i-STEM at Idaho State University
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: TBD
Eligible Applicants: All educators – formal and informal
2023 Funding Schedule
Open: February 10, 2023
Close: March 17, 2023
Award date: TBD
2023 i-STEM Dates for ISU:
June 13-16, 2023
PD Credits: PD credit is available for participation in this program.
Idaho State University
William M. and Karin A. Eames Advanced Technical Education and Innovation Complex
1999 Alvin Ricken Drive
Pocatello, ID 83201
Map and Directions
* Indicates this strand is appropriate for informal educators.
Note: Kit contents and field trips are subject to change.
Lead Instructor: Morgan Gifford
Assistant Instructor: Jacob Gifford
Keywords: energy, physics, nuclear science, atomic science
Strand Description: Physical science is going super-critical! Have you ever wondered how to make nuclear science more approachable for your students? In this strand participants will learn about nuclear science through inquiry and hands-on STEM experiences. We will cover everything from atomic structure to radiation to nuclear history! As we work through the strand, participants will learn how to create meaningful learning opportunities for their students by building in phenomena, utilizing the Idaho Content Standards at their deepest level, and connecting other areas of the classroom to support cross-curricular learning. We will also discuss the ways to connect this learning to the workforce, learn about the future of nuclear science, and will hear from atomic experts. Participants will have the chance to learn how to handle Gieger counters, work with radioactive sources, use VR to experience and learn more about atomic testing and nuclear power, and will leave this strand with tons of resources and activities to pull from.
Your kits will/may include: Kits may include materials such as simulation kits, cloud chambers, and other engaging STEM learning tools. Participants will also receive a variety of other digital and physical educational resources to take back to 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: Benjamin Lampe
Keywords: coding, hardware, computing, process systems
Strand Description: Come learn about the fundamentals of technology. Learn about how computers work and how computers interface with sensors, actuators, and other peripherals. This multi-day lesson will give you the basics and project ideas to engage students, increase critical thinking, and promote aptitude. Our lesson will be delivered in the project-based learning model of teaching.
Your kits will/may include: Kit includes a breadboard, arduino microcontroller, and assorted sensors and outputs (i.e. stepper motor, lights, etc.). Additionally, project ideas and example lesson plan(s) when using microcontroller.
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: Sarah May Clarkson
Keywords: creativity, collaboration, problem solving, challenge, curiosity
Strand Description: In this strand, participants will have the opportunity to nurture creative STEM thinking, instruction, and collaboration. Open to school staff and classroom teachers from Head Start through high school, participants will explore the foundations of STEM in both the ways they were prepared for their roles as educators and in their personal pedagogical goals and inclinations. Using a variety of strategies and activities, teachers and educators will come together to both work on and reflect on the mindset and the tools that will encourage STEM instruction and STEM thinking among our students, and how we can creatively integrate STEM into our teaching, our classrooms, and our work as educators. Each day will focus on development of a core STEM skill or ability (creativity, collaboration, problem solving, challenge), how each can be encouraged in our students, in us, and how STEM can find a place — without too much heavy lifting — in our aspirations for each day. Through writing, reading, and reflection, through group projects and activities, and through skill building, educators will come away with strategies that can be applied to most content areas and to hands-on learning experiences. Because all educators are also learners, participants will be asked to identify and attempt to pursue a skill or talent they hope to develop over the course of our time together . . . knitting, calligraphy, Adobe Photoshop, picture framing, elementary Arabic, there are lots of possibilities. This strand will demonstrate the positive challenges presented by the many facets of STEM — for participants and, ultimately, our students — and how to embed it creatively.
Your kits will/may include: Personal journal and a lesson-planning / learning journal; builder / maker LEGOs set; at least one card or board game; gear for each participant to learn and acquire a new skill or craft ability.
Lead Instructor: Tim Leishman
Assistant Instructor: Ryan Pitcher
Keywords: robotics, programming, DC circuits, power supply, Ozobots
Strand Description: ISU faculty will provide turnkey ready introduction classes on DC electrics circuits and cover the fundamentals of computer programing. Teachers will gain the knowledge and receive technical support as they go back to their classrooms. This strand will introduce educator to ISU’s Ingnite Their Future STEM Summer Camp where our mission is to build a community of support for STEM education among educators, students, parents, and industry. The Ignite Their Future (ITF) STEM Summer Camp provides an opportunity to expand and strengthen relationships with stakeholders (K-12 Educators, Postsecondary teachers, Students, and Industry Partners) as we invest in our future. Are you a techie? Do you love electronics? Join us in our Robotics Laboratory where you will have access to the same test equipment that college students work with including function generators, oscilloscopes, and power supplies! Power supplies are fundamental in all electronics projects. In this camp, you will learn about electricity, electronic components, and prototyping. You will also get to build your very own breadboard power supply to keep!
Your kits will/may include: Your kit will include the following: Breadboard power supply list, 9V wall adapter, Arduino 37 in 1 Sensor Kit, Blue Tooth modules, Arduino Uno, Arduino Nano x3 with USB cable, Digital Multimeter plus accessory kit, Breadboard Jumper wire kit, Breadboard Prototype x3, Electronics Components Kit, Momentary Switch Set, Piezo Buzzer Set, Potentiometer Set, RGB LED Set, Flex Sensor, and Stepper Motor Kit.
Lead Instructor: Alex Sandoval
Keywords: ready hands-on coding
Strand Description: This strand equips educators with the materials, knowledge, and tools they need to integrate coding and computer science concepts into the upper elementary classroom. Educators will learn how to teach with micro:bits and use the Idaho Content Standards for Computer Science to develop coding skills, lessons, and confidence to facilitate year-long coding and computer science lessons in the classroom. Educators will learn to connect computer science to core content instruction to maximize the use of classroom instructional time. While this course is geared toward teachers working with students in grades 3-5, it is a great resource for teachers of all grades looking to introduce students to coding, physical computing, and computer science concepts. 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: The participant will receive micro:bits, alligator clips, copper tape, LED bulbs, and a storage case to store them all in addition to a book or two.
Lead Instructor: Steven Clay
Strand Description: Computerized Machining is used throughout the manufacturing world. From building parts for NASA to building food processing equipment, these skills are an essential piece of the building block of manufacturing. This strand provides high school and middle school Educators with hands-on experience in the programming and operation of CNC (Computer Numeric Control) mills used in nearly all manufacturing processes. Educators will be guided in the design of a project using a world class CAD/CAM system. They will then utilize this same program to simulate the cutting of that project and, when satisfied with the simulation, will set up and run actual the part on a CNC Mill. As part of the CAD training, educators will learn to create an .STL file which could be used to 3D print the project as well.
Your kits will/may include: Project plans (prints, setups, tool list) for a name box – can be utilize by educators who have metal shops at their facilities or can be easily adapted to a wood shop or 3D Printer. Participants will be able to download a free Home Learning Edition of the CAD/CAM software if they desire.