At the Indigenous Fellows Institutes Melanie Mesa Blas expected to learn about ocean ecosystems and climate change, and effective STEM pedagogy. And she did.
But the unexpected lessons about building relationships are ones she has applied quite often and successfully since attending the 2013 institute in Guam and the 2015 institute in Hawaii. Both institutes were organized by the National Partnership for Environmental Technology Education (PETE) with an Advanced Technological Education grant. The professional development for science instructors of Native American and Pacific Islander students focuses on blending the perspectives of indigenous cultures with Western science knowledge.
"Building relationships and honoring the elders I learned from National PETE and my fellows at the institute. I take that with me into my teaching and into my life and it has helped me to be the successful teacher and mom that I am today," Blas wrote in an email.