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i-STEM at Idaho State University

Idaho State UniversityATTENTION! Due to COVID-19 we made the difficult decision to postpone i-STEM 2020 to June 2021. Everything for i-STEM 2021 will be the same as it was intended for i-STEM 2020 – same theme, same general sessions, and majority of the same strands. All applicants for i-STEM 2020 WILL NOT have to reapply for i-STEM 2021. If you applied last year, we will reach out to you this winter about your application and strand choices. If you have not applied to participate in i-STEM, and would like to, please apply when the application opens (bottom of the page).

The i-STEM Institute at Idaho State University (ISU) in Pocatello has been postponed until June 2021. Over these four days, participants attend a workshop strand, participate in general sessions with keynote speakers and network with other educators. Participants leave with a kit of materials related to the workshop strand they attend, ready to implement what they have learned into their teaching environments. This professional development opportunity is open to formal and informal educators.

i-STEM 2020

Participants are encouraged to attend i-STEM with colleagues from their own school, district or organization to work on building partnerships during workshop sessions.

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.

Travel Reimbursement

Travel will be reimbursed following the guidelines below. Distance is measured from the participant’s home to the closest i-STEM institute location. For example, if you live in Twin Falls but attend the institute in Pocatello, you will only be reimbursed for travel to College of Southern Idaho. Participants must attend all four days of the institute to receive travel reimbursement. Only public Idaho formal and informal educators are eligible for travel reimbursements.

Have Questions?? Contact the i-STEM Coordinator, Finia Dinh, at

Status: Closed

Fee: $50 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) - NEW APPLICATIONS ONLY

Training Dates:
June 2021

Funding Schedule:
February 2, 2021*
Close: March 4, 2021*
Award date: April 2, 2021*
Program Manager: Finia Dinh

*These dates are only for new applicants. Those who already applied for 2020 do not have to reapply.

Idaho State University
Roy F. Christensen Building
921 S 8th Ave
Pocatello, ID 83209
Map and Directions

* Indicates this strand is appropriate for informal educators.

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

Strand Instructors: Tamara Palmer & Matthew Hull

Keywords: Coding, Integrating STEM, Elementary School


Integrating Technology StrandHave you ever wondered how to integrate technology into your classroom? Does it feel overwhelming and you aren't even sure how to start? This strand will introduce the SAMR model, which shows us how to integrate technology in a meaningful way in our classroom while also building ties between parents, students and school community. SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. As you move through these levels, technology transitions from a means of enhancing what you do in your classroom, to totally transforming your instruction. We will explore these concepts as we engage with technologies including a Dash robot, Edison robot and green screen—all of which participants will take home in their kits. We will look at examples of ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies using each of these technologies to transform instruction and deepen student understanding. With built in planning time, we will work together to make sure you are ready to implement these strategies in the fall with ideas and lesson plans.  We will talk about local partners that can be found within our local universities, communities and school districts that will help us down this path. As we build our knowledge and relationships with each other, we will better be able to implement these strategies successfully.

Strand Instructors: Bonnie Wehausen & Erin Boyington

Keywords: Physics, Engineering Design, STEAM, Cross Curricula


STEAM Adventures StrandSTEAM Adventures with Rube Goldberg is designed for elementary teachers who want to enhance physics and engineering learning in their classrooms. Reading, writing, math, science and art will all be integrated into this strand to provide a rich engineering project based on the work of Pulitzer Prize winner, Rube Goldberg. Rube Goldberg machines take a simple task and use many steps to make accomplishing it more complex. Participants in this strand will learn physics concepts of work, power, energy and simple machines and then design and build their own Rube Goldberg Machine. All concepts will incorporate hands-on lab activities for actively engaging students. Participants will learn note-booking strategies for integrating writing into science, and how to use online platforms Kahoot and Socrative for checking student understanding. Students will benefit by learning in a step-by-step fashion that will give them the confidence to design, build and compete with a Rube Goldberg machine. Educators will be prepared with the knowledge and resources to host a Rube Goldberg competition at their school/site, a great option for a parent or community engagement event. Participants will receive a kit with materials for lab activities, and for building Rube Goldberg Machines, including K’Nex, Marble Genius game, fidget spinners, dominoes, spring scales, pulleys, matchbox cars and marbles.

