Ex-astronaut promotes STEM studies among Native Americans

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A former NASA astronaut is trying to get Native American students to develop an interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

The Rapid City Journal (http://bit.ly/1MDqjVo ) reports John Herrington, the first Native American to walk in outer space, has met in Rapid City with members of the American Indian Institute for Innovation.

Herrington is board chairman of the Rapid City-based educational organization. He says the institute works with Native American students to “improve their chances for success” in STEM fields.

The institute partners with a summer program at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology that exposes Native American students to a college environment during high school years.

Herrington, who’s a member of the Chickasaw nation, says 100 percent of the program’s alumni graduate high school.

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