Goddard is committed to create and support programs that will increase the number of Native Americans in technical fields and increase the awareness of Goddard as an employer that values the contribution and culture of Native Americans.
Some of Goddard's initiatives include:
In FY 2001, Goddard hired a Native American Electrical Engineer who works for Code 580. Goddard also had six Native American College Interns (OLC, on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota); Bay Mills Community College, Brimley, Michigan; University of Albuquerque, and Purdue University.
Native American Technical and Office Experience (NATOE)
The NATOE program was started several years ago to give either technical or office experience to local Native American students interested in Goddard. These students are paid through a non-NASA grant held by the Prince George’s County Board of Education. Goddard hosted three interns for the summer of 2001.
Scientific Knowledge for Indian Learning and Leadership (SKILL)
The SKILL program, which started in 1992, is a very successful pre-college program for Native American students that works in conjunction with OLC. Eighth grade students commit one month each summer to learning pre-college skills in math and science. Dr. Ted Gull (Code 681) also attended the OLC graduation ceremony in June 2001 and spent a week with SKILL students at the end of their month long program.
"You be the Scientist" Program
Red Cloud High School (Pine Ridge Reservation, S.D.) is the third school in the country to be wired for the new NASA program entitled, "You Be The Scientist." This is a program that introduces technology to secondary education systems. Students learn electronic communication and computer skills while doing and learning science.
K-4 teachers from schools on the Salish Kootenai, Nez Perce and Coleville reservations visited Goodard to obtain information that can be used in math and science curriculum development.
Bay Mills Community College students explored careers in math and science at the Goddard computer laboratory with the Sun-Earth Connection Web site was produced by an intern from BMCC.
NASA officials from Goddard participated in a NASA Awareness Day in North Dakota. This activity was coordinated with the Minority Education and Research Division of NASA Headquarters.
Native American History Month
The month of November has been designated Native American History Month. Programs are held in honor of this month. In the past, D.J. Vanas presented "The Warrior Inside" Workshop. Dr. Robert Whitman, first Dine (Navajo) to earn a Ph.D. in Engineering, presented his research work on Extracting Pitch Information from Speech Signals.