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Dairy West’s New Curds & Kindness Program Feeds Hungry With Surplus Dairy Foods

Dairy West’s New Curds & Kindness Program Feeds Hungry With Surplus Dairy Foods

Idaho, Utah dairies, processors battle food insecurity amidst COVID-19 pandemic.

MERIDIAN, Idaho (May 6, 2020) — In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dairy West has launched Curds + Kindness, a program to direct surplus, nutrient-rich dairy foods to those who are hungry and unable to afford groceries throughout Idaho and Utah.

“Dairy farmers want to get dairy foods into the homes of those who need them most,” Kristi Spence, Dairy West’s senior vice president of marketing, said. “Much of our local dairy foods are used in restaurants, schools, and hotels, so current restrictions have caused a milk surplus. 

“By working with community partners, dairy companies have devised a mutually beneficial solution that directs nearly 200,000 gallons of milk per week that would have otherwise been disposed.”

Dairy processors are transforming the excess milk into cheese, butter, and other dairy foods instead of discarding it. 

“In an unprecedented collaboration with dairy farmers, milk processors, and local community partners, we have generated a solution that will get significant quantities of dairy foods to those in need,” Spence said.

Curds + Kindness will continue at least through the end of May for the nearly 5 million residents of Idaho and Utah.

“We are constantly discussing solutions to help us all, and since agriculture — including dairy farming — is at the core of our region and local economies and provides sustenance for all of us, we will continue search for ways to provide relief throughout this crisis,” she said. “Through a collaboration with Idaho and Utah food banks and some local school districts, dairy foods will be made available at existing sites across the two states we serve.”

Spence said the pandemic has revealed how unified dairy and broader agriculture communities can be.

“We have been truly humbled by the rapid support and implementation of this program and sheer amount of dairy foods that we look to move through the Curds + Kindness initiative,” Dairy West CEO Karianne Fallow said. “It is a testament to the power we have when we work together to solve problems and make a difference.”

Dairy West is a regional dairy promotion organization established in 2017 to represent dairy farmers, processors, and supply chain partners in Idaho and Utah. The organization raises awareness of the importance of dairy farming, promotes the health and nutritional benefits of dairy foods, and encourages global demand for Idaho, Utah, and Western U.S. dairy foods through coordinated marketing and communications efforts, nutrition counseling, and research programs. Visit DairyWest.com and Unbottled.com for more information

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Timberline And Nampa Christian Students Earn Top Honors At 4th Annual Western Idaho Science & Engineering Fair

Timberline And Nampa Christian Students Earn Top Honors At 4th Annual Western Idaho Science & Engineering Fair

Student projects from Boise's Timberline High School and Nampa Christian High School earned Best in Fair at the 2020 Western Idaho Science and Engineering Fair, and one from Treasure Valley Math and Science Center garnered Fair Runner Up.

BOISE, Idaho (March 18, 2020) — Student projects from Boise’s Timberline High School and Nampa Christian High School earned Best in Fair at the 2020 Western Idaho Science and Engineering Fair, and one from Treasure Valley Math and Science Center garnered Fair Runner Up. They were among 59 projects that 70 students from six Treasure Valley schools presented at the fourth annual event, which the Idaho STEM Action Center staged March 6 at Boise State University.

BEST IN FAIR WINNERS

“Constructing a Multi-rotor Compatible Water Sampling Apparatus and Associated Water Quality Analysis System” by Nicola Medapalli and Jimin Ryu, sophomores at Timberline, earned one of two Best in Fair awards. In addition, Medapalli and Ryu earned a Category Gold award and one of three Stockholm Junior Water Prizes.

Nampa Christian senior Tavian Robertson’s “Quarks” garnered the other Best in Fair award, as well as the Best in Category award in Engineering, Math, and Computer Science. Robertson also received a Category Gold award and several special awards, including the Mu Alpha Theta Award, an Office of Naval Research Award, and a U.S. Air Force Award.

On top of serious bragging rights, the Best in Fair winners will represent Idaho at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in May.

FAIR RUNNER UP

Treasure Valley Math and Science Center senior Cecelia Wheeler earned Fair Runner Up for her project “How Does Chlorine in the Pool Affect Athletes’ Sense Of Smell?” She also won Best in Category in Animal, Biomedical, and Microbiological Sciences, a Category Gold award, and an Office of Naval Research Award.

FIVE STRANDS, MANY AWARDS

Students in ninth through 12th grades throughout Western Idaho were eligible to submit entries in five categories: Animal, Biomedical, and Microbiological Sciences; Behavioral and Social Sciences; Earth, Environmental, and Plant Sciences; Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science; and Physical Sciences.

