Aug. 8, 2016

Idaho Teachers to Learn and Share Coding Skills

Four teachers from across Idaho and 20 Nampa middle school students will receive special training and explore the growing field of computer programing and coding during a week-long summer camp in Nampa.

Presented by the University of Idaho, the DIGn’IT summer camp takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 9-12 at Sage Valley Middle School in Nampa. Teachers will attend the training Aug. 8-12. Students will show their projects on showcase day from 10:30 a.m. to noon Aug. 12; the showcase event is open to the public.

During the pilot camp, teachers will participate in workshops designed to train them in the materials University of Idaho’s faculty Terry Soule has prepared for the DIGn’IT Initiative using the on-line programming environment Scratch. The goal is to make the university curriculum available to teachers in Idaho, teach them some programming, and give them the tools to incorporate the lessons into a regular classroom setting. Topics include computer coding, computer programming and website development.

May. 17, 2015

Reuseum in Garden City spurs kids’ passion for technology

Watching a toothbrush-bristle robot skitter across the table, John Schiff grins and laughs with a childlike fascination. Schiff says he hopes to instill that same enthusiasm in others at the Garden City-based used electronics store and education center he founded — dubbed the “Reuseum.”

One of the most popular workshops for kids is called the deconstruction lab, where kids can take apart everything from laptops to VCRs. Schiff says this kind of tinkering is essential to competing globally where more and more jobs are technology-based. “Too often times we consider the stuff magic. We don’t even consider that a human being made this,” Schiff said. “We need to understand how things work if we’re to be a country that still creates and innovates.”

Feb. 9, 2015

Idaho High Schoolers Start Earning Degrees Early

Boise State University is kicking off the new “Sophomore Start” program in the West Ada, Nampa and Parma school districts this spring. The program allows high school juniors and seniors in those districts access to a Boise State University advisor to identify 30 college credits to count towards their major in college. Additionally, those students can quality for $200 or $400 of state funding for dual credit for enrolling in these courses, depending on their grade level. Added up, $5,000 in savings is available to these students. The program is expected to expand to additional districts in coming years.