ECHO Goes to ASTC (Association of Science-Technology Centers)

PowerPoint Presentations from the ECHO 2010 ASTC Session

PowerPoint Presentations from the ECHO 2010 ASTC Session

The 2010 ASTC conference was held in Honolulu. Four representatives from the ECHO group presented a session on Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) entitled Living the Science: Bringing Traditional Ecological Knowledge into the Mainstream.

Abstract:
In Alaska and Hawai‘i, teachers and other educators from all over the country learn science through immersion in an indigenous cultural sphere where time, method, and subject are determined by Elders. In the process, they learn how to observe, study, and understand the world in new and fruitful ways.

Description:
The session shared programs at Bishop Museum (Honolulu HI), Inupiat Heritage Center (Barrow, Alaska) and the Alaska Native Heritage Center (Anchorage) that use immersive experiences to explore Traditional Ecological Knowledge. In The Explorers of Polynesia at Bishop Planetarium, visitors attempt celestial navigation. IHC hosts a workshop in Alaska’s Brooks Range where participants hunt, gather, and cook their own food. During the ten-day experience, participants learn about nutrition, wildlife biology and values associated with the food quest. At ANHC, Native youth learn traditional environment-related skills in summer-long internships with elders. The programs are shared through a new educational web site. The audience heard about successes and challenges from each institution.

Key Issues:

  1. Traditional Ecological Knowledge: The Western scientific paradigm is not shared by all humans, and in fact presents some limitations in its analytic approach. Indigenous ways of knowing around the world share perspectives and practices that can inform science centers, museums and educators and open them to a holistic, descriptive approach. An important lesson these programs have taught their participants is the value and skill of close observation. They also learned to trust their own abilities as they were guided by gifted mentors.
  2. Immersion as education: Most science centers have visitors for only a few hours. The experiences described in this session, spanning days and weeks, demonstrate the depth of learning that can occur in a truly immersive experience. 

The four PowerPoints are available below as downloadable .pdf files.

The Presentations

In order of appearance, the presentations included:

  • Mike Shanahan of the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, convener, who introduced the session with "Living the Science: Bringing Traditional Ecological Knowledge into the Mainstream." Click here to download his PowerPoint.
  • Ethan Petticrew of the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, followed with "Ecology from a Native Perspective." Click here to download his PowerPoint.
  • Kathy Ahgeak, representing the North Slope Borough in Alaska, discussed "The Anaktuvuk Pass 2009 Teacher Institute: Living the Science on the North Slope of Alaska." Click here to download her PowerPoint.
  • Patricia Partnow, administrator of echospace.org, concluded with "Teaching TEK Through the Internet." Click here to download her PowerPoint.