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Basic American helps Snake River begin program

May 10, 2013

Morning News — Leslie Mielke Basic American presented a check for $5,250 to the Snake River School District for use in the new auto CAD class. On the left is Snake River Superintendent Mark Gabrylczyk, Brent Higginson, plant manager for Basic's Blackfoot facility and Idaho State University instructor Darren Leavitt.

To provide more options for Snake River students, Basic American Foods plant manager Brent Higginson presented a check for $5,250 to the Snake River School District Friday.
The money will be used for technology, probably the purchase of laptops to be used in the new civil engineering technology class offered at Snake River High School (SRHS) this fall.
Darren Leavitt, an instructor at Idaho State University, will teach the class via the Idaho Education Network (IEN).
Leavitt currently teaches this class by IEN to students attending colleges at ISU and in Lewiston, Meridian, Twin Falls and Idaho Falls.
"This will be the first time I will be teaching this class to high school students," Leavitt said. "We are trying to make it so students can get dual enrollment credit. Students will receive high school credits and college credits.
"It's a three-credit class," he said. "The cost for the college credits will be minimal."
This civil engineering technology class will be offered at 1 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday for one hour.
This introductory class starts with the foundation of engineering and will bring the students up to the point of a 3-D model.
Yes, Leavitt has plans for, hopefully, two drafting classes for the second semester. One class would be a mechanical drafting class; the other class a civil engineering class.
The program that will be used is called Auto CAD (Computer Added Design).
"This is a new way of learning," said Brent Higginson, Blackfoot plant manager for Basic American. "We [Basic American] would like to partner more and more with high school students to give them internship opportunities and possibly interest them to become an engineer at Basic American," he said. "Our greatest success is with people who live in this area, who want to be here.
"We want to build a relationship with these students," said Higginson. "We are interested in improving education and keeping kids here."
"[This money will be used to purchase the best computer for these kids," said Snake River Superintendent Mark Gabrylczyk. "The computers would be used only for this project.
"This opens up opportunities for students," he said.
This experience will help students seamlessly phase into something else, like mechanical, structural, civil, environmental engineering or technology that will prepare them for the work force, said Gabrylczyk.

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