Collaborative Research: Cosmic Serpent – Bridging Native and Western Science Learning in Informal Settings

September 1st, 2007 - August 31st, 2012 | PROJECT

Cosmic Serpent - Bridging Native and Western Science Learning in Informal Settings is a four-year collaboration between the Indigenous Education Institute and the University of California-Berkeley targeting informal science education professionals. This project is designed to explore the commonalities between western science and native science in the context of informal science education. The intended impacts are to provide informal science education professionals with the skills and tools to gain an understanding of the commonalities between native and western worldviews; create regional networks that bridge native and museum communities; develop science education programs in which learners cross cultural borders between western science and indigenous peoples; and meet the needs of diverse audiences using culturally-responsive approaches to science learning. Participants are introduced to topics in physical, earth, space, and life science, using an interdisciplinary approach. Deliverables include professional development workshops, peer mentoring, museum programs for public audiences, a project website, and media products for use in programs and exhibits. Additionally, regional partnerships between museums and native communities, a legacy document, and a culminating conference jointly hosted by the National Museum of the American Indian and the Association of Science and Technology Centers will promote future sustainability. Strategic impact is realized through participants' increased understanding of native and western science paradigms, museum programs that reflect commonalities in the two approaches, partnerships between museums and native communities, and increased institutional capacity to engage native audiences in science. This project directly impacts 270 informal educators at 96 science centers and tribal/cultural museums nationally while the resulting programs will reach an estimated 200,000 museum visitors.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

The Cosmic Serpent Story: Final Summative Evaluation Report (Updated Nov 2012)

Team Members

Laura Peticolas, Principal Investigator, University of California-Berkeley
Isabel Hawkins, Former Principal Investigator, University of California-Berkeley


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0714631
Funding Amount: 1643862


Audience: General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | Geoscience and geography | Life science | Physics | Social science and psychology | Space science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Conferences | Media and Technology | Museum and Science Center Programs | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops | Public Programs | Resource Centers and Networks | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media