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Early STEM Fall Summit

Brief Description: This application serves as the registration for your attendance at the 2019 Early STEM Education Summit. Requests for travel reimbursement will be processed after your attendance at the Summit. First consideration for travel funds will be given to those traveling the farthest.

Summit Goals & Outcomes: Idaho’s early education community is honored to receive a Spark Grant from the Joan Ganz Cooney Foundation and join the larger national community supporting early childhood education across settings. Young children in Idaho are an underserved population; our youngest citizens face limited preschool opportunities and a lack of high-quality educational resources in a state that is comprised of 70% rural regions and significant underrepresented populations. Especially critical for our young children are meaningful provisions of early STEM materials and enrichment to equip them for a digital tomorrow. Our project focuses on developing a network of early STEM advocates in the state, to articulate the current deficiencies in early STEM education, identify best practices, and implement pilot programs to reach the many underserved populations in Idaho. Led by the Idaho STEM Action Center (STEM AC), this network will be a convergence of government agencies, libraries, research institutions, and community-based organizations that provide learning across boundaries. A common goal of these organizations is to provide early education professionals the tools and language needed to be facilitators of inquiry-based STEM education. This network will convene at a one-day summit in October to bring together librarians, preschool educators, out-of-school educators, museum directors, public television educators, researchers and government agency staff. During the summit, participants will define a common meaning of early STEM, select common language surrounding early STEM education, share research focused on STEM in the early years, create relationships between partners to identified priority needs, and deploy a coordinated, intentional implementation of early STEM education throughout Idaho.

From the network and summit, pilot programs will be identified to reach and engage underserved and underrepresented populations. These pilot programs will serve children ages 0 to 8, supported by research from Boise State University (BSU) as well as resources from Idaho Public TV (such as new PBS activities), library programs, Idaho Out-of-School Network programs, and STEM AC support. Because BSU researchers work with practitioners and parents, pilot programs will focus on cross-setting learning. A key goal of pilot programs will be implementation in all major regions of the state. In the summer of 2019, the early STEM network will reconvene to evaluate the pilot programs, reflect on lessons learned and set new goals and an action plan moving forward. By combining our resources, strengths, and knowledge, our network can set the next steps for Idaho early STEM education, elevate the discussion and fully support regional needs to better reach underserved communities.

STATUS: Closed

Date of Summit

September 27, 2019
8:30 am to 4:30 pm
BSU Lookout Room

Funding Schedule

Open: August 5, 2019
Close: September 20, 2019

Travel Reimbursement

Stipend amounts are available based on distance traveling one-way to the event.

  • 0.5-49.4 miles: $57.30
  • 49.5-100.4 miles: $175
  • 100.5+ miles: $250

This reimbursement is meant to cover the cost of attendance at the Summit, including travel to and from and overnight lodging, as required.

(Use calculator below to calculate one-way mileage) 

Summit Goals & Outcomes: 

This one-day Summit is a capstone event for the Joan Ganz Cooney Foundation Spark Grant, and builds on the work accomplished at the 2018 Summit. On September 27 the early STEM network reconvened to evaluate the pilot programs, reflect on lessons learned, and discuss ways to develop a statewide ecosystem. By combining our resources, strengths, and knowledge through an intentional network we will support early STEM education, elevate the discussion, and fully support regional needs to better reach underserved communities.

The Early STEM Summit was made possible with support from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop as part of the Families Learning Across Boundaries (FamLAB) Spark Grants Program through the generous support of the Heising-Simons Foundation, the Bezos Family Foundation, and Oath Foundation.

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