On Tap: Science and American Indian Education


Photo by Lindsey Eaton: Members of the NMU Native American Student Association and community gather to show support of Native culture during Indigenous People’s Day on campus Oct. 9. Professor Martin Reinhardt holds the eagle staff.

Jamie Glenn

Ideas of science and American Indian education will merge together to educate and perhaps calibrate people’s perspectives on the issues.

Marquette’s bar scene will play host to another “Science on Tap,” a monthly event that allows university and community members to come together and learn something new over a cold brew. This month will feature the theme “The Spirit of Science in American Indian Education” from 7 to 8 p.m on Thursday Nov. 9. at the Ore Dock Brewing Co.

Native American Studies professor Martin Reinhardt will be speaking at this month’s event, looking to integrate science and American Indian philosophy.

“Often when people think of American Indian education and Native American studies, I think they often think of the social or cultural ideas, and I don’t think people really think about the relationship of science and American Indian education. I’m kind of excited about the discussion that’s going to [happen] as a result of a focus on this.”

Reinhardt looks to interweave American Indian practices with that of scientific methods.

“Just thinking about the relationship between quantum physics and how American Indians think about spirituality, there’s a lot of similarities. People don’t often think about religion or spirituality and science as being similar. I think you have to consider the core value of a speciality from an American Indian perspective, and by doing so, we can see how the American Indian thought process incorporates scientific method and the pursuit of knowledge.”

Andrea Pernsteiner is the co-founder and owner at the Ore Dock Brewing Co. She enjoys having university and community members come together each month to learn from local experts on the scientific topic at hand.

“Science on Tap is something that we have been doing for awhile, and I have to say, it’s one of my favorite events we do here at the Ore Dock because it’s such a great chance for us to collaborate with the university and provide something educational for the public. We try to mix it up and provide a variety of talks,” Pernsteiner said.

The event brings together a core group of participants but also welcomes new faces.

“What I think is neat about this series is that we’ve had it going for several years now, so every time a new semester starts it means that we might have many new students that might be participating in the program and coming to see the program. It’s just sort of seeing how the groups that come in enjoy the program, but also we tend to see the same people every month, the one’s who really enjoy the program and come here every month for it,” Pernsteiner said.

This event offers an opportunity to learn outside of the classroom setting.

“One or two beers often allows people to feel more comfortable and confident in having a conversation. It just gives you that little bit of courage maybe to bring up a question or start up that conversation with someone that you might not normally if you’re in a more sterile or academic environment,” Pernsteiner added.

“I think that’s one reason why this program works so well.”