Science Department sends high school students to AISES Conference

Seven students travel to Minnesota to explore science and engineering

posted on November 18, 2011

All female students along with High School Science Department Chair Wendell Gehman and chaperones departed Red Cloud campus on November 9, for Minneapolis, Minnesota; the host city for the 2011 American Indian Science and Engineering Society National Conference.

On Thursday, students were taken to the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis campus where they had a choice of workshops and demonstrations to attend. They attended a Chemistry demonstration, which allowed students to experience how hydrogen and copper metal filled balloons reacted to heat. The group also attended a variety of workshops focusing on medical school, environmental science and robotics. There were other seminars such as those that offered advice for students on how to represent, conduct and present themselves for first impressions. These workshops were offered throughout the conference.

During Friday’s events, students had the opportunity to experience recruitment at a career fair taking place at the Convention Center. According to Gehman, the objective of the trip was to give the students exposure. At the conference they are able to walk through and see other “natives” who are interested in Math and Science and recognize that they can do it, they are not alone.

When most students were hesitant, shy and reserved, Gehman was proud that his students didn’t hold back or refuse to participate. They exemplified Red Cloud and themselves with pride.

“They were a great bunch of kids. They got there and jumped right in. They interacted well with other kids.” explains Gehman. “It did what I wanted. It validated them as women who are interested in science.”

Gehman took this time to form contacts for future internships and educational opportunities for current and upcoming Red Cloud students.

The University of Minnesota offered Red Cloud students a tour of their campus where they ate lunch as well.

At the conclusion of each year, AISES hosts a Pow-wow where each schools royalty is recognized. Gabriela Rodriguez and the 2011-2012 Miss Mahpiya Luta, Savannah Jensen, dressed in traditional Lakota regalia while representing Red Cloud.