Emmett High School students captured the three remaining Best in Category awards:

* “Where’s the Eggs?” by Emmett High School junior Emily Patterson earned a Best in Category in Behavioral and Social Sciences and a Category Gold award. Patterson was also named the fair’s official observer at Regeneron ISEF in May. The STEM Action Center selects observers for the international fair so they can apply what they learn to their state fair entries the following year and share insights with fellow students.

* “Testing Natural Products” by Emmett High School senior Tenney Kunka earned a Best in Category in Earth, Environmental, and Plant Sciences and a Category Gold award.

* “Bovine Gamma Globulin Concentration in Milk Types” by Emmett High School senior Aubrie Overton earned a Best in Category in Physical Sciences and a Category Gold award.

Judges honored six more projects with Category Gold awards: “Use of DNA Barcoding Analysis to Determine Advertising Integrity of Commercially Packaged Alaskan Cod (Gadus macrocephalus),” an Animal, Biomedical, and Microbiological Sciences entry by Emmett High School junior Goldie Mumford; “Accessible Athletic Performance Enhancement,” an Animal, Biomedical, and Microbiological Sciences entry by Vision Charter School sophomores Rylee Baird and Daphne DeWitt; the Behavioral and Social Sciences entry “Does Color Affect the Perception of Flavor?” by Emmett High School junior Elisabeth Castenada; “Increased CO2 Effects on Butterflies,” an Earth, Environmental, and Plant Sciences entry by Emmett High School senior Hannah Tooley; “Utilizing Seebeck Generators to Power a Prosthetic Limb,” an Engineering, Math, and Computer Science entry by Nampa High School senior Jacob Kratz; and “Testing Honey Sugar Add Ins,” a Physical Sciences entry by Emmett High School senior Jaidin Alexander.

The STEM Action Center also presented 19 projects with Category Silver awards and an additional 22 special awards from the American Meteorological Society, American Psychological Association, ASM Materials Education Foundation, Association for Women Geoscientists, Genius Olympiad, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Idaho Academy of Science and Engineering, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Office of Naval Research, Ricoh, the Society for In Vitro Biology, the Stockholm International Water Institute, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Metric Association, and the Yale Science and Engineering Association.

Emmett High School earned the Top School award for the second consecutive year. The award is calculated based on total projects and total category awards, including Silver, Gold, Best in Category, and Best in Fair. Biology teacher Robin Wilson coached Emmett High School’s participants, which earned three of the five Best in Category awards, seven of the 12 Category Golds, and 11 of the 19 Category Silvers.

Nampa Christian High School math teacher Nikki Roddenburg was named WISEF’s top-performing educator.

A group of local experts from an array of STEM-related fields served as judges.

ONE OF THREE REGIONAL FAIRS

WISEF is one of three regional science fairs the STEM Action Center stages statewide each spring. The Coeur d’Alene Resort hosted the Northern Idaho Science and Engineering Fair March 13, and Idaho State University hosted the Eastern Idaho Science and Engineering Fair in Pocatello Feb. 28. The Best of Fair winners from those events and select observers will join the top WISEF prizewinners at the international science fair courtesy of the STEM Action Center.

ENSURING ECONOMIC PROSPERITY

According to STEM Action Center executive director Dr. Angela Hemingway, competitions like the Idaho Science and Engineering Fairs are important to the state’s future, because they offer students opportunities to engage in original research projects aligned with their interests and meet and learn with other motivated students in their area.

“The quality of the research presented at Idaho STEM competitions is impressive and the work our students are doing is competitive at the international level,” Dr. Hemingway said. “The technical skills gained from participating in these events, as well as the ability to communicate results, think deeply and critically about issues, and solve real-world problems, will serve our students well as they transition into the workforce.”

In addition to facilitating critical and creative thinking, problem solving, innovation, and collaboration, she said STEM skills are needed for 17 of Idaho’s 20 fastest growing jobs and that STEM jobs pay more than twice as much as non-STEM jobs.

“The state anticipates 20 percent job growth in STEM careers — including health care, computing, engineering, and advanced manufacturing — by 2026,” Dr. Hemingway said. “Currently there are nearly 86,000 STEM workers statewide, and the Idaho Department of Labor predicts we may have 105,000 STEM jobs by 2026 — a 19,000-job increase in just six years from now. It is critical we build the STEM talent pipeline now so Idahoans have the knowledge and skills required to fill these high-demand STEM jobs now and in the future.”

She said these jobs will represent about $7 billion in personal income and about $352 million in tax revenue if Idaho’s workforce is poised to fill them.

ABOUT THE IDAHO STEM ACTION CENTER

The Idaho STEM Action Center was created in 2015 because Idaho citizens are not entering the STEM pipeline fast enough to meet current and future Idaho workforce needs. Its goals are to increase access to STEM opportunities, align education and workforce needs, and amplify awareness of STEM throughout Idaho. The organization is working with industry, government, educators, and students to develop new resources and support high-quality professional-development opportunities to foster a STEM-educated workforce that ensures Idaho’s continued economic prosperity.

