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Indigenizing STEAM concepts

Assistant Prof. explores Indigenous knowledge in story & science

Inspired by her mother’s teachings in traditional arts-and-crafts, and her father’s love of science, Farrell-Morneau focuses on Indigenizing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) concepts in the classroom.
Teacher-candidates taking a course with Farrell-Morneau might learn how creating traditional arts and crafts with natural materials can lead to science lessons in topics such as ecology and engineering. Working with cattails, for instance, she notes that while there are many natural species in any given area, there are also some invasive species—broaching environmental issues with art.
Just the structure of cattails alone present a marvel of engineering, says Farrell-Morneau, adding that despite growing tall and thin, they seem to defy gravity, standing tall and erect—demonstrating that an understanding of the structural engineering of the cattails that could be applied to architecture.
Farrell-Morneau says that Indigenous students will see their culture and values reflected in her classes and for non-Indigenous students, the courses present an opportunity to gain a broader understanding of elements of Indigenous culture.

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