Students in the GRICUA’s STEAM program tour centers of learning and exploration
Gila River Indian News
Students participated in a week-long summer program to learn about science, culture, agriculture and environment in different settings. The Gila River Indian Community Utility Authority (GRICUA) hosted its 3rd Annual STEA3M Summer Program for fifth through eighth grade students on June 24-28.
Students interested in science, technology, engineering, art, agriculture, architecture and math learned in a real-world environment to explore these diverse subjects.
The program is designed to engage and sustain a STEA3M student-centered learning culture where passion, self-discipline, technology-enhanced collaborative teamwork and STEA3M career awareness are part of the learning settings.
Throughout the week, the students toured the Arizona Science Center, Heard Museum, Arizona State University, Boeing and many other locations.
The program also had an agricultural component, and the students visited Ramona Farms, Wellington Ranch, and Pima-Maricopa Irrigation Project Mar 5 Interpretive Trail.
On June 26, the students toured the ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration on the Tempe main campus where they learned about the creation of the planets, origin of meteorites from the outer reaches of the solar system and the exploration of Mars.
They were shown, special laboratories used to build devices, that may end up being launched into space to explore our solar system, navigate Mars or even understanding our planet from low orbit.
After touring the earth and space exploration building, they visited the American Indian Student Support Services to learn how the centers are helping the ASU Native student population.
Laura Gonzales-Macias, said the center is open to all Native students, who attend ASU and functions as a place for them to study, work, and seek resources for students to be involved on campus.
“For our Fall numbers, they’re 3,035 and we are growing and our 2019 will be closer to 5,000. We do have a large indigenous community here on campus,” said Macias.
“When you’re out there among a crowd of people, you got bikes, you got skateboards, sometimes people with dogs, it’s just crazy, but you come in here it’s great, you talk to other students,” said Napoleon Marietta, an American Indian Studies graduate student, with an emphasis in Indigenous Rights and Social Justice.
A Community member from District 4, Marietta explained his courses to the students and how they highlight different issues in the world and how change can be made to address those challenges.