Visit STEM.Idaho.gov for more information, and visit https://STEM.idaho.gov/support-us/foundation to make a tax-deductible donation to the Idaho STEM Action Center Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, to enhance the investment the state has made in Idaho’s STEM community. Contributions provide greater access to STEM camps for children, student competitions, and many other life-shaping programs.

Follow Idaho Stem Action Center

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Idaho Mushers Dominate 100-mile Idaho Sled Dog Challenge

Idaho Mushers Dominate 100-mile Idaho Sled Dog Challenge

Idaho mushers took first and third place in the Idaho Sled Dog Challenge's 100-mile race.

MCCALL, Idaho (Feb. 11, 2020) — Idaho mushers took first and third place in the Idaho Sled Dog Challenge’s 100-mile race. Winner Laurie Warren from Council finished the race Jan. 31 after 20 hours and 55 minutes on the trail, and Carlleen Brehmer from Boise took third.

Seppa Francis, a 15-year-old from Kuna, finished the junior race, a 37-mile event in which she was the only contender, with help from Kevin Daugherty, a musher from McCall vying in the 100-mile race. Francis’ lead dog decided to stop running and the rest of her team didn’t have enough power to continue forward carrying him. Race organizers dispatched two snowmobiles to help, but if they’d had to intervene it would have disqualified Francis.

Fortunately, Daugherty came upon Francis first – mushers can help other mushers – and bagged her dog and helped her finish the race. It cost Daugherty about 8 miles and a couple hours, and while he ended up getting last place in the 100-mile event he finished to great applause. As a result, Daugherty won the Warren G. Brown Sportsmanship Award.

Overall, 10 of the 11 mushers entered in the 100-mile race finished in the following order:

1. Laurie Warren (Council, Idaho)
2. Jesse Flory (Hesperus, Colo.)
3. Carlleen Brehmer (Boise, Idaho)
4. Charmayne Morrison (Bozeman, Mont.)
5. Christina Gibson (Carlton, Wash.)
6. Steve Humes (Great Falls, Mont.)
7. Bino Fowler (Bend, Ore.)
8. Shane Blumentritt (Soldotna, Alaska)
9. Steve Madsen (Cougar, Wash.)
10. Kevin Daugherty (McCall, Idaho)

Meanwhile, Jessie Royer from Seeley Lake, Mont., won the 300-mile race. She completed it in 2 days, 15 hours, and 4 minutes on the trail. 

Royer also won the Race to the Sky near Helena, Mont., last night. This was her fifth Race to the Sky win (she also won in 1994 at age 17 and in 2015, 2016, and 2018) and her second Idaho Sled Dog Challenge win (she won the inaugural race in 2018). The Race to the Sky and the 300-mile Idaho Sled Dog Challenge race are Rocky Mountain Triple Crown races (the third race is the Eagle Cap Extreme near Joseph, Ore.).

Royer was one of two finishers in this year’s 300-mile Idaho Sled Dog challenge event, with the second finisher, Josie Thyr, haling from Olney, Mont. Difficult conditions prevented four other mushers who entered the 300-mile race from finishing.

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Idaho Students Produce Feature-Length Animated Version Of “Wizard of Oz”

Idaho Students Produce Feature-Length Animated Version Of “Wizard of Oz”

Premiere scheduled for Dec. 15 at the Egyptian Theatre

Idaho elementary, middle, and high school students collaborated with 24 schools in 10 U.S. states to create “The WonderGrove Wizard of Oz,” the first feature-length animated movie produced by students. The Wilder, Idaho, school district was the first to use Story Maker, and with Melba and Notus will host their own red-carpet movie premiere celebration to debut the movie to the community and local press. During the event, Idaho students will perform songs live to accompany their animation. 

The movie was produced with the Story Maker technology, a phenomenon-based education tool that enables students to write their own stories for professional-quality animation. Story Maker is used by 17,500 students in 172 school districts nationwide and was co-created by Terry Thoren, the former CEO of Klasky Csupo, the company that produced “The Simpsons,” “Rugrats,” and “The Wild Thornberrys.”

The event exemplifies the creative thinking skills that Story Maker instills in the students.

Several VIPs will be on hand at the premiere, including:

Terry Thoren, CEO, Wonder Media USA (former CEO of the Rugrats company)

The Wilder, Notus, and Melba Student Story Makers

Superintendent from the Wilder School District

Superintendent from the Melba School District

Superintendent from the Notus School District

Representatives from The Idaho STEM Action Center

Be at the Egyptian Theatre on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019 at 2:00 pm to see the animation.

Tickets are available here . Kids under 18 are free and adult general admission costs only $5.

The Idaho STEM Action Center donated the state-of-the-art Story Maker Animation Studio to the Notus and Melba School Districts.

