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i-STEM Summer Institutes

i-STEM Logo 2021

i-STEM 2021 is here! 

i-STEM Agendas and Professional Development credit information are posted below.

Opportunity Goals & Objectives: 

To empower Idaho educators to gain STEM content knowledge and pedagogical skills, and to build local communities of learning to increase student excitement for and interest in STEM.

Brief Description:

i-STEM is a summer professional development opportunity for educators (PK-12) working in both classroom and informal settings. In light of COVID-19, all 2021 i-STEM institutes will take place virtually and run for three days. During the Institute, participants attend a strand on project-based, hands-on learning in a chosen content area, as well as general sessions tied to the Institute theme. Strand topics vary by location and can be accessed at the Institute links below. Each participant will receive a kit of instructional materials unique to their strand, so that they can implement what they have learned in their own teaching environments. (Kits will be available for pick-up prior to the start of instruction.)

i-STEM 2021 Theme: 

STEMpower Your Partnerships – During general sessions participants will learn how to build, maintain, and strengthen their partnerships to support STEM education in their schools, organizations, and communities. Participants will hear from keynotes speakers, learn about and work with tools to harness the power of partnerships, and network with other educators. Come see how you can use partnerships to help your students, yourself and your community.

Participants are encouraged to attend i-STEM with colleagues from their own school, district or organization so that you can learn together, share ideas and collaboratively implement what you have learned.

**Please Note: Registration fees for i-STEM 2021 have been reduced to $40 for formal and informal public educators.

STEM AC is reaching out to businesses throughout the state to sponsor registration fees. We will reach out to you once you are accepted into the program and let you know if your registration fee is covered by a sponsor.

Your district may have funds to pay your registration fee to attend STEM AC PD opportunities.  Learn more about Title 4 funding here and talk to your local administrator for guidance.

i-STEM Institute Dates and Locations:

June 15-17, 2021 @ College of Southern Idaho

June 15-17, 2021 @ Lewis-Clark State College

June 15-17, 2021 @ Idaho State University

June 22-24, 2021 @ College of Eastern Idaho

June 22-24, 2021 @ North Idaho College

June 22-24, 2021 @ College of Western Idaho

Kit Distribution:

Kit pick-up for strands will take place at the host site Monday of the Institute week (June 14 for CSI, LCSC & ISU; June 21 for CEI, NIC & CWI) If you do not live within 35 miles of the host site, your kit will be shipped to you at no cost. You should have already received confirmation on whether your kit is being shipped or picked up. If you have questions, email your stand provider ASAP.

Status: Closed

Fee: $40 for formal and informal public educators serving Idaho PreK-12 students ($1000 for private school, home school, retired, non-Idaho, and vendor/for-profit educators.)

Eligible Applicants: All educators (see fee amounts)

Funding Schedule

Open: Spring 2022
Close: TBD
Award date: TBD

Program Manager: Finia Dinh

PD Credits: One graduate level PD credit is available for participation in this program.

Supporting Partners

Click on the logos below for Institute information.

Below is the complete line-up of strands for i-STEM 2021. Please be advised that priority for strand placement was being given to those individuals who applied and were accepted to i-STEM in 2020. As a result, certain strands are listed as "waitlist only." All other strands have spots available.

Please visit each Institute for more details.

* Indicates this strand is appropriate for informal educators.

CSI (College of Southern Idaho) Strands

* Cracking The Code: Computer Science for K-2 & Beyond - Grades: PreK-5
* Building Bricks & Building Partnerships - Grades: K-3
WAITLIST ONLY * Game Design & Virtual Reality in the Classroom with Blocksmith - Grades: 4-12
* Empowering Student Research - Grades: 6-12
NEW: Testing the Limits: Experience & Adapt a PBL Unit for High School Biology - Grades: 9-12
NEW: Integrating Computer Science In Your Gen Ed Classroom - Grades: 6-12

LCSC (Lewis-Clark State College) Strands

* Water Science: Investigations and Leveraging Partnerships - Grades: PreK-12
WAITLIST ONLY LEGOs in Primary Classrooms - Grades: PreK-3
* Back to Basics to Build a Conceptual Understanding in Math - Grades: 1-6
* NEW: Creating & Using a Ground Station to Record Live Weather Satellite Images - Grades: 7-12

