What is the EZIE Indigenous MakerPlace program?
The EZIE mission is working with the Indigenous Education Institute and Little Singer Community School – a pre-K-8 school serving the Navajo Nation – to develop five indigenous-based makerspaces with an emphasis on STEM topics related to Sun science missions. Makerspaces are collaborative work spaces for making, learning, exploring and sharing. Participants will use word block coding, 3D printing, virtual reality and media arts to better communicate unique indigenous perspectives pertaining to heliophysics. As maverick teachers and collaborators, the program leaders have formed collegiality within a professional learning community that spans diverse and dynamic indigenous communities across great distances.
The Indigenous Education Institute (IEI), in partnership with Little Singer Community School, has developed five indigenous-based makerspaces with an emphasis on STEM topics related to NASA Sun science missions, including EZIE and Parker Solar Probe.
These makerspaces - called MakerPlaces - are collaborative work spaces for making, learning, exploring and sharing. A Makerplace is a makerspace that represents place-based learning relevant to indigenous community life and personal futures. Participants use tools such as word block coding, 3D printing, virtual reality and media arts to develop innovative projects that allow them to better communicate unique indigenous perspectives pertaining to Sun science.
The MakerPlace network operates as a resource center, design studio and makerspace where indigenous community members are invited to explore and share innovative ideas that connect EZIE mission content to a wide array of technologies typically found in learning/maker spaces.
EZIE team members engage regularly with learners at the MakerPlaces through monthly webinars, a Slack channel, and other activities, to provide insights into science, engineering and spacecraft development. The MakerPlaces serve as a resource for the mission as well, enabling the team to tap into cultural context, advice on ideas and project improvements, access to community leaders, and more.
- Little Singer Community School - a rural community school located in the southwest corner of Navajo Nation
- Second Mesa Day School - a rural community school located in the middle of the Hopi Nation
- Greasewood Springs Community School - a rural community school located within the Navajo Nation
- Kua O Ka La Charter School - a small Hawaiian-focused charter school in Hawaii
- Indigenous Education Institute - an indigenous educational organization and event space located in Friday Harbor, Washington
The Ké'yah Advanced Rural Manufacturing Alliance (KARMA) has also played a significant role in helping to establish MakerPlaces within these dynamic indigenous community schools.