In 1988, National American Indian Science and Engineering Fair and EXPOT (NAISEF) was created through an AISES partnership with three established American Indian science fair initiatives in North Dakota, Wisconsin and New Mexico. However, since 1992 AISES has been the primary host and executioner of the fair. NAISEF provides an important opportunity for students to do hands-on science; apply their knowledge of math and science; conduct research and collect data; and interact with professional role models in science, mathematics, and engineering.

Since its induction, NAISEF has welcomed over 5,000 AI/AN elementary, middle and high schools students representing numerous tribes and states. The Fair takes place annually in early March, and the current site is Albuquerque, New Mexico. Students in grades 5-12 are eligible to participate. NAISEF Grand Award Winners are automatically entered in the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).

The annual NAISEF and its Science Expo, hosted by AISES, is a learning endeavor for AI/AN students. The fair is an innovative form to get children and adolescents involved and interested in the STEM Fields. This undertaking is an educational activity that allows students to teach themselves, to take from the established information what they need to discover something new, to learn and execute the steps of the scientific method, and to identify the tools necessary to conduct and conclude their project.

The short-term goals of NAISEF are:

* Increase participation of AI/AN 5-12 grade students in the science fair;

* Increase excitement in and participation of AI/AN elementary, middle, and high school students in forums to demonstrate their STEM knowledge, ultimately retaining an increased number of AI/AN students interested in STEM in college;

* Provide teachers with science fair content, resources and programs with which to reinforce and strengthen students comprehension of current STEM curricula;

* Provide teachers with additional resources to support student participation within the broader science and engineering community;

* Reward demonstration of STEM knowledge;

* Build student resumes and experience around competition;

* Promote and reward teamwork;

* Build and strengthen the AISES Affiliated School network and broader AISES community, creating incentives for middle and elementary-level AI/AN students;

* Create an educational, hands-on learning environment;

* Present a program that encourages students to research and conduct experiments;

* Provide a safe place for students to share their projects;

* Make available interaction with professional role models in the STEM fields;

* Bring in new and exciting exhibitors that spark the students interest;

The long-term goals of NAISEF are:

* Increased representation of AI/AN students in the fair;

* Improvement in the quality of student teams? knowledge and competitive skills over the next three years;

* Demonstrated change in students' attitudes of their own ability in and mastery of STEM content;

* Development of an additional pathway that supports preparation for high school and college-level STEM curriculum;

* Increased interest in STEM among AI/AN students and their middle schools;

* Increased enthusiasm and desire among middle school science teachers to work with high schools, colleges, universities in planning and implementing broader efforts to improve STEM education for AI/AN youth;

* Enhanced opportunities to create and strengthen linkages amongst teachers of AI/AN students in grades 5 through 12 across the country;

* Creation of forums to foster near-peer mentoring by providing access for AI/AN middle school students to access high school student scientists and STEM professionals;

* Celebration of AI/AN participation in STEM with the broader scientific community via webcasting of NAISEF;

* Contribution to the development of mature, self-confident, skilled and competitive young leaders;

* Fostering of increased project quality;

* Creation of pathways for students to pursue a career in the STEM fields;

* Engender increased public and private sector participation by having more exhibitors present at the Expo component;

* Contribute to improved academic results, both among NAISEF participants and their peers who will be inspired by these role models.

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Program Officer
2305 Renard Pl SE Suite 200
Albuquerque, NM 87106
United States
Fax: 505-765-5608
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General Science
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Computer Science
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Organization Info
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Program Manager, Science & Math Institute
2305 Renard Pl SE Suite 200
United States
Needed Resources/Activities
boys interested in STEM
computer access
computer technology support
equipment donations
evaluation/assessment services
girls interested in STEM
professional development
teaching or tutoring
Available Resources/Activities
boys interested in STEM
evaluation/assessment services
girls interested in STEM
professional development
teaching or tutoring
Populations Served
diversity focus
high school
low income
single parents
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joint event planning
providing in-kind support
sharing resources
working with higher education
working with informal organizations
working with K-12 schools
working with similar organizations