ISU (Idaho State University) Strands

WAITLIST ONLY * Connecting Science, Technology & Literature in the Elementary Classroom - Grades: PreK-6
* Applying STEM Concepts: The Student Invention Process - Grades: 1-9
* STEM and Cyber Curriculum Integration Through Project-Based Learning - Grades: 5-8
* IDX: Engineering Solutions with 3D Design & Fabrication - Grades: 5-12
* Paper Circuits and Energy FUNk! - Grades: 6-12
NEW: Using Assessment & Hands-On Exploration to Increase Student Understanding of Fractions

CEI (College of Eastern Idaho) Strands

*Using STREAMpower to Explore Outer Space - Grades: 1-8
* Wildlife Conservation in Your Backyard - Grades: 1-8
* 3, 2, 1… Energize! - Grades: 4-12
* NEW: Creative Mathematics for All - Grades: K-12
* NEW: Biology at Every Scale: From Viruses to Carbon Cycles - Grades: 8-12
* NEW: The Building Blocks of STEM: Spatial Reasoning, Measurement and Numeracy - Grades: PK-2

NIC (North Idaho College) Strands

* Cultivating Citizen Scientists in Elementary Grades - Grades: 1-5
* Level Up Your Technology Game - Grades: 3-10
* Creativity in the STEAM-Integrated Classroom - Grades: 4-12
* Teaching Mathematics Through Gaming - Grades: 6-12
NEW: Promoting Student-Led Discussion in the Math Classroom - Grades: 3-5
NEW: Fossil Detectives: Experience & Adapt a STEM PBL Unit for Middle School Life Sciences - Grades: 6-8

CWI (College of Western Idaho) Strands

WAITLIST ONLY * Build, Create & Innovate: High-Interest STEM on a School Budget- Grades: PreK-12
* H.A.C.K. Bootcamp - Grades: PreK-12
iWONDER - The Power of Inquiry Based Learning - Grades: PreK-2
* Transport Your Students with Making in the Classroom - Grades: 1-5
* Wonderful World of Coding and Robotics for Primary Grades: 1-5
* Connecting Idaho’s Geologic Past to OUR Future - Grades: 2, 4
Building Blocks of Energy: From Chemistry to Conservation - Grades: 5-12
* IDX: Engineering Solutions with 3D Design & Fabrication - Grades: 5-12
* Human Anatomy for Educators - Grades: 9-12

Participants are required to attend 2 of 4 General Sessions.

Download i-STEM 2021 General Session Descriptions

Brief Overview of General Sessions (download above pdf for more details):

General Session A: Video Making and Recording in the Classroom (K-5)
Northwest Council of Computing Education (NCCE) is excited to present this workshop geared toward K-5 educators. Whether distance, hybrid or flipped learning, creating meaningful videos (for students, families and others) enhances learning and elevates lessons. Join this session for tips, tricks & terrific ideas through discovering new ways to utilize your videos in interactive lessons, and learning best practices in creating videos (e.g., length, audience, platform). We will also learn how to use PowerPoint recording (screen recorder, slide record, save as MP4, etc.), Photos app Video Creation (add titles, music, special effects, etc.) and Flipgrid for video creation (Shorts).

General Session B: Digital Citizenship in STEM (4-12)
Looking to integrate Digital Citizenship into your lessons? What part can the community play in supporting Digital Citizenship projects? Northwest Council of Computing Education (NCCE) is excited to present this session for Grades 4-12 educators. The session will highlight the important elements of Digital Citizenship, the connections between Digital Citizenship and student lives, and explore ways to connect digital citizenship to the community through student learning. Resources on implementing Digital Citizenship with groups of students will be provided as well as ideas on where to start making connections within the community. Leaving this session, participants will feel comfortable and knowledgeable on Digital Citizenship and how the community can support groups of students.

General Session C: Breakout Topic Discussions/Networking (PreK-12)
Choose from a selection of engaging breakout rooms to connect & collaborate with fellow educators on topics important to YOU! Session topics are listed below. Rooms will be limited to nine people or less to allow for active participation for all.  Advance Sign-Ups for Session C are required (click here for the sign-up form).

These will be open discussions. No facilitators will be leading the groups. Padlets (collaborative web platform) with a couple resources will be provided as conversation starters and educators will be encouraged to add to the Padlet. Padlet resources will be sent to participants after the session.

Family Engagement (Pre-K-12) How do you get families to engage in your student’s STEM Learning? What kinds of activities work best for family engagement? Do you have tips for getting families to show up at your family engagement events? Come share and discuss the benefits of engaging families in a student’s STEM learning, your success stories, and tips on how to better engage families to be an extension of what students learn in your classroom.

