Education news across Idaho

STEM Action Center awarded $100,000

The National Science Foundation awarded the Idaho STEM Action Center nearly $100,000 to improve access to education in science, technology, engineering, and math.

The center will use the $99,500 grant to develop the Idaho STEM ecosySTEM, “an emerging network of partners from K-12 and higher education, out-of-school educators, business and industry, nonprofits, state agencies, legislators, and the Governor’s Office,” the State Department of Education announced on its Facebook page Tuesday.

The grant will build upon prior work funded by a $12,000 grant from STEMx, a multistate educational network managed by Battelle Energy Alliance, which also oversees Idaho National Laboratory.

EcosySTEM is aimed at aligning STEM education with the state’s current and future workforce needs.

“Idaho citizens are not pursuing STEM education opportunities and careers at a rate that supports our current and future workforce needs,” the center’s executive director, Angela Hemingway, said. “The Idaho STEM EcosySTEM was established to create a clear path forward to reach our vision of an equitable, STEM-literate citizenry that will ensure our state’s continued economic prosperity.”

Click here to learn how you can participate in the effort.

Idaho libraries receive grant funds for COVID-19 relief

Libraries across Idaho will receive federal funding to help combat the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ninety-one public libraries in Idaho applied for and received a total of $83,200 to help to address digital inclusion and support for personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, the Idaho Commission for Libraries announced Wednesday.

Funds will enable purchases of devices and electronic content, Wi-Fi hotspots and boosters to extend the internet signal beyond the library buildings.

“This federal CARES funding will greatly help libraries boost their internet connectivity and provide more electronic resources for their patrons,” said Idaho State Librarian Stephanie Bailey-White.

Click here for the commission’s press release and a list of libraries that will receive funds.

Boise charter wins leadership recognition

The Village Charter School, a nearly 500-student charter in Boise, was certified as a “Leader in Me” Lighthouse School by the FranklinCovey Education group. The distinction is awarded to schools that follow the Leader in Me process with fidelity, according to a news release from the school. The process includes teaching leadership principles to all students, partnering with families to teach the 7 habits of leadership and allowing students to lead their own learning according to their needs.

Since implementing Leader in Me, the school has seen a decrease in discipline issues, an improvement in academics and a boost in student self-confidence, head administrator Tony Richard said in the news release.

Sean Covey, president of FranklinCovey Education called the change at The Village “transformational.”

“We’re honored to have been certified,” Richard said in a news release. He told the story of a student who started at The Village with “very little motivation to engage” at his past school, who is graduating from middle school at the village and plans to take on leadership roles in high school next year.

“This process not only has had a significant impact on this student but on all students,” Richard said. “We expect to see greater results over time.”

Blaine Dillingham, Timberline High School

Boise student wins scholarship from the National Society of High School Scholars

Blaine Dillingham, a graduating senior from Boise’s Timberline High School, won the 2020 Virtual  Valedictorian Scholarship from the National Society of High School Scholars, the organization announced  in a news release.

The scholarship was awarded to students who submitted special messages for the class of 2020. Blaine’s message is that “diseases aren’t the only things that can be infectious; laughter and happiness are too,” the organization said in a news release.

Dillingham was also named a National Merit Finalist earlier  this year.

Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

Reporter Devin Bodkin covers education issues in East Idaho. He is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. Devin co-hosts "Beyond the Books" online news segments in conjunction with EastIdahoNews.com. He is a 2019 Solutions Journalism Network fellow. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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