NSF funds Red Eagle Soaring and UW College of Education ArtScience collaboration
Nurturing Native youth engagement in science learning through the arts.??
Seattle-based Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre and the University of Washington College of Education are beginning an innovative design-based research collaboration that explores the potential of traditional and contemporary Native American art forms to engage?Native students in meaningful science learning of significance to them and their communities. The four-year?Expansive Meanings and Makings in ArtScience?(EMMAS)?project, supported by a $1.5 millionNational Science Foundation?grant, seeks to?study the untapped potential of an emerging, interdisciplinary movement, ArtScience, to foster learning in science for middle and high school age youth who have not experienced academic success in science. Utilizing ?Red Eagle Soaring’s already-established cycle of theatre and arts programming as a laboratory, EMMAS will design interdisciplinary approaches for inquiry into climate change; foster relational thinking critical to preparing youth to meet 21st century challenges; and provide an alternate pathway into STEAM (Science,Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) learning.
“We’re particularly interested in nurturing students who may not realize they have STEAM-related talents or interests, or who otherwise have not been served well by current forms of education,” said Dr. Megan Bang (Ojibwe), professor of Learning Sciences and Human Development in the University of Washington?s College of Education and the project’s principal investigator. According to Red Eagle Soaring Managing Director Fern Renville?(Sisseton Wahpeton), ?This ArtScience project will offer Red Eagle Soaring youth a powerful opportunity to engage intellectually and creatively with the issue of climate change which will increasingly impact Northwest Tribal peoples, and will support and reinforce the core Native cultural value of being in good relationship with the Earth.??Further, by involving Native people and doctoral candidates from underrepresented communities as teachers, designers, and researchers, EMMAS expands cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary professional and training opportunities.??Besides Red Eagle Soaring and the University of Washington,?EMMAS? cross-disciplinary collaboration also includes learning scientists at the Ch?che Konnen Center/TERC and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT; faculty and students at Boston Arts Academy, a public high school in Boston; and scientists and artists in Boston and Seattle who work at the intersection of art and science.
Red Eagle Soaring (RES) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) serving greater Seattle?s American Indian and Alaska Native youth ages 9-20 with free programming integrating contemporary theatre and traditional Native performing arts; RES empowers Native youth to express themselves, take creative action on the issues that affect their lives, and sustain their cultural heritage. To learn more, visit?www.redeaglesoaring.org.