The Future of Work (Grades 6-12) You may have seen or heard about the ever-changing workforce needs. Changing technologies have impacted the future of work globally. Has technology changed how you see your role as an educator preparing your students for these future jobs? How do you prepare your students for jobs that don’t exist yet? Come discuss how these have affected your own classroom and share how you have changed how you approach it.

Realistic Strategies for Inquiry-Based Learning in the Classroom (Pre-K-12) According to Exploratorium and the Institute for Inquiry, inquiry-based learning is an approach to learning that involves exploring the natural or material world, which leads to asking questions, making discoveries, and testing those discoveries in the search for new understanding. Do you use this approach in your classroom? What are some successful ways you have introduced these models in your learning environment? What challenges have you experienced in incorporating this approach? Come discuss and share various types of inquiry-based or student-centered learning models that you have used.

Value of School-Library Partnerships for STEM Learning (Pre-K-12) When was the last time you used your Library? Libraries are a wealth of resources for not only educators but parents and students. Come discuss the importance and value of school-library partnerships for STEM learning, how to leverage them as an extension of your STEM programs, and tap into their vast knowledge and resources for you and your students. We would love to hear your examples and successful partnerships stories. What ideas do you have on how you can bring such partnerships to your community?

Creating Opportunities for STEM Career Exploration – Middle School Level (Grades 6-9) It is never too early to start exploring career options! Middle school students are at an age when they understand the connection between careers, salaries, and the kind of lifestyle they want. This is also the time when the students will need to choose their high school courses, some of which are specialized pathways to a particular area of post-secondary study. How do you incorporate career exploration in your classroom? Come discuss and share strategies and resources for creating opportunities for career exploration for middle school students.

Creating Opportunities for STEM Career Exploration – High School Level (Grades 9-12) STEM jobs pay nearly twice the median wage of non-STEM jobs, and they continue to change rapidly. In March, Idaho had 8,446 open STEM job postings. Building a toolset of STEM skills can take students in multiple directions with their careers. How do you help students navigate the challenges of the career jungle gym, braided river, and career ladder? What successful tips or stories can you share with your peers? Come discuss how to create opportunities for career exploration for high school students.

Advance Sign-Ups for Session C choice above are required (click here for the sign-up form).

General Session D: Partnership Asset Mapping Workshop (PreK-12)
Looking to build partnerships to support real-world engagement in STEM -- but not sure where to start? In this workshop, you will identify and "map" potential partners ("Assets") for STEM learning in your local community and consider how you might engage those partners through shared values. Note: For this activity, you will need a few pieces of paper and some crayons or colored pencils.

Credit for attending i-STEM

For questions regarding your transcript, please visit the BSU Extended Studies K-12 Professional Development site. The syllabus including the link to register for the credit is below.  Cost is $60.


You can check out amazing resources and materials to support STEM education. Please contact the individuals below for information on checking items out of your local i-STEM library.

College of Western Idaho
Shannon Murray
Click here to see what's in the library

College of Southern Idaho
John Hughes
Click here to see what's in the library
Additional kits are located at the Twin Fall Public Library

College of Eastern Idaho
Frankie Adams

Idaho State University
Instructional Materials Center

Lewis-Clark State College
Ken Wareham

North Idaho College
Managed by Gizmo Maker Space
Erin Lanigan
Click here to see what's in the library

2019 Resources

Speaker Presentations

i-STEM Resources are also accessible in the Resources Portal.

Morning Sessions – Empowering Tomorrow’s Scientists

Aaron McKinnon, State Department of Education

Angela Hemingway, Idaho STEM Action Center

Adam Richins, Idaho Power Vice President of Customer Operations and Business Development

2018 Resources

2018 i-STEM Strand Resources

Cracking the Code: How to teach Computer Science to K-2 (Instructors: Ashley Schaffner and Chad Harris)

Lego STEM Stations in Primary Classrooms (Instructors: Melissa Stroupe and Sheila Frei)

Mechanisms of a Makerspace: Design Thinking and the Maker Movement (Instructors: Morgen Larsen and Becky Firth)

Build, Create, Innovate (Instructors: Amber McVey and Amber Obert)

Interested in sponsoring i-STEM by supporting a workshop, being a regional sponsor or adopting a teacher? Contact Finia Dinh at

What is i-STEM?

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