Eureka! Palouse, Inc., was started by a group of people from Moscow and Pullman who strongly believe in the value and importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, hands-on learning, and the amazing capacity of kids to master new things if given the opportunity. Our mission is to provide an educational STEM out-of-school-time (OST) program for the Palouse region's youth (pre-K through twelfth grade) through structured and non-structured STEM-related activities, to promote interest in and familiarity with the STEM disciplines, especially among girls and young women. Our goals are to familiarize, encourage, and excite students about science, technology, engineering, and math and, and as a result, grow the number of students from Latah, Whitman, and surrounding counties majoring in STEM fields at the college level. Eureka! Palouse is an Idaho non-profit corporation with 501(c)3 status and a 4-H affiliate organization. All volunteers and staff undergo a background and reference check and volunteer training is provided through the 4-H system.
We offer the following STEM activities:
Jody Opheim is the founder and current board president for Eureka! Palouse, Inc. She has over 15 years of experience in higher education fundraising and board management. She currently manages WSU's Energy Systems Innovation Center and has worked closely with the region’s utilities and energy-related companies to build awareness and support for the WSU power systems engineering program. Jody earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has held development and managerial positions at the University of Missouri, University of Idaho, and Washington State University. She is a strong supporter of STEM education, especially for girls and children grades PreK-8.
Dana Dawes received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. In 1973, he moved to Moscow, ID for graduate school…and never left. After operating his own contracting business for 20+ years, he became involved in informal science education. He was a founding member of the Palouse Discovery Science Center in Pullman, WA where he has served as exhibit manager since 1999. At the PDSC, he has developed several suites of interactive exhibits, covering a range of topics. Those include electricity and magnetism, optics, math, and heat. He also works with his wife, Kathy, doing science outreach for the PDSC. This involves bringing science programs to libraries, schools, and other venues in many small towns in eastern WA and northern ID.
Kelly Keane graduated from Stanford with a BS in engineering, and went in to the Air Force where she was issued her career in construction. Over 25 years, she's worked as a contractor, engineer, strategic planner, and project/program manager in ten countries. She has been active in professional organizations focused on women in engineering and women in construction. After
marrying a physicist and having two beautiful daughters, she's developed a passion for elementary STEM education and has been on the Eureka! Palouse Board of Directors since incorporation. The Keanes are now trying to make a life, and make a difference, here on the Palouse.
Jennifer is a staff accountant at Hayden Ross, PLLC. She has been with Hayden Ross, PLLC since 2006, when she worked as an intern for 2 years. She graduated from University of Idaho with Bachelor of Science in Accounting and began working as a staff accountant in 2008. She has been involved in governmental, not-for-profit, and for-profit organization auditing and accounting. She also works on not-for-profit, fiduciary, corporate, partnership, and individual taxation. Jen is a member of the AICPA, as well as the ISCPA. She stays current on all continuing professional education.
Dr. Melinda Hamilton is the Director of STEM Education for the University of Idaho. She joined the University in October 2012 after 22 years at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Melinda has a strong commitment and leadership role to STEM education around the state and has established statewide relationships and programs including the i-STEM state network. Melinda serves as a national leader and the key interface with national STEM education organizations and sponsors such as TIES (Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM); Change the Equation; and STEMx, the Multi-State STEM Network. Melinda is serving as co-director and brings her leadership in STEM education and experience fostering partnerships to the project. Hamilton earned her doctorate in soil science, with a microbiology emphasis, at Utah State University; and her master’s degree in botany, emphasis in plant ecology, and bachelor’s degree in biology at University of Nevada, Reno.