Message from Representative Stevenson – 06/07/2014

Latest U of Idaho Dept. of Education ‘envision’ Magazine
Showcases Local Stories

The Seasons of Our PeopleCreating a New Chapter With Dual-Language Books
A project that created the Nez Perce Tribe’s first dual-language textbooks for the Lapwai School District



micron foundationPromote STEM Among Lewiston Students
A call for Lewiston area residents – with an emphasis on high school students – to produce videos that highlight professionals demonstrating how they use STEM in their careers.

Creating a New Chapter With Dual-Language Books

By Allison R. Stormo
Full story:

Water Cycle and Nimiipuu imageThe Seasons of our People, the NiimiipuuWho am I image

Assistant Professor Margaret Vaughn was instrumental in a project that created the Nez Perce Tribe’s first dual-language textbooks for the Lapwai School District.

Vaughn developed the project through professional development with a small cohort of Lapwai teachers, in which she met with monthly during the 2012-13 school year to help develop cultural responsiveness in their own teaching. Several of the teachers are recent graduates of the prestigious Wright Fellowship Program for educators working on their master’s degrees in curriculum and instruction. The lead Lapwai teacher on the project was D’Lisa Pinkham.

Lapwai Elementary School kindergarten through fifth-grade students participating in the “Summer Youth Writing Project: Cultivating Stories, Writing Within an Indigenous Perspective” wrote and illustrated grade-appropriate texts relevant to Nez Perce culture that were translated by Nez Perce elders in the Nez Perce Language Program. The six dual language books – which will be used as curriculum to enhance reading and writing skills – were published by Blue Earth People Group publishing company owned by Arthur Taylor, University of Idaho’s Native American Tribal Liaison.

“The goal of these books is to keep true to teachers, the tribe and the students — above all,” Vaughn said.

The books are the first of their kind, said Pinkham, who in May 2013 received her doctorate of curriculum and instruction from the College of Education. She said there were no culturally responsive books for Nez Perce students that took learning and connected it to the rich and diverse history of the culture.

“A lot of research shows that making a culturally responsive school increases academic success,” she said.

The books were written and illustrated during the three weeks of summer school. Pinkham and Vaughn worked together to gain community support by having Nez Perce elders, members and employees come into the classroom and share cultural artifacts, stories and artistic and scientific relevant information as a foundation for the books. The classroom teachers then built on that and helped the students develop the stories, illustrations and layouts for the books. The final product will be used as curriculum in future classes.

“It’s a first for our children and community,” Pinkham said.

The writing project and research was supported by grants from the Inland Northwest Community Foundation, a University of Idaho Seed grant and the Office of Community Sponsorship.


Promote STEM Among Lewiston Students

Final Report:

Project videos:

A University of Idaho-sponsored video contest will encourage Lewiston students to imagine their futures as scientists, technologists, engineers or mathematicians.

Lewiston is one of three Idaho communities in which U-Idaho’s science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, Education Research Initiative is launching innovative programs to elevate STEM education by focusing on students, parents and schools.

The programs are part of a five-year project funded by a $1.2 million Micron Foundation gift.

Lewiston’s project will begin in June and links to videos will be available this fall. The project team is calling for Lewiston area residents – with an emphasis on high school students – to produce videos that highlight professionals demonstrating how they use STEM in their careers. Half of each video will also address recommendations about educational choices a student should make to follow the same career path.

Led by Kirsten LaPaglia, STEM Access Upward Bound director, and John Anderson, a U-Idaho virtual technology and design assistant professor, the innovation will challenge students to create a 3-5 minute YouTube video portrait of a professional that uses STEM in his or her workplace. Prizes will be awarded to the most entertaining and well-produced videos. The videos will then be linked on a web-based interactive map.

LaPaglia, who works with high school students in Lewiston, said she noticed how students understand little about the role STEM plays in different careers.

“And based on the fact that most folks nowadays spend hours on YouTube and Facebook and a variety of media, I thought the best way to get this out would be by producing videos,” LaPaglia said.

Anderson said it is important for people to see how others interpret their own careers. And no matter the career, Anderson said, STEM plays a role.

“Nothing helps you understand something more deeply than participating in the education process,” said Kelly Anderson, a U-Idaho virtual technology and design lecturer. “So, making a video trying to promote mathematics, science, technology and engineering is only going to help you understand the subject better.”

LaPaglia said interacting with STEM professionals could help students realize the practical applications of STEM to careers.

“That’s how some of them will shift perspective and see themselves in that career in the future,” LaPaglia added. “So part of my hope is that we will help them connect to something new that could be a good fit.”


This entry was posted in Education, Newsroom and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.