Story Maker is used by 17,500 students in 172 school districts nationwide as a phenomenon-based education tool to teach writing, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and many other pivotal skills for students to succeed in life both inside and outside of school.

The making of the “Wizard of OZ” with Story Maker was a project shared by students from California, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington. The first cast and crew version of the movie was previewed this summer at the world’s most famous movie theater — the TCL Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, Calif. 

Story Maker is an educational tool created by Wonder Media LLC, a company dedicated to using animation to positively influence young hearts and minds with the skills they need to succeed in life. Wonder Media’s projects include The 16 Habits of Mind (critical thinking skills), The Protect Yourself Rules (sex abuse prevention), My Life Is Worth Living (teen suicide prevention), WonderGrove Kids (SEL — social emotional learning — in the home), WonderGrove Learn (SEL — social emotional learning in school), Rocket Rules for Safety (emergency preparedness), Beamer (substance abuse awareness), Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive (provide food to deserving children), and The Girl Scouts Water Conservation Series and The Wyland Foundation Water Conservation Series (water conservation and purification).

ABOUT WONDER MEDIA

Wonder Media LLC is an animation production company that creates and distributes powerful transmedia animation content and educational tools to model appropriate behavior for students and children worldwide. Co-Founded by Terry Thoren, the former CEO of Klasky-Csupo, the company that produced the first 65 episodes of “The Simpsons,” “Rugrats,” and “The Wild Thornberrys.” Wonder Media’s mission is to model appropriate behavior for children with animated stories that are positive, value-driven, nonaggressive, and life affirming.

ABOUT THE IDAHO STEM ACTION CENTER

The Idaho STEM Action Center was created in 2015 because Idaho citizens are not entering the STEM pipeline fast enough to meet current and future Idaho workforce needs. Its goals are to increase access to STEM opportunities, align education and workforce needs, and amplify awareness of STEM throughout Idaho. The organization is working with industry, government, educators, and students to develop new resources and support high-quality professional-development opportunities to foster a STEM-educated workforce that ensures Idaho’s continued economic prosperity. Visit STEM.Idaho.gov for more information, and visit https://stem.idaho.gov/support-us/foundation to make a tax-deductible donation to the Idaho STEM Action Center Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, to enhance the investment the state has made in Idaho’s STEM community.  Contributions provide greater access to STEM camps for children, student competitions and many other life-shaping programs.

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Gov. Little declares Dec. 9-13 Computer Science Education Week

Gov. Little declares Dec. 9-13 Computer Science Education Week

Idaho Gov. Brad Little proclaimed Dec. 9-13 Computer Science Education Week in Idaho today at an event at Garfield Elementary School in Boise and urged the state's citizens to participate in the Hour of Code.

BOISE, Idaho (Dec. 10, 2019) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little proclaimed Dec. 9-13 Computer Science Education Week in Idaho today at an event at Garfield Elementary School in Boise and urged the state’s citizens to participate in the Hour of Code.

“Job opportunities in computer science will continue to grow, and introducing our students to computer science early on will expose them to real-world experiences and strengthen critical thinking skills that will serve them throughout their lives,” Gov. Little said.

The governor coded alongside fifth-graders after delivering the proclamation, designing a basketball game that’s part of a brand-new NBA-WNBA coding challenge on Code.org.

Hour of Code 2019 coincides with international Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 9-15), which is playing host to nearly 120,000 events worldwide this year, including about 38,000 in the U.S. Computer Science Education Week is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (Dec. 9, 1906).

Idaho STEM Action Center executive director Dr. Angela Hemingway said organizations statewide are hosting more than 300 Hour of Code events this year and they’re important to the future of Idaho.

“In education circles, coding is increasingly being referred to ‘the fourth r’ — reading, writing, arithmetic, and algorithms — because computers and technology are such an integral part of everyday life,” she said. “Computer science is one of the most in-demand college degrees, computing is used throughout many careers, and CS careers are the number-one source of all new wages in the country. In fact, CS jobs account for more than half of all projected job growth in STEM fields.”

Sonia Galaviz, a fifth-grade teacher at Garfield Elementary and the school’s STEM coordinator, said all 380 students — ranging from three-year-olds in pre-kindergarten to 12-year-olds in sixth grade — participated in its Hour of Code event Gov. Little took part in. She said it’s crucial to engage kids in science, technology, engineering, and math at a young age.

“The research is very clear that between the ages of 10 and 14 is when a child starts to think science is for me, math is for me, this is something I am going to embrace as a part of my identity, and that’s when they start to pursue classes in junior high and high school into those specific disciplines,” Galaviz, winner of the NEA Foundation’s 2017 Excellence in Education Award, said. “So if we spark that passion early, give them access to those opportunities early, we can seriously alter the trajectory of the choices they have in their life. And that’s what it’s about — creating opportunity, giving access to those experiences, providing mentors and people in the community that are doing those things and can inspire students to pursue that in their life. So we’re excited to be able to host Hour of Code every year.”

