STEM Education for Tribal Youth
Butterfly farming is a sustainable form of agriculture that creates economic self-sufficiency for tribal members, but just as importantly, butterflies are also a hands-on tool for engaging tribal youth in science and agriculture. Butterflies attract the attention of youth like few other things can, and that natural fascination makes the concepts of science and agriculture-- ecology, biology, geography, physiology, botany, nutrition and more-- come alive for students of all ages, stimulating intellectual curiosity and motivating academic interests. We have seen firsthand that butterflies and butterfly habitat restoration spark the interest of even the most indifferent learner, possibly making the difference between future success or failure. The Learning Center at the Euchee Butterfly Farm works with tribes and tribal organizations throughout Oklahoma to spread the reach of this teaching tool.