers in science and medical fields by offering students hands-on experiences.
Through partnerships with Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences’ Office for the Advancement of American Indians in Medicine and Science and other groups, Project AAIMS (Advancing American Indians in Medical and STEM careers) Native Youth Community Project will work with the Osage County Interlocal Cooperative and nine rural education agencies on the initiative. The cooperative consists of the Osage Nation and the Otoe-Missouri Tribe.
Other partners include Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance, Northern Oklahoma College, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Osage County Extension Office and the Osage Nation Communities of Excellence.
The Cherokee Nation’s American Indian Resource Center will receive $584,009, the Cherokee Nation Grand View School will get $341,053 and the Osage County Interlocal Cooperative will receive $498,710 of the grant.
The initiative will serve Oklahoma students in prekindergarten to 12th grade from 26 American Indian tribes. The grant was awarded through the federal education agency’s Native Youth Community Projects program and is a key element of President Barack Obama’s Generation Indigenous Initiative to help native youth.