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Endeavor Lab tour at OSU
Oklahoma teachers learn how to lead hands-on STEM activities for their students at the National American Indian Science and Engineering Fair Educator Workshop. (Photo by Sierra Schupp, Oklahoma Water Resources Center)

Oklahoma Water Resources Center hosts science and engineering fair

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Media Contact: Sierra Schupp | Outreach and Communications | 405-744-5615 |

Oklahoma State University researchers Nicole Colston and Cynthia Orona with the Oklahoma Water Resources Center hosted the National American Indian Science and Engineering Fair Educator Workshop on July 18 in Stillwater.

The science fair is affiliated with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. NAISEF was last held in person on the OSU campus in Stillwater in 2019 with virtual fairs held in 2020 and 2021.

NAISEF is an annual event for fifth through 12th grade students. Projects were submitted by individuals or a group of up to three students with at least one group member being American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or who has a relative recognized as such by state or federal government. Student projects were judged based on the submission of a research summary, public poster presentation, ties to tribal culture and more. Winners of NAISEF will compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair with all expenses paid for the students and one adult chaperone. The week-long ISEF will be held May 13-19, 2023, in Dallas.

Workshop participants learn activities they can implement in their STEM curriculum.

The summer educator workshop was organized and presented as the result of a 2022 Women for OSU Partnering to Impact grant won by Colston and Orona. The grant will provide funding for additional educator workshops, a series of webinars to help educators and students get started on NAISEF projects and assistance with registration and forms, as well as hosting parent and teacher STEM resource nights in local school districts.

The workshop hosted over 40 Oklahoma science teachers, Indian education coordinators, tribal STEM representatives and mentors. Participants were provided resources on how to get students involved with NAISEF and numerous STEM activities for classroom use.

Other activities included the following:

  • Workshop attendees received information from Brenda Morales with Oklahoma Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation about funded research experiences for undergraduates.
  • Live STEM activity demonstrations and hands-on teaching were provided by Oklahoma 4-H STEM specialists Alex Cox and Kelly Wardlaw.
  • Participants toured the OSU Endeavor Lab and the OSU Center for Sovereign Nations, both offering creative spaces for students to work on classwork, engage with other students and learn about scholarship and career opportunities.

The next NAISEF will be hosted virtually and in person April 1, 2023, at the Endeavor Lab on the OSU campus.

For more information about this workshop or future NAISEF events hosted by OSU, please subscribe to the OSU listserv:

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