TORRANCE, Calif., March 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- To address the issue of low science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) proficiency on the reservation and increase exposure to STEM opportunities, Oglala Lakota College and the American Honda Foundation have partnered on the Lakota Star Knowledge Project. The program provides STEM curriculum, research and outreach to kindergarten through twelfth-grade Native American youth on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. A new Honda Community Partners Spotlight video about the program can be seen at Honda.us/LakotaStarKnowledge.
The Lakota Star Knowledge Project was designed to increase students' STEM knowledge while helping to preserve their native history and culture. With an emphasis on astronomy, the program uses a portable Starlab planetarium to make STEM more relatable and accessible to youth. The Starlab serves as a backdrop to learn the Lakota cosmology, with community elders and spiritual leaders delivering oral tradition, storytelling, demonstrations and field research.
"By combining the Lakota culture with Western science, we've developed a curriculum that brings STEM education and activities to reservation schools," said Michelle Salvatore, Science Engineering Mathematics Aerospace Academy (SEMAA) Director at Oglala Lakota College. "It's important that we introduce students to STEM at an early age to stimulate interest, encourage career aspirations and open their minds to possibilities in higher education."
"The Lakota Star Knowledge Project is an essential part of the educational development of Pine Ridge youth," said Alexandra Warnier, manager, American Honda Foundation. "Due to the limited resources on the reservation, these students would have little exposure to STEM concepts without this program."
For more information about Oglala Lakota College and its STEM outreach programs, visit http://www.olc.edu/departments/ms-tech/outreach/semaa.htm.
Honda seeks to be a company that society wants to exist, creating products and technologies that improve the lives of people while minimizing the environmental impacts of its products and business operations to ensure a sustainable future for society. Honda is also committed to making positive contributions to the communities where we do business, to socially responsible business practices and to the promotion of diversity in our workforce. From our involvement in STEM education and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to our support of pediatric brain tumor research, and volunteer efforts by Honda associates, including environmental clean-up activities, Honda believes in giving back to the communities where we live and work.
Honda supports a variety of initiatives aimed at advancing education and creating experiences of discovery that help young people see and achieve their own dreams. Honda's partnership with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund is one of many programs demonstrating Honda's commitment to the Latino community and to helping young people access The Power of Dreams. Find out more at csr.honda.com.
About the American Honda Foundation
The American Honda Foundation is dedicated to helping prepare America's children for tomorrow's challenges. The Foundation focuses its efforts in the areas of youth and scientific education, with a specific focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects and the environment. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $37 million to organizations serving over 117 million people in every state in the U.S. For more information, please visit http://www.foundation.honda.com.
SOURCE American Honda Motor Co., Inc.