September Dime in Time: Moscow Middle School MOSS

Written by Shelly Clark, Moscow Middle School MOSS Fundraising Committee

The Moscow Middle School Parent Support Team MOSS Fundraising Committee is dedicated to raising funds to ensure all Moscow Middle School 6th Grade students are able to attend the McCall Outdoor Science School’s (MOSS) week-long science camp each year, especially the students in our district who are not able to afford the attendance fees. We want to make sure any student who wants to attend science camp is able to attend by providing need-based scholarships and transportation funds for the entire 6th grade class.

MOSS is a facility of the University of Idaho whose mission is to facilitate place-based, collaborative science inquiry within the context of Idaho's land, water and communities. MOSS provides a broad spectrum of exciting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) focused hands-on learning experiences. MOSS’s unique residential campus in a coniferous forest in the 1,500-acre Ponderosa State Park on Payette Lake, provides unlimited opportunities for scientific inquiry and exploration.

Community investment in education doesn’t always provide immediate, measurable outcomes. However, as involved parents and community volunteers we know very well that our future relies on the success and achievements of this next generation of scientists, inventors, , and artists. By reaching out to the larger community, we want to provide residents the opportunity to give back to their schools and send the message that our students and teachers are well worth the investment.

Attending MOSS has numerous benefits to students, teachers, and communities, according to studies completed by UI researchers.[i] These benefits include:

1. Increase in science knowledge and skills

2. Changes in attitude

3. Increase in ‘science identity’

4. Motivation for educational attainment

5. Professional development for K-12 teachers

6. Workforce and economic development.

Approximately 170 Moscow sixth grade students will be attending MOSS in the Spring of 2017.  The cost for each student is $296, for a total expense of $50,320. While some families can cover this cost for their child(ren), many others are unable to make that contribution. Latah County has an overall poverty rate of 19% (the 9th highest rate of Idaho’s 44 counties), and 29% of Moscow School District students qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. Therefore, the mission of the MOSS Fundraising Committee is to ensure that all sixth grade students are able to take part in this unique educational experience. 100% of funds raised through the Dime in Time program will go to paying for the MOSS program for the 2017 sixth graders.