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June 23, 2011

American Honda Foundation provides grant for MSU science outreach to fourth grade students on Crow Indian Reservation

MSU News Service

Yellowstone park ranger Matt Ohlen leads a group of fourth grade students from Hardin along the Mud Volcano boardwalk in Yellowstone Park on April 9th as part of the Crow Education Partnership. (Photo courtesy of Cabel Noteboom)
Yellowstone park ranger Matt Ohlen leads a group of fourth grade students from Hardin along the Mud Volcano boardwalk in Yellowstone Park on April 9th as part of the Crow Education Partnership. (Photo courtesy of Cabel Noteboom)

BOZEMAN — The American Honda Foundation recently awarded a $48,667 grant to Montana State University for the Crow Education Partnership, a project to provide science enrichment activities for fourth-grade students in the Hardin School District on the Crow Indian Reservation in south-central Montana.

The grant will allow MSU to expand the project, which started as a pilot in

June 2010 with a $15,000 grant from the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

“Outreach is an important part of MSU’s mission, and this grant from the

American Honda Foundation will help us continue to positively influence the lives of elementary students on Montana’s reservations,” said Melissa Dulin, director of corporate and foundation relations for the MSU Foundation. “Hands-on activities result in more excitement, interest and connection to science. These activities also connect students with the Crow lands and traditions so they can relate to the subject matter from a cultural perspective.”

Dulin’s office helped project personnel with the Crow Education Partnership apply for and win the grant, which was one of only eight grants awarded by the American Honda Foundation this quarter out of hundreds of proposals received. This is the second grant MSU has received from the American Honda Foundation.

“Through grant giving, the American Honda Foundation seeks to develop youth in the areas of math, science, engineering, technology and literacy,” said Alexandra Warnier, manager at American Honda Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Montana State University on its important contribution in this area and look forward to the impact and results that will be achieved.”

The Crow Education Partnership is managed through the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences in the College of Agriculture. A hybrid education model is used that incorporates hands-on science activities, field experiences, and video conferencing technology to share science discoveries from scientists and educators at MSU with fourth-grade students in the participating schools.

In addition to engaging students in inquiry-based science and exposing them to science as a career, the project offers outreach experiences to graduate students and early-career scientists, and provides curriculum-based activities and training for participating fourth-grade teachers. The project works with members of the Crow community to provide science information in a culturally appropriate way.

About the MSU Foundation: The MSU Foundation was founded in 1946 as a tax-exempt charitable, non-profit organization and is committed to enhancing the continuing excellence of Montana State University by attracting private financial support and being a prudent steward of its resources and friendships. The Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations at the MSU Foundation builds mutually-beneficial relationships between university and corporations and foundations to advance the teaching, research and outreach mission of MSU.

About the American Honda Foundation: Established in 1984, the American Honda Foundation (AHF) makes grants to non-profit organizations that benefit the people of the United States in the areas of youth and scientific education, with a specific focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in addition to the environment. AHF engages in grantmaking that reflects the basic tenets, beliefs and philosophies of Honda companies, which are characterized by the following qualities: imaginative, creative, youthful, forward-thinking, scientific, humanistic and innovative. Since its inception, more than $27 million has been awarded to organizations serving approximately 115 million people in virtually every state in the U.S. For more information please visit

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