A raft trip on the Sauk River near Darrington on Friday will highlight the creation of an effort to help Darrington students explore science-based avenues of study that could lead to careers in outdoor recreation or resource management.
Oak Rankin, leader of the pilot project for the Darrington Youth Outdoor STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) effort said the 21 students chosen for the raft trip all played significant roles in helping those affected by the March 22 mudslide.
The slide killed 43 people near the community of Oso, 14 miles west of Darrington, and severed Highway 530, the main route between Darrington and most other Western Washington communities.
Students in the pilot project range from seventh grade to high-school seniors.
Rankin, nephew of Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin, said the STEM effort is being supported by:
· WSU Forestry Extension, which is providing scientific knowledge and loaning equipment to study forestry-related issues,
· Adventure Cascades, which is offering recreational expertise, water-quality monitoring and providing rafting access to the river corridors, and
· North County Family Services, which will be providing community support and recruiting participants from ages 13 to 18.