During Fall of 2008, Pete Robichaud, a USDA Forest Service Research Engineer and longtime hockey player, and Paul Allan, a science educator, first thought of what eventually resulted in the Science On Ice program.
Pete and Paul had the vision that the Moscow Ice Rink sponsors be useful for much more than just recreation and sport, and that an ice rink provided a special environment for learning about concepts such as Newton's laws of motion, angular momentum, friction, and properties of water.
After dicussing with other science educators, they came up with a fun program to help young people learn physics, chemistry, and the basics of the scientific method by doing experiments on the ice rink.
By December 2008, the group was ready for the first trial of the Science on Ice program, with the 5th grade of Russell Elementary participating in the class and performing the experiements, which was a success. Since then, Pete and Paul have carefully collected comments and feedback from students, teachers and Science on Ice volunteers in order to make additions and improvements to the content and presentation.
Since then, Science on Ice has had 14 successful seasons, including a virtual-only season during the COVID pandemic. We have also taken the Science on Ice on the road to multiple cities including Coeur d'Alene and Lewiston in Idaho, and Whitefish and Missoula in Montana.
After our 2021-2022 season, we have had the opportunity to share our experiments with over 5000 children over the 15 years the program has been running.
We are incredibly lucky to have several sponsors that allow us to run this program without cost for the schools.
TerraGraphics International Foundation is a non-profit organization specializing in reducing human health risks associated with exposure to environmental contaminants, and assist communities, governments, universities and other NGOs to develop pilot remediation projects.
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. (SEL) designs, manufactures, and supports products and services ranging from generator and transmission protection to distribution automation and control systems, as well as embedded system products for protecting, monitoring, control and metering of electric power systems. SEL has been a kind contributor to Science on Ice since 2018.
Alturas Analytics Inc. is a Moscow-based contract research organization, providing personalized bioanalytical services to the pharma and biotech industries worldwide. They support programs from drug discovery and development.