CNF provides STEM kits to immersion students
The Cherokee Nation Foundation provided science, technology, engineering and mathematics kits to Cherokee Immersion School students for Christmas. The kits consisted of books and games geared toward helping the students learn STEM disciplines. COURTESY
Cherokee Nation Foundation representatives hand out science, technology, engineering and mathematics kits to Cherokee Immersion School students during Dec. 17 Christmas drive-thru event hosted by the school in Tahlequah. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation Foundation, via a Native American Mentoring grant, gave Cherokee Immersion School students science, technology, engineering and mathematics kits as Christmas gifts to help supplement their education.
CNF representatives on Dec. 17 handed out the kits at a drive-thru event hosted by the school.
“Our robotics specialists and STEM specialists out there, she wanted them to have thinking games,” CNF Executive Director Janice Randall said. “We worked to give them at this time of the year so it would be like a gift. And they’re individual by grade.”
Preschool students each received an interactive, board book called “The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel” that strengthens counting and color recognition with flaps for hand-eye coordination.
Students in grades 1-4 received Magna-Qubix sets that allow students to create prism, cube and pyramid shapes to learn more about geometry. And students in grades 5-8 received contraption plank sets that allows them to build ball track structures by stacking planks while learning about engineering.
“We showed one of the parents some of the games we were buying for the STEM activities and the mom said ‘That looks really fun. I’m going to go home and play it with them and see if I can learn something about STEM myself.’ That’s what we’re wanting. We’re wanting them to actually use them on their own, learn about them and come back and be really knowledgeable about what the game did,” Randall said.
CNF staff works with students before or after their virtual lessons involving STEM activities. Since early 2020, CNF has had to adapt like everyone else on how to continue its activities and events to continue aiding students.
“We’re thankful we’ve been able to extend our programs even in a virtual platform,” Randall said. “By doing it virtually we reach even more students because every student didn’t stay before or after school, but every student is staying when it’s virtual.”
She said the grant helps supplement the students’ learning experiences without taking away from their lessons in Cherokee.
“We have supplemental reading activities, which are in English, so that they not only learn Cherokee all day but after school they’re learning in English and hopefully they’ll be bilingual. That’s our goal,” Randall said. “We want them to go above and beyond in every subject. Whatever sparks their interest then they’ll want to do more of it.”
For information on the CNF, visit cherokeenationfoundation.org