Our Mission

The Computer Zen Goal

Pattie & Steve Dahl founded Computer Zen in 2011, but this isn’t their first technology startup. Pattie & Steve started in the early infancy of the computer world, creating AMCI Computers in 1979. Pattie & Steve & their Team, created technology solutions for companies like; 3M, Cray Research, Pillsbury, Union Carbide, Jack Links Snack Foods. In those early years companies that did computerize were using mini computers and main frames and processed data in batches. Processing data in batches meant the staff would enter data during the day and the mini computer or mainframe would process the data at night and the staff would have their reports and updated entries the next day. Steve & Pattie developed and delivered systems that would run on Unix & DOS based systems delivering real time data processing. People could enter data and get immediate updated information in real time at a much lower cost than the expensive Mini Computers and Main Frames. While Pattie & Steve’s young son Nathan was attending elementary school in the Midwest, Steve recognized in the 1980’s that science in the classroom was typically a boring experience for the students. Steve started volunteering and delivering free STEM programs in schools before there was STEM. Steve built lasers for light shows, using is it as a tool to talk about music, light and electricity, creating student excitement and involvement. The Dahls sold AMCI Computers in 1991 and moved to a sailboat in the Caribbean with their 10-year-old son Nathan. It wasn’t long and Steve was missing the fast pace of the technology industry and Steve implemented the first Voice Over IP (VOIP) communications system in the Caribbean, interlinking banks and insurance companies across the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands, creating a reliable and low-cost communications systems.

In 1998 the Dahls moved from the warm waters of the Caribbean to the Mountains of Idaho to further enjoy their retirement, while Nathan was in college working on his Computer Science education. In 2010 Nathan joined Pattie & Steve in Idaho and it wasn’t long before the team we now know as Computer Zen was formed and a short time later their telecommunications company AITelecom delivering Digital VOIP solutions and K12.Tech specializing in technology solutions for education was formed. The K12.Tech arm of Computer Zen has been busy designing and implementing integrated security and technology solutions for schools, consisting of Phone Systems, Phone Service, PA/Bells, Security Cameras, Door Access Control, Gun Shot Detection, STEM Curriculum and much more.

Besides student & staff safety, student engagement in education is very important to Computer Zen. With the passion of engaging students to learn and explore technology, Computer Zen has continued to deliver free STEM/STEAM programs (ScienceTechnologyEngineeringArtsMath) to small rural schools across Idaho & Montana, The Idaho Department of Education happened to see one of the STEM programs presented by Computer Zen and encouraged them to create a non-profit organization so they could receive funding to expand their programs to more schools. Recently Dahls created the nonprofit called STEAM World to expand their free educational programs.

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403 Main St,
Salmon, ID 83467


Idaho:  208-756-1596
Montana: 406-552-4456
Toll Free: 1-855-741-4200