The Science Behind Attracting More Idaho Boys to Higher Ed: Blow Stuff Up 

Dr. Picklestein has a blast with science education.

Courtesy Dr. Picklestein

Dr. Picklestein has a blast with science education.

It has been a year since the University of Idaho McClure Center for Public Policy Research revealed data showing significantly more female than male Idaho high-school students thought a college education was worth the investment.

The statistics indicated 53 percent of females and 38 percent of males had enrolled in a postsecondary education right after graduating high school.

Now, the McClure Center is taking a deeper dive into Idaho's low "Go On" rate, particularly among young males. The biggest gender gap? A higher percentage of males said the most important thing in deciding about life after high school was "making money."

Another interesting data point revealed that those high-school graduates who placed a high priority on either "serving their country" or being active in their church were much less likely to enroll in higher education.

Regardless of attitudes toward higher ed, research from the McClure Center indicates 18 of the 20 "hottest jobs" in Idaho require a college degree.

"And even armed with these facts, these young men may still reject college," said study co-author Jean Henscheid.

What's the solution to attracting more male students to higher ed? For starters, Boise State University President Dr. Bob Kustra said it helps when you blow stuff up.

When Kustra was quizzed Jan. 31 by members of the Idaho House Education Committee about Idaho's low Go On rate, he said Boise State was sparking interest in higher ed by employing a crazy orange wig and some pyrotechnics.

"We travel around to schools and bring little kids into our biology and chemistry labs. We introduce them to someone called Dr. Picklestein," said Kustra, referring to a fictional mad scientist portrayed by Boise State Biochemistry Professor Dr. Henry Charlier. "He puts on this ugly orange wig and, well, he blows things up and they eat it up. That has more of an impact on little kids than any typical science class in elementary school."

Pin It



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Note: Comments are limited to 200 words.

Submit an Event

© 2018 Boise Weekly

Website powered by Foundation