BOISE — The Idaho STEM Action Center matched the donations collected from the Buck 4 Kids drive from Dutch Bros, up to $25,000, all benefitting the Reuseum. In total, they’re taking home over $56,000.
“STEM education is not just an entertainment for children; It is to prepare them for their futures, science, technology, engineering, and math," said executive director of Reuseum Educational Incorporated Steven Rodoletz.
Looking beyond the bristle-bots and other robots filling this classroom, the Reuseum gives Idaho kids a foundation to grow in STEM.
"They think its fun, but they learn about motors, they’re learning about electricity, they’re learning about circuity, they’re learning about physics, they’re learning about scientific principles," said Rodoletz.
The best part, the camps are little, to no cost.
“Instead of charging $25 or $50 or $100, we charged $3.50, which is less than many a coffee drink," said Rodoletz.
Wednesday, they received over 56-thousand dollars to keep those workshops up and running to spark more STEM interest.
"In 2018, we served about 7500 children, this year, in 2019, we’ve already to date served over 12600 children, and we’re on schedule to serve over 13000 children before the year is out," said Rodoletz.
The need for STEM education in Idaho continues to grow, with thousands of unfilled jobs. Last year there were 3,600 unfilled stem jobs in Idaho; recent numbers are pushing that over 7,000.
The Stem Action Center and Dutch Bros Love Abounds Foundation says it was an obvious partnership.
“These types of actives will build interest and access for our students, and we are looking at their trajectories to see if they continue to more rigorous course work, which then could lead to some post secondary-education and eventually launch them into a STEM job that we know we’ve got to grow our own workforce to fill," said executive director of the Idaho STEM Action Center Dr. Angela Hemingway.
The more than 13,000 kids coming through the Reuseum will continue to have the opportunity to decide for themselves.
"They’re not only having fun, but they’re getting an education," said Rodoletz.
The STEM Action Center plans to continue that conversation around the need for stem education on Jan. 15 at STEM Matters Day at the Idaho statehouse.