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Guest Lecture - Lynne T. Bemis and Linda Burhansstipanov

Terrill Yazzie

The researchers Lynne Bemis and Linda B have been examining and finding ways to improve the education of the Native American community’s knowledge of cancer as a way to decrease the disease. Dr. Bemis and Dr. B incorporate fun activities as a way to "energize" attention to increase retention of the information they present to their audience. They have each individual do physical things such as raising their arms above their head, standing up, and moving around. They use interactive games as a way for participants to get to know one another and increase rapport. One such game is "Warrior, Princess, and Bear" which uses the same rules of "paper, rock, and scissor," but uses body gestures to convey choice. One game that helps participants to learn facts of cancer was using a "Jeopardy" like game substituted with cancer information. After explaining their approach, they explained their creative road. To be more creative, they suggested that we work with people we trust, be in balance (no negative emotions), and focus on the idea/learner. For the bottom line, they explained that our ideas have to back with no fear, no humiliation, and accept the idea that some ideas bomb.

Next, they explain all about funding such as: R01, R25, SB1R Phase I. They explained what type of research each funding supports and the monetary amount that is awarded. Because our presenters ran out of time, we briefly covered how they attempted to teach genetic. They used a couple of games to teach this subject, but the "cootie" like game where we build an organism from scratch using a given genotype was very interesting. I thought this was innovative because it uses a child's game to teach a very complex subject.

3 Questions

  1. Are there any cultural restrictions on the games or stories that you use to teach genetics?
  2. How long have you been implementing this project?
  3. How do you deal with any resistance of any native tribes not willing to participate?

3 Future directions

  1. Uses the information gained from teaching complex subjects, such as genetics, from their research and apply it to collegiate classrooms of biology.
  2. Develop a website that explains the research funding talked about in a user friendly manner for up and coming researchers and scientist, which give the importance aspects and responsibilities.
  3. Start a website of acknowledged Native American scientist and researchers to increase the awareness of accomplishments made by the indigenous tribes as a way to boost native student retention in the hard sciences.