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Leo Bird, Jr.

Leo Bird, Jr. (MT '05)

At the time of the Award, Leo Bird, Jr. was:

Browning High School
Browning, MT

Subject(s) taught: Chemistry, Astronomy
Grade(s): 10, 11, 12

Biographical Information

Before Leo Bird Jr. came to Browning High School-nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains on a Blackfeet Indian Reservation-there were few students interested in studying science. Since his arrival in 1998, science enrollments have steadily climbed until classes reached capacity. Every semester, there are waiting lists for all of Mr. Bird's classes. Also making significant gains are student test scores. Using the surrounding area and its natural resources as his extended lab, Mr. Bird encourages students to stay engaged in learning. At the heart of his instruction is the integration of Blackfeet culture and language into the study of western science. One of his most popular classes is astronomy, and one of his most exciting activities is a night lab. That's when he brings telescopes outside and invites students and their parents to come, so they can hear Mr. Bird talk about the connections between western astronomy and Blackfeet legends as they gaze up at the stars.