UAFNews-L Aurora education project receives $1.4 million grant

Begin forwarded message:

From: University of Alaska Fairbanks <uaf-distribution>
Date: September 5, 2014 at 14:38:23 AKDT
To: “UAFNews-L” <UAFNews-L>
Subject: [UAFNews-L] Aurora education project receives $1.4 million grant
Reply-To: newsroom

Aurora education project receives $1.4 million grant

CONTACT: Lea Gardine, 907-474-7664, lagardine

A project led by the outreach team at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute will reinforce Inupiat culture and language as people learn about the aurora borealis.

The team has received a three-year, $1.4 million U.S. Department of Education grant to produce a northern lights video, a museum exhibit on Inupiat cultural connections to earth and sky, and instructional kits — all showcasing Inupiat language and culture.

The North Slope Borough and the Northwest Arctic Borough school districts will add the instructional kits to their K-12 science curricula. The Inupiat Heritage Center in Barrow, the Carrie McLain Memorial Museum in Nome and the UA Museum of the North in Fairbanks will feature all three products.

Research professor Robert Herrick is the principal investigator for the project. GI communications director Lynda McGilvary and postdoctoral fellow Nathanial Murphy, project co-investigators, will collaborate with UAF Inupiat language instructor Ronald Brower and a team of Native culture and language experts.

They’ll provide materials to 19 rural communities. More than 1,600 students and 60 teachers and museum docents are expected to use the video, kits and exhibit.

The northern lights are culturally significant to many Alaskans. Project leaders want to explore the phenomenon to offer more relevant science education in the state’s rural communities. The lights also fascinate people of all ages and ethnicities, so leaders expect the project to heighten cultural awareness and understanding of science concepts in that wider audience.

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Lynda McGilvary, 907-474-7863, lmmcgilvary

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