ITD education outreach activities will include more volunteers

For more than five years, ITD education outreach volunteers have shown countless Idaho young people that engineering and transportation-related activities can be interesting and sometimes even fun.

From constructing towers of pasta and marshmallows to brewing an asphalt-like “road” mix comprised of melted chocolate, nuts and oatmeal bits, transportation department volunteers have seized every opportunity to help students understand how important education is to the future.

ITD’s 2011-12 education outreach plans will continue to involve more volunteers from more department sections, explained Michelle George, senior human resources specialist and ITD outreach coordinator.

“The level of participation by ITD volunteers continues to increase yearly,” George said. “But there’s still plenty of opportunity for anyone to get involved in this important effort.”

“We’ve tried to add more flexibility into the program to make it easier for the school district to utilize our volunteers while at the same time making it easier for our volunteers to contribute,” explained Greg Laragan, one of ITD’s original outreach volunteers and program advocate.

“The flexibility has allowed us to involve more volunteers because of the wider array of possibilities for them to share their knowledge of their specialty areas,” Laragan said. “I think the educators and volunteers all feel that the changes have been positive and have lead to renewed enthusiasm for the program.”

This year’s activities will include continuing outreach activities at three high schools (Nampa, Columbia and Skyview), various construction fairs, the 2C Summer Camp for Canyon County middle schools, Engineering Girls Day at ITD, Boise State University’s eGirls for young women grades 9-11, Discovering Engineering Day, hosted by the BSU Student Chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Future City competition at BSU, as part of National Engineers Week.

The department’s outreach activities also include providing Federal Highway Administration funding for the Junior Engineering Math and Science Summer Transportation Institute at the University of Idaho. A similar effort was recently funded at Idaho State University.

Photo: There are many volunteers throughout the department that make ITD’s education outreach program a success like those pictured above. Some of these outreach volunteers are Brent Jennings, Dan Gorley, Erika Bowen, Frank Lester, Greg Laragan, Margaret Goertz, Monica Crider, Muhammad Zubery, Robert Koeberlein, Scott Snider, Terry McAdams, Tony Ernest, Victoria Jewell Guerra, Karissa Hardy, Amy Schroeder, Ron Wright, Shanon Murgoitio, Mary Lockwood, Brent J. Purvis, Cindy Mendoza, Nestor Fernandez, Mary Harker, Karen Blunk, Julie Caldwell, Elizabeth Healas, Dan Everhart, Marc Munch, Wes Murphy, Rob Robbins, Norma Tarter, Larry Strough, Joy Finley, Dan Barrera, Paul Hart, Douglas K. McKinney, Steve Spoor, Rebecca Howell, Travis Enzminger, Wayne Hamilton, Blair Barrington, Dianna Hoffecker, Ken Acree, Mike McGuire, Bill Fogg, Mike Sprague, Janie Stillwell, Sandra Alberti, Pauline Davis, Chris Alden, Gregory R. Wozniak, John Cullen, Mark Humphrey, Duane Brothers, Michelle George, Kathleen Slinger, and Jeffrey Kuck and Gus Shanine from FHWA Idaho.

Published 12-30-2011