Dr. Hemingway said there were more than 8,800 unfilled STEM jobs in Idaho in October. In addition, she said all of Idaho’s top-10 hot jobs require STEM skills and at least seven of those careers — software developers, information security analysts, computer support specialists, IT support specialists, network systems managers, computer systems analysts, and Web developers — demand strong computer science skills. (The other three top-10 hot jobs in Idaho are registered nurses, physicians, and industrial engineers.)

According to Code.org, the average salary for a computing occupation in Idaho is $71,947, which is significantly higher than the state’s overall average salary of $43,480.

The Education Commission of the States anticipates robust job growth in Idaho STEM careers by 2027: 19 percent in computing, 11 percent in engineering, and 24 percent in advanced manufacturing, including 3D printing and design.

The Idaho Department of Labor predicts upwards of 100,000 STEM jobs will exist in Idaho by 2024. Dr. Hemingway said these jobs will represent $6.5 billion in personal income and nearly $350 million in tax revenue if Idaho’s workforce is poised to fill them.

For more information visit:

Idaho STEM Action Center
Hour of Code
Code.org
CSEdWeek.org

ABOUT THE IDAHO STEM ACTION CENTER

The Idaho STEM Action Center was created in 2015 because Idaho citizens are not entering the STEM pipeline fast enough to meet current and future Idaho workforce needs. Its goals are to increase access to STEM opportunities, align education and workforce needs, and amplify awareness of STEM throughout Idaho. The organization is working with industry, government, educators, and students to develop new resources and support high-quality professional-development opportunities to foster a STEM-educated workforce that ensures Idaho’s continued economic prosperity. Go  here for more information, and here to make a tax-deductible donation to the Idaho STEM Action Center Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, to enhance the investment the state has made in Idaho’s STEM community. Contributions provide greater access to STEM camps for children, student competitions, and many other life-shaping programs.

Text of Idaho Computer Science Education Week Proclamation:

WHEREAS, computer technology is valued as an integral part of our culture and is creating new fields of commerce, driving innovation in the field of science, and increasing productivity in many economic sectors; and

WHEREAS, computer science is one of the most in-demand college degrees, computer science jobs account for more than half of all projected job growth in STEM fields, and computer occupations are the single largest category of new wages in the United States; and

WHEREAS, providing students the opportunity to participate in high-quality computer science activities exposes them to real-world experiences and provides critical thinking skills that will serve them throughout their lives; and

WHEREAS, all students deserve equitable preparation in computer science education, including access to qualified teachers, technology, and age-appropriate curriculum at the elementary and secondary levels of education; and

WHEREAS, nine out of 10 parents nationwide want their child’s school to teach computer science; and

WHEREAS, the Idaho Department of Labor anticipates computing careers in the state to grow 14 percent by 2024; and

WHEREAS, Idaho is recognized as a national leader in prioritizing computer science education, becoming the second state in the nation to adopt all nine Code.org Policy recommendations; and

WHEREAS, participating in an Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week can help demystify the field of computer science and encourage more students to continue their computer science studies;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BRAD LITTLE, Governor of Idaho, do hereby proclaim December 9-13, 2019, to be Computer Science Education Week in Idaho.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Idaho at the Capitol in Boise on this 10th day of December in the year of our Lord two thousand and nineteen and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred forty-fourth and of the Statehood of Idaho the one hundred thirtieth.

BRAD LITTLE, GOVERNOR

LAWERENCE DENNEY, SECRETARY OF STATE

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In Idaho, 5th and 6th Graders Can Ski Free

In Idaho, 5th and 6th Graders Can Ski Free

Youngsters ski for free at these Idaho resorts

In Idaho, 5th and 6th graders can ski free.

McCALL, Idaho (Nov. 19, 2019) — If you have a 5th or 6th grader who loves to ski or snowboard or one who’d like to learn, you’ll want to take advantage of the free skiing program offered by the Idaho Ski Areas Association, a.k.a. Ski Idaho.

The Idaho Peak Season Passport lets 5th and 6th graders ski or board 18 mountains for only 18 bucks.  The program allows 5th graders to ride three days for free at all 18 Gem State ski resorts and offers 6th graders two days free at 17 mountains. It is open to any child from any state or country — NOT just Idaho kids.

Complete the application available online at skiidaho.us/passports and pay an $18 processing fee to order a passport for your child. Ski Idaho will email you a passport you can print out prior to hitting the slopes or pull up on your smartphone when you walk up to the ticket window. Your child must have a parent or guardian present to use the passport, and it must be shown at the resort in order to receive the lift ticket.

