In 1975, photographers Kristen Cole and David Marr founded their eponymous workshops in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, with only a darkroom, some developing equipment, and a classroom that could barely hold five students and a small grizzly bear. After 20 years of educating New Englanders, the talented duo relocated its expanding school to Boise to impart the duo's commercial and artistic expertise to students in the Treasure Valley. Cole/Marr Photography Workshops now illuminates the art of image capture in Boise's renovated Cultural Center, which houses the school's three darkrooms, studio and framing areas, digital workstations, and a photo library. Open to new framers and advanced snappers alike, the workshops' curriculums span fundamentals of both traditional and digital photography, with seminars on topics such as the darkroom process, Photoshop editing, and portraiture. Pupil and instructor galleries inspire with beautiful shots, many taken during photo safaris led by Cole and Marr to destinations as diverse as the contents of a communal diary.
There is no typical climb at Urban Ascent. With the help of a belaying partner to safeguard their ropes, visitors can scale up to 43 feet of weathered rockface on endurance climbs, or they can stick closer to the ground in the ropes-free bouldering area. Urban Ascent’s team challenges climbers by regularly revamping the 14,000-square-foot gym’s routes, rearranging footholds and installing pop-out boxing-glove gags to add an element of unpredictability to climbs. During private climbing lessons, instructors fine-tune veteran climbers’ techniques or teach newbies basic fundamentals. The staff also imparts climbing-safety basics to first-time belayers in 20-minute tutorials. Urban Ascent hosts summer camps, afterschool climbing activities for students, and corporate team-building workshops.
Examining water-quality levels, feeding animals—biologists and aquarists perform these tasks every day before Aquarium of Boise opens at 10 a.m. And thanks to the nonprofit's morning rounds program, visitors can tag along (for an additional charge), which makes it the perfect treat for any aspiring marine biologist, the most popular career a child dreams of having, right after dinosaur. After spending time with the experts, visitors can explore the facility itself and see more than 250 species of animals and marine life in more than 35 exhibits.
The aquarium even has several exhibits where guests can interact with the creatures. For example, guests can feed adult sharks and stingrays at the shark and stingray pool, and they can actually pet fish over at the 1,700-gallon Amazing Angels exhibit. Of course, not every critter dwells in the aquarium's more than 35,000 gallons of saltwater; some, including chameleons and lizards, lounge in a rainforest canopy, and others, such as yellow-breasted lorikeets, flutter about in the bird aviary.
With a high-tech kid friendly lab full of solar-powered robots, digital media, and even a 3D printer, PCS Learning Centers are more than equipped to compete with such timeworn activities as video games. During 75-minute STEM classes, students in grades 4 through 12 get hands-on experience in some of the fastest growing industries, such as robotics, engineering, and programming, getting a chance to creative everything from their own computer programs and videogames to designing their own robots.
The focus shifts with each month so that students are introduced to a variety of activities, and there are no prerequisites: each session is designed to benefit first-timers as well as experienced attendees.
“Healthy Bodies. Healthy Minds.” When it comes to their young students, that’s one of the tenets instructors bring to their classes at Bronco Elite Athletics. With classes that cover gymnastics and swimming for development or competition, every child can find a track that suits their abilities and helps their skills bloom. From 9 a.m.–8 p.m., the facility hosts school-age programing that incorporates athletic concepts into arts and other activities, keeping kids busy until it’s time to go home and teach the dog how to do a cartwheel too. Camps and birthday parties offer even more ways for kids to get involved with the facility’s fun gymnastics and swimming programs without making a long-term commitment.
Tutor Doctor sends a team of knowledgeable, trustworthy tutors to homes across the Boise area to give kids and adults one-on-one attention to aid in their academic success and help them prepare for the upcoming school year. Students in grades K–12 work through their school's curriculum with their mentor during private lessons in topics such as math, science, reading, and food warfare. The school also provides tutoring for entrance exams, college courses, and adult enrichment. Clients can rest assured welcoming the skilled tutors into their home, as they are subject to an annual criminal background check.