Education news from around the state

Boise students rank in international robotics competition

A Boise School District robotics team put the Gem State on the map in late April, with a fifth-place finish at the World FIRST Robotics Competition in Houston.

Team Tators Robotics” competed against 68 teams from around the world in the Hopper subdivision, taking first place. Then they competed against five other division-winning teams and ultimately placed fifth in the world championships.

Team Tators first competed in 2007 and was the Boise School District’s first FRC robotics team, according to the team website.

Front row: students, left to right, Mitch Messerly, robot driver; Joshua Planting, drive team; Avery Bainbridge, drive team; Adam Pettyjohn; and Kimberly Flynn. Back row: mentors, left to right, Mark Wibbels, lead mentor for Team Tators (Hewlett Packard Co.); Jess Tate, mechanical team mentor (Micron Technology).

Fifteen communities win preschool expansion grant

The Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children announced more than a dozen winners of Preschool the Idaho Way grants, aimed at helping community collaboratives start or expand local preschools.

The grantees are:

  • United Way of Southeastern Idaho, American Falls.
  • Blackfoot School District, Blackfoot.
  • United Way of North Idaho, Coeur d’Alene.
  • Giraffe Laugh, Garden City.
  • Jerome School District, Jerome.
  • Kendrick School District, Kendrick.
  • Get Ready to Learn Kuna!, Kuna.
  • Lewis-Clark State College KinderCollege, Lewiston.
  • Marsing School District, Marsing.
  • Nampa School District, Nampa.
  • Treasures Playschool, Notus.
  • Storybook Cottage LLC, Priest River.
  • BYU-Idaho Child Labs, Rexburg.
  • Jefferson School District, Rigby.
  • College of Southern Idaho. Twin Falls.

The preschool grant is one attempt to help expand education access for Idaho’s 4- and 5-year-olds. Idaho is one of only four states in the nation that does not fund public preschool.

State Department of Education collecting fruit and veggies applications

The State Department of Education is looking to connect elementary schools with fresh fruits and veggies for the 2019-20 school year. The department is collecting applications for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which funds schools where most students receive free or reduced-price meals. Recipients of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program grants will get $50 to $75  per student toward fresh produce.

To be eligible for the grant, a school must:

  • Serve elementary students. First- through sixth-graders are eligible for the grant.
  • Operate the National School Lunch program.
  • Have more than 50 percent of students enrolled in free or reduced priced meals.
  • Submit an application, including a certification of support.

The deadline for the grant applications is May 10. For more information visit the SDE grant page or contact Jennifer Butler at [email protected] or 208-332-6820.

Idaho students in the running for the Presidential Scholars program

Six Idaho high school seniors are semifinalists for the U.S. Presidential Scholars program, a national award for students who show leadership, scholarship, artistic excellence and service while in high school.

According to an SDE news release, two students from each state typically receive the national distinction each year.

Idaho’s semifinalists include:

  • Peyton Elizabeth Badger, Mountain View High School, Meridian.
  • John Chen, Centennial High School, Boise.
  • Megan Elizabeth Clements, Rigby High School, Rigby.
  • Crista Falk, Lake City High School, Coeur d’Alene.
  • Aidan Michael McIntyre, Capital High School, Boise.
  • Michael Wuhao Min, Centennial High School, Boise.
The finalists will be determined in May. In June, winners go to Washington, D.C., for national recognition. The trip includes a medallion ceremony at the White House.
Sami Edge

Sami Edge

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