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Law enforcement respond to a missing child incident in Kaysville last year.
Law enforcement respond to a missing child incident in Kaysville last year.
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Science fair coming to WSU this weekend
Mar 23, 2017 | 58 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Weber State University will host 350 students at the Ritchey Science & Engineering Fair, March 23 and 24 in the Dee Events Center.

The doors open at 9 a.m. for project setup. Students must be ready for judging by noon. Public viewing starts at 5 p.m., and the awards ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Northern Utah middle school and high school students who finished at the top of their individual school fairs will compete against other regional winners. Middle school students compete March 23 and high school students compete March 24.

Judges are community members who have academic or professional experience in science, technology, engineering and math. They will review and rank entries from approximately 250 students from grades six through eight and 100 students from high school. Categories include a wide spectrum of science topics, from botany to zoology.

“Encouraging STEM education in our young students is paramount,” said Matthew Nicolau, WSU’s medical laboratory sciences chair. “Four finalists are chosen from the senior fair to compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering fair. Two observers (non-participants) are chosen from the junior fair to attend.

The Ritchey Science Fair is named in honor of Dr. Harold Ritchey who was the chairman of the board at Thiokol Chemical Company (now Orbital ATK) from 1949 to 1977. He invented detergent motor oil and owned patents in rocket propulsion, astronautics, petroleum and nuclear science. 

 

tharaldsen@davisclipper.com

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Police agencies join premier program
by Becky Ginos
Mar 23, 2017 | 72 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Law enforcement respond to a missing child incident in Kaysville last year.
Law enforcement respond to a missing child incident in Kaysville last year.
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“Most chiefs will tell you the scariest call for service is a missing child,” said Kaysville Police Chief Sol Oberg. “There are so many components that are so terrifying. Kids are most vulnerable. They are the thing we care most about.”

With that thought in mind, the Kaysville and West Bountiful Police Departments recently completed the requirements to become members of a premier program called the Missing Kids Readiness Project. It was developed by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and promotes best practices for responding to calls of missing, abducted and sexually exploited children.

“It’s tough to protect kids anymore,” said Oberg. “We don’t know who they’re talking to. So many things could go wrong. It’s incredibly important to be prepared. It’s so crucial to take the right action to set up for success and find the child as soon as possible before something terrible happens.”

Oberg said this weighed on his mind even before becoming chief. “Someone approached me about this credential and I had some conversations with the Layton Chief (who already has the designation) and others and we all wanted to move toward this,” he said. “The West Bountiful Chief and I decided to go through this together.”

West Bountiful Police Chief Todd Hixon and Oberg attended training in Alexandria, Va. last November. Then the officers from both departments completed specific training to reach the designation.

“Our officers are behind this,” said Hixon. “They have embraced it and done a fantastic job when we’ve had these types of cases. When I worked in Bountiful, they took an aggressive approach to missing kids so when I came here we wanted to dig in our heels and move in that direction to provide better service for the city. We felt we owed it to the people who trust us to look for their kids to be trained the best we can.”

Hixon said Davis County wide they see missing children quite a bit. “It might be a child just missed the bus and we find them quickly because it’s fairly simple or it could be an abduction,” he said. “We called out the CART (child abduction response) team a couple of times last year for assistance.”

Oberg said the training brings about an added awareness and reminder about how to look at these calls. “It’s easy to get complacent on certain calls,” he said. “For example, maybe the child has run away multiple times. We need to take a look at why. Are there problems at home, societal issues? We have to push to look past the immediate problem and do some preventative things. It’s a reminder of why we do what we do.”

Both chiefs said some of the cases used in the training were heart wrenching. “One speaker was talking about a particular case where a child was abducted,” Oberg said. “Mistakes were made and there were heartbreaking components to it. It was tough to sit and listen to but it makes you become emotionally invested in the topic right off when it is something so compelling.”

Hixon agreed. “Training isn’t always pleasant,” he said. “One case they related about a young girl who was abducted and murdered still haunts me. It was horrible. The training was very serious and to the point of what we need to know and understand.”

With the designation, the two departments become only the 34th and 35th law enforcement agencies in the United States to achieve this status and only the second and third in the state.

“It’s a feather in our cap,” said Hixon. “We want to continue on in forward progression and meet the needs of the city, making sure that what we do has substance. As a parent it would be terrifying to have your child go missing, going through all that sadness and fear. That motivates me to do more.”

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Officials from HAFB, Northrop Grumman and NMSI present a check at Syracuse High to fund STEM.
Officials from HAFB, Northrop Grumman and NMSI present a check at Syracuse High to fund STEM.
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Local schools receive $1.7 million for STEM
by Becky Ginos
Mar 23, 2017 | 96 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Officials from HAFB, Northrop Grumman and NMSI present a check at Syracuse High to fund STEM.
Officials from HAFB, Northrop Grumman and NMSI present a check at Syracuse High to fund STEM.
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SYRACUSE—Computer – science. Computer – science. That was the chant from students during a presentation Friday at Syracuse High School of $1.7 million from Hill Air Force Base and the Northrop Grumman Foundation to fund STEM education.

The majority of the investment will fund participation in the National Math + Science Initiative’s (NMSI) College Readiness Program at Northridge and Syracuse high schools, according to a release. Northrop Grumman is donating $250,000, the Department of Defense is contributing $1.2 million and HAFB is investing an additional $250,000 in partnership with the State of Utah STEM Action Center to expand and enhance STEM programs locally.

“I get to see NMSI come to the state of Utah,” said Alison Sturgeon, Hill’s STEM Program Manager. “You are the first two schools to get this. I hope more will follow.”

Schools were selected as granteesbased on their large population of military dependents, the statement said. 

“Why is this happening here?” said NMSI Senior Vice President of State and Federal Programs, Marcus Lingenfelter. “It’s not happening everywhere. You are among the select few to be prepared for the workforce needs of this century. The future of our country’s economy is dependent on computers. The fighting Falcon needs software upgrades. Who will do that? You will. This is your future and we’re all relying upon you.”

Justin McMurray, Director, Weapon System Sustainment and Modernization, Northrop Grumman Technology Services attended high school in Davis County and told the students about the impact STEM education had on his career. “I got a degree in computer science,” he said. “STEM education unlocked incredible opportunities for me. It can do the same for you. Innovation is so critical to everything we do. I look forward to the bright future you’re all going to create for us.”

Each speaker emphasized the abundance of jobs in the STEM fields now and in the future. “We could hire all the engineering graduates in Utah today and still have openings,” said Brig. Gen. Steven Bleymaier, commander of Hill’s Ogden Air Logistics Complex. “The F-35 has 24 million lines of code. It’s a huge computer surrounded by parts of an aircraft. We have a long way to go and we need your help to get there.”

Bleymaier encouraged the students to find a quiet spot, turn off all of their devices and take a blank piece of paper and write down their goals. “If you haven’t done that yet, do it.”

Lingenfelter said NMSI has waited a long time to get to Utah. “You will lead the way. We hope to bring it to all the schools in Davis County.”

He promised those in AP classes that they would receive $100 for every test they scored at least a “3” on.

“This is what we do,” said Lingenfelter. “We’re here with you for a three-year minimum. Be successful and receive your reward.”

“The future looks bright because you look bright,” said Bleymaier. “After you achieve your goals we’ll see you on our team tomorrow.”

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