Sunday Academy

The Sunday Academy Program is a program designed to generate interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), among the American Indian students. Once a month during the academic year, middle- and high-school students are brought together on a Sunday. They are presented with practical day-to-day problems involving STEM in an informal and friendly atmosphere, requiring them to think, analyze and seek solutions. Typically, seven academy sessions are held at each of the five tribal colleges, beginning in September and ending in March. Professors travel to share their research across the state, and the sessions are hosted by the Tribal College/ University (TCU) NATURE Coordinator at each site. Activities usually begin at 10 or 11:00 am and last up to four hours, including lunch. Cultural relevance and hands-on activities are emphasized in all topics.

Prior to the SA programming year, collaborators meet with the NATURE coordinators and the SA coordinators. Collaborators include TCU faculty, reservation high school teachers, and university professors. The group reviews learning modules written by the university faculty. This is a three-day meeting in the first half of June. Everyone gives verbal comments and feedback to the author of each leaning module. When making a module, instructors should use the ND EPSCoR STEM learning module template for instructors.

View the current and past Sunday Academy topics.

ND EPSCoR PowerPoint template

Unique features

  • Cultural connection
  • Hands-on activities
  • Participation of high school teachers, tribal college instructors and university professors collaboratively
    all the way from conception to delivery of the learning modules
  • Multiple sites at the same time
  • Incorporation of ND EPSCoR funded research topics in STEM modules


Surveys will be handed out at all of the Sunday Academies during the year. The surveys are being  done to help us with our Sunday Academy programming. The information we collect will help us to improve our current Sunday Academy programming and stimulate ideas, such as targeted scholarships, to create new opportunities to promote the involvement and retention of North Dakota American Indian students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The surveys ask Sunday Academy participants about their experience in the program, occupations they might consider and whether they hope to pursue studies in (STEM) fields in the future. Below are the consent forms for Sunday Academy students and parents/guardians to sign that would allow the Sunday Academy student to participate in the surveys.

Survey assent form for students to sign
Survey consent form for parents to sign


Photographs, and possibly videos, may be taken at ND EPSCoR sponsored activities including Sunday Academy. Permissions are needed from students participating in ND EPSCoR sponsored activities for ND EPSCoR to use their image (for example: on ND EPSCoR related websites or in advertising/promotional materials). Students under age 18 also need parent/guardian permission.

Please download and complete the ND EPSCoR photo release form. The student participant completes and signs the Participation Consent section while the parent/guardian of a student participant under age 18 completes and signs the Parent/Guardian Consent section.


Sunday Academy Program Learning Modules

The NATURE Sunday Academy Program STEM Learning Modules use Research related STEM learning modules taught during the NATURE Sunday Academy program.

Learning modules fall under the following categories:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Geosciences
  • Mathematics or Computer and Information Systems
  • Physical Sciences
  • Technology