New Voices and New Visions for Engaging Native Americans in Computer Science
In the first year eleven students participated in the course and developed a culturally relevant, virtual reality experience for display on the DVD Wall while learning about both computer science and indigenous culture in class lectures and assignments. This work was shown at outreach events and showings at BU, UNM and the Pueblo of Jemez as a means to influence the larger community, change the image of computing in culturally relevant ways and attract Native American students to computer science studies and careers.
New Voices and New Visions for Engaging Native Americans in Computer Science is a collaborative project between Boston University (BU) and the University of New Mexico (UNM), funded through NSF's Broadening Participation in Computing program. This 36-month project combines Native American culture and art with a high-technology, computer-rich environment as a vehicle to engage Native American students in computer and computational science. The project employs the Access Grid (AG), virtual reality technologies and Boston University’s stereoscopic Deep Vision Display Wall (DVD Wall) to create a culturally and technologically compelling educational experience. We are using a holistic and interdisciplinary approach that incorporates Native American pedagogy, culture and visual aesthetics, computational applications (digital media, VR, 3D animation, DVD Wall, AG), and computer science concepts.
Captions clockwise from top left: Collaborative final project from 1st semester; student work; student on the field trip to Chaco Canyon; the team at the June ‘06 kick-off meeting at Jemez; the Access Grid in use at Boston University and University of New Mexico; the classroom at Jemez.
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