Jay Inslee stands with Linda McLean, Ralph Rise, Eddie Cohen,
MMixat Vargas-Thomas, Taylor Vargas-Thomas and Pete Palmer.
REDMOND Students from the Nespelem School participated
in the Governors Summit on Career Connected Learning. This
event was hosted at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond,
WA, on the Microsoft Campus. It was also simultaneously broadcast
across Washington State for viewing at 26 remote sites.
To prepare for a presentation at the Governors Summit,
this group of students met daily, in an afterschool setting. They
have been working with EV 3 Lego Robots, learning coding, adding
sensors and lessons with the Mars Space Challenge. There are anywhere
from eight to thirteen students participating in this group on any
given evening. This group has also explored rockets and electricity.
To enhance the development of technical skills, the students learned
how to create vinyl t-shirt transfers. This project has exposed
them to the use and operation of specialized equipment including
computer software, vinyl cutters and heat presses. As these students
are elementary and middle school ages, Nespelem School represented
the youngest group actively participating in Learning Labs for the
To open their presentation at the Summit, Eddie Cohen, MMixat
and Taylor Vargas-Thomas introduced themselves in their Native Language.
MMixat & Taylor demonstrated Native Dance, then all three students
provided an overview of their participation in the Career Connected
Learning program. The adults, Ralph Rise, with Nespelem School,
Dan Simpson, with Nespelem Valley Electric and Linda McLean, Director
of WSU Colville Reservation Extension, also provided an overview
of their programs contributions to this STEM outreach effort.
Eddie and MMixat were also able to participate in a youth panel
during the general session, to answer questions about what they
have learned or experienced through their participation in their
An interesting highlight of this experience was the fact that
Governor Jay Inslee took time to visit with the Nespelem Group.
The students were able to answer questions and presented the Governor
with t-shirts they had created and button pins with the word Make
the Best Better written in Salish. Make the Best Better
is the motto for the 4-H Positive Youth Development Program.
Ralph Rise, Science Teacher with Nespelem School District, has
been working in a collaborative effort with Nespelem Valley Electric,
UW NASA Space Consortium and WSU Colville Reservation Extension
4-H OJJDP Mentoring Program, to encourage students to enhance their
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills and to
help them to make connections to future careers.
For information about 4-H or Extension outreach programs please
contact the staff at the Colville Reservation WSU Extension Office
at (509) 634-2304. Or you may contact the educators directly: Linda
McLean, Director, at (509) 634-2305 or firstname.lastname@example.org,
Kayla Wells, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, at (509) 634-2306
Or you may contact Okanogan County Extension at (509) 422-7245 or
Ferry County Extension at (509) 775-5225 ext. 1116. WSU Extension
programs are available to all without discrimination.