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i-STEM at College of Southern Idaho

Step up to STEM, i-STEM 2023

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 2024. 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.

2024 Theme and Information coming soon!

i-STEM 2023 was Step up to STEM: Increasing Integration

College of Southern Idaho i-STEM Institute

Participants were encouraged to attend i-STEM with colleagues from their own school, district or organization so they could learn together, share ideas and collaboratively implement what they had 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.

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.

Status: Closed

Fees for 2024: $50, 25% discount for group registrations

Eligible Applicants: All educators – formal and informal

2024 Funding Schedule

Open: February 5, 2024
Close: March 15, 2024
Award date: April 1, 2024

i-STEM Dates for CSI:
June 2024

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

College of Southern Idaho
Herrett Museum-Rick Allen Hall
315 Falls Ave
Twin Falls, ID 83301
Map and Directions

2023 Strands

* Indicates this strand is appropriate for informal educators.

Note: Kit contents and field trips are subject to change.

IDX: Engineering Solutions with 3D Design & Fabrication StrandLead Instructor: Renee Watterson
Assistant Instructor: Branden Severe

Keywords: Engineering, Design, STEM

Strand Description: This strand provides educators with extensive hands-on experience to develop a solid foundation in 3D design and fabrication. Educators are prepared to engage with learners utilizing the engineering design process and equip them with the practical, technical, and creative skills needed to engage with real-world problems of today and tomorrow. Participants can use their 3D printers to continue developing ways to incorporate design and printing with Idaho content standards and cross-cutting concepts. It is highly encouraged that participants bring a team to an IDX showcase, which is typically held in Pocatello, Boise, and Moscow in March.

Your kits will/may include: A 3D printer, 3D Printer Toolkit, Spool of filament, Filament Dry Box, and Digital Calipers. These resources provide educators with the tools necessary to compete in the IDX Student Showcase, as well as incorporate 3D design/printing into their learning environments.

STEM CS Career ExplorationLead Instructor: Joshua Sneideman
Assistant Instructor: Patrick Hawke

Keywords: STEM, CS, career awareness, engineering, interdisciplinary, 3D printing, coding

Strand Description: What does STEM and Computer Science career awareness, coding, 3D printing, Engineering Challenges, project based learning and interdisciplinary text based instruction all have in common? This session will explore how a free to all schools, STEM Action supported resources, Learning Blade and Career Blade can be utilized to support your STEM/CS classes. Students always ask, “Teacher when will I ever use this?” Utilizing Learning Blade’s 400+ online lessons and offline lesson plans you can support student seeing real-world connections and how STEM/CS careers are 21st century problem-solvers. The week will include instruction in Learning Blade, 3D printing, Introduction to Coding, and the importance of career awareness in middle school.

Your kits will/may include: 2 Tello Drones, 4 unique Drone instruction lessons from Learning Blade, 1 Spool of 3D printing filament for our iSTEM 3D printing activities, Learning Blade instructional materials and lesson plans and supplies for the weeks’ hands-on activities.

Think like an Inventor! Lead Instructor: Tonya Simms
Assistant Instructor: Alyssa Simms

Keywords: STEM/STEAM project/problem based learning inquiry engineering design process

Strand Description: Leonardo da Vinci was an artist, scientist and inventor. He is considered to be the greatest genius of all time. Learn the 7 principles he lived by and how to encourage these principles in your classroom. Teach students to use their curiosity, to embrace ambiguity, look for the interconnectedness of things, test their understanding through experience, learn from their mistakes, balance art and science, and appreciate and use their senses to find understanding of phenomena. In addition, learn how to use your required curriculum and grade level standards to create engaging hands-on, mind-on Project Based learning infused with STEM. They will create authentic products to share with their peers, school and community.

Your kits will/may include: Participants will receive STEM building materials, STEM kits/Toys, and books.

Energy Flows Where SySTEM Thinking GoesLead Instructor: DaNel Hogan
Assistant Instructor: Denise Humphreys

Keywords: physical science, energy, systems thinking, electricity, energy efficiency

Strand Description: Join us in using the Habits and tools of systems thinking to explore modern energy sources, the science of electrical generation, the wonders of wireless electricity, negawatts as a measure of energy conservation, and solutions to future energy challenges. Beyond getting a boatload of classroom materials and hands-on experience in how to use them effectively, you’ll gain first-hand knowledge of how formative assessment probes can surface and address science misconceptions. You’ll also practice using performance task assessments with 3-dimensional science instruction to assess how students are using the science and engineering practices to make sense of the world. Slow reveal graphs, ladders of inference, behavior over time graphs, and other innovative tools will ensure you walk away from this strand with a better understanding of energy systems and grids, and an even wider range of pedagogical strategies to inspire your students to wonder, achieve, and make sense of any sySTEM. And we promise to bring the pHun (the proper physics and chemistry spelling of the word fun)!

Your kits will/may include: With support from i-STEM and industry partners Idaho Power and Intermountain Gas, teachers will be receiving kits worth more than $600. The kits include three books and a systems thinker starter kit along with classroom sets of equipment and supplies to teach about electromagnetism, circuits, energy efficiency, and static electricity.