Participating resorts include:

Bald Mountain

Bogus Basin

Brundage Mountain

Cottonwood Butte

Grand Targhee

Kelly Canyon

Little Ski Hill

Lookout Pass

Lost Trail

Magic Mountain

Pebble Creek

Pomerelle

Schweitzer

Silver Mountain

Snowhaven

Soldier Mountain

Sun Valley

Tamarack

KELLOGG, Idaho (Nov. 19, 2019) — The Idaho Peak Season Passport from Ski Idaho lets 5th and 6th graders ski or ride 18 mountains for only 18 bucks. The program targets 5th and 6th graders because a lot of them don’t know how to ski or snowboard yet and nationwide resorts have found that kids in those grades are at an age where they can learn quickly and enjoy the sports. It’s also a good time to reengage former skiers and riders, because their kids are old enough the whole family can enjoy skiing and boarding together. Pictured here, youths Hudson and Hazel Hollatz and their mom Nikki enjoy a day skiing and riding at Silver Mountain in North Idaho. Visit skiidaho.us/passports for more details. (Photo by Colin Meagher for Silver Mountain Resort. Imagery is model released.)

“The family friendly reputation of Idaho ski resorts is well deserved,” Brundage Mountain Co. president and Idaho Ski Areas Association board chair Bob Looper says. “Our incredible, uncrowded terrain offers some of the most spectacular skiing and snowboarding on the planet regardless of your age and ability, and our Idaho Peak Season Passport makes it a lot easier for families to take advantage of our good wintertime fortune.”

Participating ski hills reserve the right to limit passport use for ski racers, on race days, and on any scheduled blackout dates that may apply. Visit skiidaho.us/passport-blackout for a list of scheduled blackout dates, and check with your ski hill for full details.

Looper suggests Idaho-based skiers and riders also consider purchasing the Ski Idaho specialty license plate for their vehicles since that program helps fuel the Idaho Peak Season Passport.

“Nearly half of Ski Idaho’s funding — about 45 percent — comes from our license plate program,” he says. “It’s our biggest source of income and allows Ski Idaho to do important work like marketing our fantastic resorts to potential visitors and offering our acclaimed Idaho Peak Season Passport.”

Visit your local DMV or www.accessidaho.org/secure/itd/personalized/plates.html online to order Ski Idaho plates for your vehicles.

Founded in 1982, the Idaho Ski Areas Association, a.k.a. Ski Idaho, is a nonprofit association representing 18 family friendly alpine ski resorts. Boasting 28,000 vertical feet of terrain spanning more than 20,000 acres, Idaho is the birthplace of lift-assisted skiing, home to America’s first destination ski resort, and often considered the soul of skiing. Ski Idaho resorts offer trails and backcountry for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and skill levels, breathtaking views, hundreds of inches of fresh powder, and short lift lines. More than half also serve up lift-accessed gravity mountain biking and other summer adventures. Visit skiidaho.us for more details.

Why 5th and 6th graders?

The Idaho Peak Season Passport from Ski Idaho targets 5th and 6th graders because a lot of them don’t know how to ski or ride yet and nationwide ski resorts have found that kids in those grades are at an age where they can learn quickly and enjoy the sports of skiing and snowboarding.

In addition, keeping children active in winter can be challenging, plus 5th and 6th graders are at a crucial age in their development where they are choosing healthy lifestyle activities — including lifelong sports like skiing and snowboarding — over more sedentary activities.

Plus, a lot of middle schools and high schools offer after-school ski programs or have ski teams or ski clubs, so 5th and 6th grade is a great time to prepare kids for that.

It’s also a good time to reengage former skiers and snowboarders. Their kids are old enough the whole family can enjoy skiing and riding together.

Visit skiidaho.us/passports for more details.

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Dutch Bros, STEM Action Center Foundation Raise Record $56K for Reuseum Kids Camps

Dutch Bros, STEM Action Center Foundation Raise Record $56K for Reuseum Kids Camps

This is the third consecutive year Dutch Bros and the STEM Action Center Foundation have paired caffeine and STEM learning to help fuel Idaho's economy.

BOISE, Idaho (Nov. 14, 2019) — The Dutch Bros Love Abounds Foundation and the Idaho STEM Action Center Foundation gave Reuseum Educational Inc. a $56,536 check yesterday to fund scholarships to youth camps that explore science, technology, engineering, and math.

As part of its Buck 4 Kids giveback day, Dutch Bros’ 20 Treasure Valley locations donated $1 from all 31,536 drinks they sold Friday Nov. 27 in honor of National Coffee Day (Sept. 29) to Re:Ed. The STEM Action Center Foundation matched the Dutch Bros donation dollar for dollar up to $25,000.

Reuseum Educational is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides learning opportunities to enhance children’s knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math. The donations will be used to offer no- and low-cost STEM workshops for underprivileged and under served youth.

