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Readin’, ‘Ritin’, and…Rockets?
By Cheryl Long Feather, Research Director
25 September 2009

BISMARCK (UTN) - While most high school students prefer to sleep in on any given Sunday, six local Native high school students recently used their Sunday to race balloons and shoot water bottle rockets on the United Tribes campus.

BHS student Kristina Gange attaches a water bottle rocket alongside Dr. Bob Pieri, Sunday Academy staff from NDSU, while student Miranda Joshua looks on.

      The students were on campus as part of the college’s EPSCoR-funded Sunday Academy Program. The Sunday Academy Program is designed to strengthen the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) areas for Native high school students, as well as increase their interest in those educational and career fields. The students spend most of the day learning STEM concepts and their cultural connection. UTTC’s first Sunday Academy event was held on September 20 and focused on physics and engineering concepts such as propulsion and aerodynamics, as well as basic research concepts such as testing a hypothesis, recording data, and data errors. Students not only learned these concepts, they had fun doing it. One student stated, “I enjoyed the hands on activities. It taught me to learn a better way. Overall, it was fun,” while another remarked, “I liked this day very much. I enjoyed everything about it. I learned many things today.” The Sunday Academy program is open to Native students in grades 9-12 and will be held one Sunday each month throughout the academic year.

BHS student Rex Redbird and BHS assisting faculty Joel Just get ready to race a balloon.

      Students attending the camp were Daniel Grassrope, Kristina Gange, Miranda Joshua, Red Red Bird, Jace Ducheneaux, and Allayne Long Chase. The next Sunday Academy will be held Sunday, October 18. For more information, contact Cheryl Long Feather, Research Director, at Ext. 1491.





Wachter Middle School students Allayne Long Chase and Jace Ducheneaux use their inclinometer to measure rocket height.

BHS student Daniel Grassrope’s racing balloon is too fast for the camera! BHS assisting faculty Joel Just looks on.