Boise’s GK-12 STEM education program is unique among math and science education programs. The program pairs graduate students from Boise State University with one of three local learning centers, all of which take a hands-on approach towards learning. Graduate students talk to thousands of children in the community each year both in the classroom and in outdoor settings. Both the graduate students and the kids that they are teaching benefit from the unique relationships that are developed through this program, and ultimately it is the community that receives the greatest benefit as these kids grow up with an increased understanding of the world around them.
Unfortunately the grant funding that allowed this program to flourish for six years has expired. With funding priorities changing at the National Science Foundation, the grant program that allowed the GK-12 program to flourish is now no longer available. Luckily, the Foothills Learning Center has established a new partnership with Americorp to get a new group of student interns which will temporarily replace the GK-12 graduate students. This is however, a temporary solution, and members of all the GK-12 partner organizations continue to seek funding for a long term way to continue this extremely valuable program.
Former GK-12 program director at Boise State University Karen Viskupic and the director of the Foothills Learning Center are encouraging folks from the public to reach out to them with creative ideas for how to solve this problem.
Karen Viskupic: karenviskupic at boisestate.edu
Carolyn Volk: cvolk at cityofboise.org
And be sure to listen to our podcast interview with Karen and Carolyn in which we discuss ideas for how to revive this innovative program!
Podcast Episode featuring an interview with Karen Viskupic and Carolyn Volk: