i-STEM at College of Eastern Idaho
i-STEM is a summer professional development opportunity for educators (PK-12) working in both classroom and informal settings. 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 in January 2023. 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.
i-STEM 2023 is Step up to STEM: Increasing Integration
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.
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.
Fees for 2023: $50
Eligible Applicants: All educators – formal and informal
2023 Funding Schedule
Open: February 10, 2023
Close: March 24, 2023
Award date: April 1, 2023
2023 i-STEM Dates for CEI:
June 20-23, 2023
PD Credits: PD credit is available for participation in this program.
College of Eastern Idaho
Health Care Education Building
1600 S 25th E
Idaho Falls, ID 83404
Map and Directions
* Indicates this strand is appropriate for informal educators.
Note: Kit contents and field trips are subject to change.
Lead Instructor: Amber Bigler
Keywords: biology, DNA, biotechnology, life sciences, forensics
Strand Description: Do your students ever wonder how DNA is processed from crime scenes they see on TV? Is DNA abstract and a hard concept for them to understand? Do you need exciting new lab techniques that coincide with scientific research? Come learn about gel electrophoresis and its many applications to the life sciences including DNA, genetics, and evolution. Help your students dive deeper into these topics as they participate in authentic scientific research. Participants will prep and carry out a variety of biotech related labs with real-world applications that also incorporate micropipettes and gel electrophoresis.
Your kits will/may include: Participants will receive a lab notebook, micropipettes, a microcentrifuge, and a fluorescence reader to use in their classrooms.
Lead Instructor: Zoe Ann Jorgensen
Assistant Instructor: Debra Beard
Keywords: STREAM, astronomy, earth science, curriculum integration
Strand Description: This strand will provide the participants with the opportunity to explore the sciences of astronomy and space exploration. The instructor will take an integrated approach to the topics of the Sun, the Moon, the Solar System, the stars, and space exploration. Participants will create and learn to use a variety of models and investigations to explain scientific concepts which are too big to bring into a classroom. This learning sequence will include experience with the StarLab portable planetarium and certification to check out and use the StarLab planetarium from the iSTEM resource center at the INL.
Your kits will/may include: The kit will provide the teachers with the resources needed to support the learning in this class and duplicate the lessons with their own students. The participants will make many of the items in the kit to expand their learning and expanding. The kit includes: Sun-Earth size/distance model, Sun investigation activity materials, Season model, Earth-Moon size/distance model, Moon phase model, Sequential Moon phase model, “Thirteen Moons on Turtle’s Back,” “13 Planets” by Aguilar, Solar System distance models, Solar System size models, “The Stars by H.A. Rey, Laser Pointer, “To Space and Back” by Sally Ride and Susan Okie, “Women in Space: 23 stories,” Foam rocket model, Paper rocket model and PVC rocket launcher.
Lead Instructor: Matt Wigglesworth
Keywords: NGSS, earth science, STEM, astronomy
Strand Description: Discover “Earth’s Place in the Universe” through the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve. Participants in this strand will explore a plethora of resources including NASA-sourced lesson materials that are aligned to Idaho Science Content Standards and NGSS along with data sets that allow for interpretation of light pollution, or the lack of it. Our dark skies will provide a phenomenal context for your K-12 students’ learning of astronomy content. Pedagogy is focused on a series of hands-on 5E inquiry activities that include field experiences in local and/or portable planetariums. Participants will receive a kit of materials that can be used in multiple ways in varying classroom settings along with access to web resources developed specifically for Idaho STEM teachers.
Your kits will/may include: Participants in the strand will receive a variety of light sources along with light meters to construct models for measuring light. Additionally, multiple physical models of the sun-earth-moon will be included to explore motions and phenomena related to state science standards.
