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SD IGERT Students Team-teach an Introductory Chemistry Course and Laboratory at Nebraska Indian Community College


As part of the South Dakota-Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (SD-IGERT) program, IGERT trainees are participating in an outreach project with the Nebraska Indian Community College (NICC) in South Sioux City, NE. NICC does not currently offer any courses in chemistry, although the topics are in high demand. Six South Dakota IGERT trainees have developed a 16-week Introductory Chemistry + Lab course, taught this fall, as well as a General Chemistry I + Lab course to be offered next spring.
The NICC students are enthralled at the prospect of learning chemistry close to their home and reservation without having to travel. The lectures and lab are broadcast from one of the NICC campuses to the other locations, which include the Santee Sioux Indian Reservation in Santee, NE and the Omaha Reservation in Macy, NE. The diversity of the students at both NICC and USD Chemistry promotes interpersonal growth and contributes to fostering relationships amongst the institutions.
The trainees are gaining valuable experience in not only teaching but also in developing and implementing the curriculum for the courses, which is to a much greater extent than standard Teaching Assistantships provide. They are also able to expand their professional network and collaboration with other facilities. This opportunity would not have been possible without the continued support from the National Science Foundation and SD-IGERT (Grant #0903685).

Address Goals

Goals of the Introductory course include preparing the students for General Chemistry courses as well as developing and fostering interest in science. In order to accomplish these goals, the trainees engage the students with visual and hands on experiences, perform one-on-one mentoring, and relate chemistry to the career interests the students have in the medical and environmental science fields.