This is the third consecutive year Dutch Bros and the STEM Action Center Foundation have paired caffeine and STEM learning to help fuel Idaho’s economy. The 2019 yield nearly matches the two previous year’s combined results of $62,184.

Dutch Bros was the STEM Action Center Foundation’s first big benefactor two years ago. The nonprofit was established in October 2017 to raise awareness and funding for science, technology, engineering, and math education and related workforce development efforts. It offers a way for organizations and individuals to make tax-deductible donations to the STEM Action Center and enhance the investment the state has made in the Idaho STEM community.

With assistance from Idaho First Lady Teresa Soulen Little, local Dutch Bros owners and STEM Action Center staff presented representatives from Reuseum Educational with their check in the fourth floor rotunda of the Idaho State Capitol Building yesterday.

“We are so grateful to the leaders at Dutch Bros for their vision and foresight in making this fundraising effort happen year after year, and to their customers for their generous giving,” the First Lady said. “The tens of thousands of dollars raised in a few years makes it possible for kids to immerse themselves in STEM camps and workshops. With the continued efforts of companies like Dutch Bros, partners like Reuseum, and STEM education leaders like Dr. Hemingway and her crew at the STEM Action Center, there is promise that we will prepare today’s students with the skills they will need as they enter the workforce 10-15 years from now — and beyond.”

Dutch Bros Coffee CEO and co-founder Travis Boersma was ecstatic about the results.

“Every year our customers blow our minds with their support,” Boersma said. “This year’s totals show STEM education is as important to them as it is to us. We’re just so grateful for the opportunity to help.”

Local Dutch Bros franchisee-owners concur.

“Kids are the pillars of our future, and equipping them with the right tools to not only succeed but also stretch them creatively is so important,” Canyon County Dutch Bros owner Shayna Randall said. “We are honored to be helping an organization that is doing so much in our community and is also helping kids see the promise of their future.”

“Kids are near and dear to my heart, our education system doesn’t always get the financial support it needs, teachers don’t get paid enough, and many schools have not yet embraced STEM education, so finding an organization like Reuseum Educational is like gold to me,” Meridian Dutch Bros owner Jeff Yarnall said. “By supporting Re:Ed, donations go directly to helping kids and nothing else. The Reuseum’s retail space takes care of the overhead so that every dollar donated — which the STEM Action Center Foundation graciously matches — goes directly to creating and offering STEM camps and workshops to kids for little or no cost to them.”

“We believe encouraging kids to learn everything they can about science, technology, engineering, and math is important for both their growth and the growth of the community,” Brian Wight, owner of Dutch Bros Boise, said. “We’re honored to continue supporting the efforts made by the STEM Action Center Foundation through our annual Buck For Kids event.”

Re:Ed executive director Steve Rodoletz is thrilled to receive the attention and assistance.

“Everyone at Reuseum Educational is very appreciative of our local Dutch Bros owners and their staff and the wonderful people at the STEM Action Center and its foundation,” he said. “I’d like to thank them and the First Lady for helping bring science, technology, engineering, and math education into the lives of underprivileged and underserved children.”

STEM Action Center executive director Dr. Angela Hemingway said opportunities like the Reuseum Educational camps are important to the future of Idaho, because STEM learning happens everywhere, not just inside the classroom.

“Idaho youth spend as much as 80 percent of their time outside of a traditional classroom,” she said. “Providing students with the opportunity to attend high-quality STEM camps allows them to extend their learning of STEM concepts that will benefit them in the classroom and beyond. STEM jobs in Idaho are abundant, and participation in STEM camps helps students increase their technical knowledge of STEM while also improving their critical and creative thinking skills along with practicing teamwork and collaboration.”

Dr. Hemingway said STEM knowledge and skills are important to the future of Idaho. She said there currently are nearly 7,800 unfilled STEM jobs in Idaho and that all of Idaho’s top-10 hot jobs require STEM skills: Registered nurses, software developers, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, information security analysts, industrial machinery mechanics, market research analysts, pharmacists, physical therapists, and loan officers.

The Education Commission of the States anticipates robust job growth in Idaho STEM careers by 2027: 19 percent in computing, 11 percent in engineering and 24 percent in advanced manufacturing, including 3D printing and design.

ABOUT RE:ED

Reuseum Educational Inc. is the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arm of The Reuseum, a Treasure Valley scientific, industrial, and government surplus equipment store that’s become a Shangri-La for techies like engineers, students, hobbyists, and artists. Re:Ed provides materials and expertise in the support of scientific and technology education. In addition to sourcing materials, equipment, and supplies for educators, Reuseum Educational stages electronics, technology, and sustainability classes at The Reuseum at 3131 W. Chinden Blvd. in Garden City. Visit reuseum.com or educate.reuseum.org for more information.