Lead Instructor: Cristine Casselman
Assistant Instructor: Katie Grant
Keywords: STEM, inventing, engineering process, community partners, creative problem solving, phenomena
Strand Description: As an educator, have you ever been faced with this question when teaching a concept or procedure; “When will we ever use this? Why do we have to learn this?” With Invent Idaho’s innovative and interdisciplinary curriculum, one can inspire youth to design unique, purposeful solutions to solve real world problems, ignite their curiosity with the study of inventions and immerse them in STEM based hands-on learning experiences. This program meets multitudes of academic standards and gives all students the chance to innovate- even those students who do not perceive themselves as “creative” can and will succeed. Participants will learn new delivery methods to share intriguing scientific phenomena and technologies that can stand alone OR scampered and used for a unique purpose. Then, try your hand at building a model with your new 3D printing pen and pitching your idea to others. Learn how to get expert advice and skills from professionals that will help your students be successful and compete in our 21st century. Get ready to learn about the history of innovation, explore STEM-based phenomena, and learn the ropes of inventing to share with your students!
Your kits will/may include: Kits will include samples of scientific phenomena such as the Meissner Effect kit, Aerogel, ChemBlue kits to model bioluminescence, UV sensitive beads, and a 3-D Printing pen to help teachers and students create visual representations of their novel inventions.
Lead Instructor: Shelby Gold
Assistant Instructor: Sunny Katseanes
Keywords: STEAM, wildlife habitat, conservation
Strand Description: Conservation: we should all be helping to protect our planet and its inhabitants for the future, right? In reality the issues may be more complex than we realize. Participants will explore how modern accredited zoos like the Idaho Falls Zoo are working with local organizations both in our community and across the world to conserve some of the most endangered animal species. Most importantly, you’ll take back to your classroom action-oriented ways to engage your students in conducting real-life conservation behaviors. Activities will include looking at how habitats are essential to wildlife survival, how animals are adapted to their habitats, and get students developing hypotheses and conducting scientific observation in a fun and engaging way.
Your kits will/may include: In your kit, you’ll receive a wooden bat box design kit, a Lamotte water monitoring kit, an Erector Animatronix set and a guidebook that will allow you to recreate for your students the experiences you have during this strand.
Lead Instructor: Ashley Schaffner
Keywords: Computer Science with Kindergarteners? Absolutely!
Strand Description: This strand equips educators with the knowledge and tools they need to integrate coding and computer science concepts into the early elementary classroom. Educators will gain the confidence and skills to facilitate year-long coding and computer science lessons with their students, guided by educators who have implemented the same content in their own classrooms to build critical thinking. An important component of this course will be empowering teachers to lead “unplugged” activities (no computer needed!) to naturally solicit computational thinking from their students. While this course is geared toward teachers working with students in grades preK-2, it will also be a great resource for teachers of all grades looking to introduce their students to basic coding and computer science concepts. The course is founded on the Idaho Content Standards for Computer Science to prepare educators as they introduce students to concepts including, but not limited to: parts of a computer, hardware and software, troubleshooting, typing skills, problem solving, teamwork, and of course coding! Teachers will also explore how introducing their students to these concepts at an early age will better prepare them for the future. Educators will leave with resources and knowledge to integrate and implement their own coding and computer science programs and lessons in their classrooms and schools.
Your kits will/may include: Access to Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) a laminator and supplies, the Artie 3000, Ozobot, and Code and Go Robot Mouse.
Lead Instructor: Erin Johnson
Keywords: drones, STEM, career exploration
Strand Description:Participants will be introduced to fundamentals of drone technology and how to incorporate drones into educational settings. Concepts covered include drone safety, essential knowledge for flight operations, physics of flight dynamics, and real-world applications for drones. Experienced instructors will demonstrate successful methods for implementing drone curriculum with upper elementary and middle school-aged students. As part of their coursework, participants will discuss best practices for implementation and ways to extend and adapt the curriculum, ultimately creating action plans for their own drone education programs.
Your kits will/may include: Six Tello drones and comprehensive curriculum resources for 12 one-hour lessons.