The Science in Magic and ToysLead Instructor: Karen Laitinen
Assistant Instructor: Becky Sheen

Keywords: STEAM, physics, motion, forces and energy

Strand Description: There is magic in the way a child learns from play. In this strand we will start with science phenomena that looks like magic. Participants will learn how to guide the discussion from discrepant events to the science behind the activity. We will be going through the pedagogy of STEAM and NGSS through activities that use toys to demonstrate science principles in Force, Motion, Energy, and Renewable Energy sources. From the time your students are introduced to the concept, pick up the toy to investigate, incorporate the toy in creative play, they will be completely engaged in the process of STEAM. The strand will culminate in a project-based learning unit designing and building a marble roller coaster. Activities will include use of Hot Wheels, Spring Cars, Hopper Poppers, Come Back Cans, Balloon Hovercraft, Solar Jitterbugs, solar Generators, Fan Cars, and Marble Roller Coasters. Your students will benefit from the use of these popular toys as well as a myriad of handmade toys to learn the principles behind forces, Motion, Energy, and Energy resources. Come join us for some Physics/Math magic and fun.

Your kits will/may include: The participant kit will include Hot Wheels, Spring Cars, Hopper Poppers, Come Back Cans, Balloon Hovercraft, Dy-Toy, Solar Jitterbugs, Solar Generators, Fan Cars, and Marble Roller Coasters, and building materials and supplies used for a myriad of do-it-yourself toys.

Cracking the Code: Computer Science for K-2Lead Instructor: Lacey Jordan

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.

BrickLAB Lead Instructor: Kellie Dean

Keywords: collaboration, creativity, STEAM, critical thinking, problem solving

Strand Description: The PCS Edventures BrickLAB is a beloved tool that has proven its relevance and effectiveness time and again. Studies show that continual hands-on interactions with building bricks often correlates to stronger spatial reasoning, language and problem-solving skills. Participants in this BrickLAB session will leave armed with fun activities that align with STEAM and capitalize on soft skills, while promoting active learning. BrickLAB Core connects English Language Arts (ELA), math, science and social studies topics to captivating engineering design challenges. The BrickLAB complements all academic areas and can be implemented in any phase of a lesson, and hit all learning modalities, so students engage with the content and mastery of instructional outcomes becomes evident.

Your kits will/may include: Grade Level Instructor Guide with lesson plans and student pages and over 3,000 BrickLAB Bricks.

FIRST LEGO League and using LEGO SPIKE or MINDSTORMS in the classroomLead Instructor: Kelsey Margulieux
Assistant Instructor: Lisa Lalliss-Skogsberg

Keywords: robotics, FIRST LEGO League, scratch-based coding, building LEGO robots, LEGO SPIKE Prime kits, LEGO EV3 kits

Strand Description: FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is a platform to introduce students aged 9-14 years old to robotics, including building a robot out of LEGOs and coding in a scratch-based language, while delving into a research project and learning core values such as teamwork and inclusion. This strand will introduce teachers to FIRST LEGO League Challenge and provide hands-on experience with building and programming LEGO robots as they tackle actual FLL missions. Participants who know they want to coach an FLL team for the upcoming school year are encouraged to recruit their coaching partners into the same strand.

Your kits will/may include: Two participants who join intending to coach an FLL team together will receive 1 LEGO SPIKE Prime Kit for their team. Other participant kits may vary depending on additional funding but will be designed to be helpful in starting an FLL team.

Ready, Set, Drone Lead Instructor: Colin Falconer

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.

PDF Syllabus


i-STEM 2023: Step up to STEM-Increasing Integration

Course Syllabus – Summer 2023

COURSE HOURS: 1 credit (Course B) or 2 credits (Course A)

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: July 15, 2023, midnight MST

Location and Course Dates.

  • In Person Training at one of the i-STEM Institutes:
    • Lewis-Clark State College June 12-15, 2023 8am-4pm
    • College of Western Idaho June 13-16, 2023 8am-4pm
    • Idaho State University June 14-17, 2023 8am-4pm
    • College of Southern Idaho June 20-23, 2023 8am-4pm
    • North Idaho College June 20-23, 2023 8am-4pm
    • College of Eastern Idaho June 20-23, 2023 8am-4pm
  • Final Survey Due: July 15, 2023

Course Cost: 1 credit: $60 / 2 credits: $120

Instructor Email: Katie Bosch-Wilson,, 208-332-1727

COURSE DESCRIPTION: i-STEM is a four day professional development institute focused on STEM education. This year’s theme is Step up to STEM-Increasing Integration. General sessions during the institute will focus on how to develop successful partnerships within participants’ organizations and communities to further STEM education for their students. Participants will attend workshops that cover science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) content within a project-based learning framework and learn how the content is applicable to local interests. Participants will network with one another, hear from keynote speakers and go on field trips.


  1. Participants will demonstrate an understanding of project-based learning in the context of STEM education.
  2. Participants will learn how to read, understand, and incorporate state content standards into their teaching.
  3. Participants will learn about a specific STEM topic and receive a kit of materials to implement what they have learned into their teaching practice.


  1. Educators will attend all four days of an i-STEM Institute (36 hrs).
  2. Educators will submit a final survey via the Community Grants Portal (

FINAL ASSIGNMENT DUE DATE: July 15, 2023 by midnight MST via the Community Grants Portal.


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