News & Events

Mini-Challenge: Achieve Neutral Buoyancy

Neutral Buoyancy Kit
Neutral Buoyancy Kit

We use this to help students understand the real-world challenge for ROVs, scuba divers and deep sea explorers who need to stay under the surface of the ocean but not sink to the bottom. Try this yourself, and then take it to your classroom! You’ll need a tub of water, plastic eggs and mini weights – we used random items of different weights, like marbles, tiles, fishing lures and beads. Get the worksheets here.


SDIL & PAST Featured at 2015 CGI America Conference

SDIL and our work in South Dakota with PAST Foundation, Mid Central Educational Cooperative, and Sanford Research, our partners, was featured at the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America conference last month. CGI America highlighted our work, using this video to open the CGI Commitment Progress Report. In 2012 PAST committed to redefine rural and Native American STEM education by training 450 teachers to implement  an innovative and culturally relevant approach to learning.

At the 2014 CGI America conference PAST Foundation was recognized by President Bill Clinton for our work. At that time he said, “In 2012 the PAST Foundation and its partners committed to improve STEM education in rural and Native American reservation schools in South Dakota by equipping 450 teachers with the necessary training to implement an innovative, a culturally relevant approach to teaching. It’s now known as the South Dakota Innovation Lab, a statewide STEM professional development program that so far has provided 8,300 students with access to quality education that meets them where they are and prepares them for the modern economy.”

Today over 25,000 students have had the opportunity to expand their studies to include STEM education in transdisciplinary problem-based learning environments through the work of PAST and SDIL.

Receiving this recognition is amazing, but even better is the impact our work has on teachers and students. Along with our partners, we are transforming education in rural and urban areas, and every place in between!

Dakota Writing Project for Educators

logoTake the DWP Invitational Summer Institute and earn six hours of graduate credit at reduced cost!*

Educators at every grade level (K thru college) in any subject area (science, language arts, math, history, administration, etc.) are invited to apply for the Dakota Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute. Consider applying and share this invitation with your fellow educators as well.

Get all the details here:   2015 DWP Invitation

Pres. Obama Gives LATI Commencement Address

ThankYouObamaOn May 8, 2015, President Obama addressed the 2015 graduating class of Lake Area Technical Institute.

Lake Area Tech President Mike Cartney comments,  “Imagine how meaningful obtaining your college degree becomes when the President of the United States is your commencement speaker?  I cannot even begin to explain the feeling I had when the White House called with this news! This is a once in a lifetime phone call that left me overwhelmed and speechless, yet filled with so much pride for Lake Area Tech, this community and our business partners.  My heart and thoughts go to the great district leadership, staff and students of Lake Area Tech.  Their hard work, dedication and innovation epitomize that it is not about being the best, but doing your best – and the rest will follow. This is what makes Lake Area Tech such a magical place.”

Watch the video of Pres. Obama’s address