Project Summary

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Led by Dr. Aaron Thomas, a member of the Navaho Nation and Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Montana, Pathways to Academic Success augments K-12 curriculum through summer opportunities directly focused on Native American middle school students from the seven reservations in Montana.

The program will infuse Indigenous content and values into all workshop activities, focus on high-achieving learners, and work toward building relationships and establishing a community of learners among the participants. Native mentors will help provide motivation for these young students to continue in math and science and develop a hope that continuing to be good students has purpose and opportunity for them and their community. The goal is to build and instill in these students a culture of education and academic success that they will take back to their communities. Dr. Thomas heads UM’s Indigenous Research and STEM Education (IRSE) program. Bringing students into the STEM pipeline at younger ages increases their ability to prepare for high school and college, thus strengthening the Montana INBRE student pipeline.