ABOUT DUTCH BROS COFFEE

Dutch Bros Coffee is the country’s largest privately held drive-thru coffee company, with more than 350 locations and 12,000 employees in seven states. The company is headquartered in Grants Pass, Ore., where it was founded in 1992 by Dane and Travis Boersma. Dutch Bros serves specialty coffee, smoothies, freezes, teas, a private-label Dutch Bros Blue Rebel energy drink, and nitrogen-infused cold brew coffee. Its rich, proprietary coffee blend is handcrafted from start to finish. In addition to its mission of speed, quality, and service, Dutch Bros is committed to giving back to the communities it serves. Through its Love Abounds Foundation and local franchisees, Dutch Bros donates millions of dollars each year to nonprofits and causes locally and across the country. Visit dutchbros.com for more details.

ABOUT THE IDAHO STEM ACTION CENTER

The Idaho STEM Action Center was created in 2015 because Idaho citizens are not entering the STEM pipeline fast enough to meet current and future Idaho workforce needs. Its goals are to coordinate and facilitate implementation of STEM programs, align education and workforce needs, and increase awareness of STEM throughout Idaho. The organization is working with industry, government, educators, and students to develop new resources and support high-quality teacher professional-development opportunities to foster a STEM-educated workforce that ensures Idaho’s continued economic prosperity. Visit STEM.idaho.gov for more information.

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NAPA, local auto repair shops celebrate Veterans Day with free oil changes for military personnel

NAPA, local auto repair shops celebrate Veterans Day with free oil changes for military personnel

BOISE, Idaho (Oct. 31, 2019) -- Five Treasure Valley businesses are teaming up to provide more than $5,000 in free oil change services donated to veterans and active military personnel for Veterans Day on Friday Nov. 8th and Monday Nov. 11 in celebration and support of our armed forces. This is the 19th consecutive year NAPA Auto Care Centers has donated the oil filters for the event.

Military personnel from any branch of the armed forces — including active, retired, disabled, and veterans of foreign wars — and spouses of active military personnel are eligible to receive a free standard lube, oil, and filter service. The offer includes the oil filter and up 5 quarts of regular oil.

Quantities are limited and the free oil changes will be provided by appointment only. Drop-in customers are not eligible.

One local automotive shop is participating in the free oil change event on Friday Nov. 8:

Four others are staging free oil change events on Monday Nov. 11:

“Veterans Day is a day to remember those who have made our lives and peace possible in this great United States,” the Treasure Valley NAPA Auto Care Centers said in a statement. “We decided years ago to begin an event that would honor the depth of sacrifice we have seen in our own family and friends. Through a small act of a free oil change we are saying thank you to those who have served or are currently serving our country. It is our hope that every veteran in the Treasure Valley will know that this community is filled with gratitude for their sacrifice.”

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A New Holiday Rock Opera The Bell Ringer Hits The Nampa Civic Center with its Debut Tour Featuring Former Members of Trans-Siberian Orchestra

A New Holiday Rock Opera The Bell Ringer Hits The Nampa Civic Center with its Debut Tour Featuring Former Members of Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Prepare to rock December 18, 2019

On December 18, 2019, the new holiday rock opera The Bell Ringer is coming to The Nampa Civic Center, located at 311 3rd Street S, Nampa, ID 83651. The show features former Trans-Siberian Orchestra members Jody Ashworth and Valerie Vigoda, and delivers a powerful and inspiring experience in the early TSO tradition, combing anthemic rock music with poignant storytelling. The Bell Ringer, the debut album from progressive rock band Symphony North, relates a story that builds on the ideas of selflessness and self-worth, employing the talents of musicians hailing from as far as Sweden, Spain, Russia, and Turkey. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.

The Bell Ringer composer and producer, Peter Orullian, is a published novelist (Tor Books) and has a forthcoming collaboration with #1 New York Times best-selling writer Brandon Sanderson. He is also a former front man for legendary Seattle bands Heir Apparent and Fifth Angel. With a lifelong love of the holidays, Orullian began in 1987 to conceive a record that would combine his three passions—storytelling, symphonic rock, and Christmas.

 

“While I wanted to write songs that stood on their own,” says Orullian, “I also wanted the album to have a real narrative arc, start to finish, with characters we could relate to and cheer for as they change, grow and learn that the best gift is the gift you give of yourself.” Years later, in a chance meeting, Orullian received words of personal encouragement from Paul O’Neill—the late founder and composer of the multi-platinum-selling Trans-Siberian Orchestra—who told Orullian the world needs more Christmas stories and Christmas music and encouraged him to get his record done. 

 

Featured artists on The Bell Ringer album also include former TSO members Tim Hockenberry (also an America’s Got Talent semi-finalist) and Michael Lanning, as well as Dream Theater members James LaBrie and Jordan Rudess (voted by Radar Music Magazine as the Best Keyboardist of All Time).

Tickets to this special charity-based holiday show are available at https://www.ictickets.com/events/the-bell-ringer

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