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Idaho's Top MakerMinded Schools

LIFT, the Detroit-based national manufacturing innovation institute, and the Idaho STEM Action Center have announced the winning schools of the Gem State's 2019-20 MakerMinded competition, which expands student and school access to advanced manufacturing and science, technology, engineering and math learning experiences through an online platform.

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense's National Defense Education program, MakerMinded launched in Idaho in the fall of 2018. Now, more than 500 Idaho students and teachers from 65 MakerMinded schools are learning about the 21st century skills that are in demand at Idaho's 1,600 manufacturing companies that currently employ nearly 70,000 people.

"STEM education is a critical part of ensuring the next generation of Idaho citizens are equipped with the skills Idaho businesses need in their workers," said Gov. Brad Little. "The State of Idaho is proud to continue partnering with LIFT and its MakerMinded program to expand access to STEM education opportunities for Idaho students."

Four Idaho schools are being recognized for their outstanding performance in MakerMinded, and will each receive cash awards from the STEM Action Center to build or enhance a STEM or advanced manufacturing program:

  • White Pine Charter School (Ammon, Bonneville County)-$3,500
  • Basin 5-8 (Idaho City, Boise County)-$3,000
  • Syringa Middle School (Caldwell, Canyon County)-$2,500
  • White Pine STEM Academy (Ammon, Bonneville County)-$2,500.

Recognized for their MakerMinded participation, four other Idaho schools will receive support from the STEM Action Center to build or enhance a STEM or advanced manufacturing program:

  • Heritage Academy (Jerome, Jerome County)-$600
  • Aberdeen Middle School (Aberdeen, Bingham County)-$300
  • Burley Junior High (Burley, Cassia County)-$200
  • New Plymouth High School (New Plymouth, Payette County)-$50.

"With the manufacturing sector continuing to play a critical role in Idaho's economy, we are focused on increasing student and school participation in MakerMinded as a means to gain the skills and experiences students need to prepare for the STEM jobs of tomorrow," said Dr. Angela Hemingway, Idaho STEM Action Center Executive Director.

Designed by LIFT and Tennessee Tech University's iCUBE, MakerMinded directly links students to a diverse range of national and local advanced manufacturing programs, including manufacturing facility tours, gaming activities and project-based learning. MakerMinded also includes a competition component, with students and schools receiving points for each completed activity. Points are tallied on a real-time online leader board and the top schools are celebrated at year-end recognition events.

Emily DeRocco, LIFT's Senior Talent Strategist, said, "These MakerMinded students in Idaho are becoming the next generation of innovators and makers. They are living proof that we have the talent and the passion in our students to be a globally competitive manufacturing force-we just need to provide more opportunities for young people to access the right learning opportunities and hone their skills."

For more information contact:


1400 Rosa Parks Blvd.

Detroit, MI 48216


Idaho STEM Action Center

802 West Bannock St.

Boise, ID 83702


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