Strand Instructor: Cristine Casselman & Jennifer Hammond

Keywords: Invention, Real World Problem Solving


Applying STEM Concepts StrandInspire your students to apply STEM concepts as they design innovative solutions to real world problems. Ignite their curiosity with lessons designed to awaken their inventive spirits. Develop example inventions for your students as you experience first-hand how to implement the Invent Idaho Student Invention Convention in your own classroom, school or district. Did you know that Invent Idaho students earned more major awards per number of participants than any other state at the 2019 National Invention Convention, including Best Prototype, Global Change Award and the Sustainability Award? Discover how our very own Idaho young inventors have appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Disney’s “Figure It Out” television show, the Oprah Winfrey Network and Ellen!  This strand will teach you techniques to teach creativity and critical thinking, how to guide students in the invention process,and discover how to connect young inventors with local mentors/industry partners. All participants will receive hands-on materials for use in teaching the invention process in their classrooms, including samples of Aerogel, the lightest weight substance on Earth; sodium polyacrylate, the diaper polymer; and a "Cool Blue" chemiluminescence science kit.

Strand Instructor: Heather Howle

Keywords: STEM, Engineering Design, Coding, Micro:bit, Middle School


STEM Curriculum Integration Through Project-Based Learning StrandIn this strand offered by the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), middle school educators (grades 5-8) will learn to apply the engineering design process through project-based learning, how to integrate computational thinking skills and processes in core subjects, and how to teach computer science standards through block-based coding. Session activities will include “Cyber Attack”: Using electronic circuits to build a working flashlight during an attack on the power grid, “Planet Energy”: Researching alternative energy sources to plan a community of the future, “Project Code”: Coding micro-computers with Microsoft Block and “Computational Thinking in Science”: Studying mass production in aeronautics. The three curriculum threads highlighted (STEM: Explore, Discover, Apply; Cyber Fundamentals and Computational Thinking) will support student mastery of STEM standards through project-based learning. Participants will receive free access to the NICERC curriculum and a set of 10 micro: bits, which will enable them to incorporate a variety of coding and technology projects in their classrooms.

Strand Instructor: Francesca Bessey & Jeff Stratter

Keywords: 3D Printing, Design Thinking, Engineering Design, Innovation


IDX: Engineering Solutions with 3D Design and Fabrication StrandThis strand, sponsored by the Idaho STEM Action Center, prepares middle and high school educators (grades 5-12) to integrate 3D printing in their learning space and to lead a team in the Idaho Exhibition of Ideas (IDX) Student Showcase in Spring 2021. IDX is a multi-week competition in which student teams brainstorm, develop and prototype a 3D printed solution that responds to a challenge theme. This year, we are excited to offer this opportunity for two divisions: grades 5-8, and 9-12. Strand participants will receive foundational education on additive manufacturing, its applications and how to translate 2D design concepts into 3D. We will then delve into 3D modeling with the online platform Tinkercad; and the operation, maintenance and troubleshooting of a 3D printer. We will explore design thinking and engineering design as step-by-step processes for guiding students in developing a product for IDX, and for a variety of other cross-curricular projects. Finally, we will look at successful examples of 3D printing integration in both formal and informal learning spaces, including team-based challenges, senior projects, family engagement events and more. Participants in this strand will be required to lead a team in the 2021 IDX Student Showcase; travel stipends will be provided based on mileage to the closest IDX site. Participants will receive a FlashForge Adventurer 3 Lite 3D printer and a 3D printing starter kit, including flash drive, digital calipers, maintenance tools, filament and more.

Strand Instructors: Sara Mount & Denise Humphreys

Keywords: Paper Circuits, Energy, Light, Color, Physics


Paper Circuits StrandHave you ever used a paper circuit to teach about the nature of science or discover the REAL primary colors? If not, don’t miss this opportunity to open doors for your students through the creative use of #STEMontheCheap paper circuits. We’ll also explore electricity from the ground up, using dozens of minds-on, hands-on activities to learn about primary sources of energy, electricity production, energy efficiency and more. You’ll even discover how to use the physics of electricity production to transform a paper cup into a radio speaker, as well as lead engaging discussions around one of the biggest challenges of our day—sustainably meeting the energy needs of a growing world population. Come be amazed at the questions you’ve never asked about how energy really works! Oh and you’ll leave with everything you need to immerse an entire classroom of students in each and every activity: paper circuit artwork, energy audits, home-made speakers and demonstrations of the fascinating connection between electricity and magnetism that permeates our lives!

Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

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