- Editorial Offices
- 203 Brantly Hall
- Missoula, MT 59812
- (406) 243-2488
UM Creates Native STEM Program
New program plans to train, recruit Native STEM talent
Nineteen students, all rising seventh and eighth graders from Montana’s Blackfeet Reservation as well as the Navajo Nation, spent two weeks immersing themselves in University life on campus this summer. The students made up the first cohort of the Montana American Indian Math and Science Program (MT-AIMS), a donor-funded program designed to promote Native American student retention and academic achievement in math and science.
During their stay at UM, the students took part in hands-on STEM activities led by UM faculty and experienced sleeping in residence halls, eating in the Food Zoo, hiking the M Trail and going on excursions to community events like Missoula’s Out to Lunch.
The program is modeled on the successful, long-running Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP), which works to increase Alaska Native representation in STEM education and careers.
Aaron Thomas, UM associate professor of chemistry and director of Indigenous Research and STEM Education, says ANSEP is one of the few successful models in engaging Native students in STEM that works directly with students from sixth grade through graduate school.
Thomas says he hopes the MT-AIMs program at UM can continue providing pre-college STEM programming to Native students that will support their educational success.