ITD opens doors for Emmett, Lake Hazel middle-school students

Idaho Transportation Board members got a preview of the next generation of city builders when Emmett Middle School students showed their vision of “NeWellington,” winner of the 2012 ITD/LHTAC Future City Project Charter award.

The student presenters explained their work at the March Transportation Board meeting using a cityscape diorama they invested 50 hours constructing.

New board member Julie DeLorenzo joined other transportation board members in congratulating the young visionaries. “I just think it’s innovative and forward-thinking,” she told the students.

Following the board presentation, the 22 Emmett students and their counterparts from Lake Hazel in Meridian, toured ITD materials laboratories and participated in the tallest tower contest, using only dry spaghetti noodles, bits of masking tape and a large marshmallow.

This was the first year that ITD volunteered with Lake Hazel teams for the Future City competition. The department’s volunteers also participated in the Idaho Region Future City competition held at Boise State University in January as part of National Engineers Week.

“Thank you! You were all wonderful,” one teacher wrote after the visit to ITD. “The students talked about what they learned and saw all the way home. One said, ‘I’m never going to look at roads the same way again.’”

“It was amazing to see the students grow before your eyes.  They started out the year afraid to look at anyone and ended up defending their ideas when questioned by multiple teams of engineers,” said Michelle George, ITD senior human resource specialist and coordinator of the students’ trip. “The students had good answers, and some of their ideas even sparked interest among the engineering volunteers.“

“The best part is every student involved wants to do it again, and ITD is ready to make that a reality,” George said. “It was fantastic!”

ITD staff members involved in the half-day education outreach activity include, Paul Steinman, Diane Steiger, Erika Bowen, Ron Wright, Muhammad Zubery, Janie Stillwell, Sajonara Tipuric, Shanon Murgoitio, Tisha Hyde, Annette Tetreault, Karen Strauss, Steve Grant, Duane Brothers, John Cullen, Eric Dahlinger, David Luce, Bill Fogg, Blair Barrington, Sandra Alberti, Rebecca Howell, Dave Parker, Mike Sprague, Wayne Hamilton, Travis Enzminger, Dianna Hoffecker, Ken Acree, Mark Humphrey, Lois Wood, Douglas K. McKinney, Elizabeth Healas, Sherry Buwalda, Sue Higgins and other employees that helped make this event a success.

Published 3-23-2012