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i-STEM at North Idaho College

North Idaho College i-STEM InstituteThis year the i-STEM Institute at North Idaho College (NIC) in Coeur d'Alene will be June 17-20. 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. APPLICATION TO ATTEND IS CLOSED. Successful applicants will be notified in early April by STEM Action Center.

Have Questions?? Contact the i-STEM Coordinator, Kaitlin Maguire, at

Eligible Applicants: Formal and informal educators serving Idaho PreK-12 students.

Cost: After notification of acceptance, participants pay a registration fee following the guidelines below.

Role Registration Fee
Idaho Public PreK-12 Educator $50
Idaho Public or Nonprofit Informal Educator
(e.g. Museum Educator, After School Programs, Libraries)
Idaho Pre-service Educator $0
Private School Educator $500
Homeschool Educator $500
Retired Educator $500
Non-Idaho Educator $500
Vendor/For Profit Educator $500

Status: CLOSED

Training Dates:
June 17-20, 2019, 8:00am - 5:00pm

North Idaho College
Student Union Building
1000 W Garden Ave
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
Map and Directions

Participants that travel >25 miles to attend the closest institute are eligible to receive a travel reimbursement stipend, following the guidelines below. Distance is measured from the participant’s organization (school, library, afterschool program) to the closest institute location. Participants must attend all four days of the institute to receive a travel stipend. The stipends will be distributed after the institute. Only public Idaho formal and informal educators are eligible for travel stipends.

Travel One-Way to Closest Institute

  • 25-49 miles    $150.00
  • 50-149 miles  $700.00
  • 150+ miles     $900.00

*Indicates this strand is appropriate for informal educators.

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

Subjects: Technology, Mathematics, Computer Science/Coding

Instructors: Lisa Dreadfulwater and Kari Schumacher

Coding is No Primary MysteryLearn how to introduce coding to your primary age students! Participants will participate in several activities (known as unplugged activities) to learn how students can practice these foundational tasks to establish the initial understanding of how coding works. Participants will then learn how to teach students to code using paper mazes, Lego mazes, and Osmo materials using tiles and apps. Then participants will learn about the Dash Robot, one of the most engaging ways to inspire students to learn code! There will be tasks and challenges as you learn how to write code to program the Dash Robot to play a xylophone, sketch shapes, speak, and maneuver throughout the room just to name a few. You won't want to miss this exciting strand as you bring home materials ready for use in your primary classroom. This session is intended for teachers who have had no prior experience with teaching primary age students about code. Field trip is TBA.

Kit: Wonder Workshop Dash Robot, Code and Go Mouse, Let’s Do Code 50 pieces activity set and more!

Subjects: STEM, Arts/Humanities, Drones/Robotics/Virtual Reality, GATE Instructors: Breland Tommerup and Melanie Gillette Makerspace MagicAre you ready to start a Makerspace in your school? We can help! Our Makerspace has been up and running for the last two years, and we want to share our ideas with you. We will share unique and ready-to-use resources and lessons in each of the STEAM categories. Whether you’re looking to create Makerswall, Makerscart, or an entire Makerspace, after this strand, you will head back to class next fall with a loaded STEAM kit to get started right away! We will also provide some insight on grant writing and how to affordably acquire more STEAM resources for your students. Field trip to GIZMO Makerspace Kit: Cublet Kit, Lego Simple Machine, Water Color Pencils, Escape Room Voucher.

Subjects: STEM, Leadership

Instructors: Anna Hertzberg and Emily Sarha

STEM Teacher Leadership Want to share your passion for STEM and help support and learn alongside your colleagues on their STEM education journey? The goal of this strand is to begin to build a network of passionate STEM educators who are willing to share their knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm as STEM teacher leaders.  This strand will help build content knowledge in the STEM disciplines, focus on instructional pedagogy that supports the processes that are the foundation of project-based learning, and develop leadership skills. As George Couros says in his book Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity, “If we want people to take risks, they have to know we are there to catch them and support them.  They also need to see us leading by example and taking risks in our work.” (Couros, 2015) Each day will focus on problem-based tasks within integrated STEM projects which will involve materials such as Ozobots, UV light lamps and beads, bubbles, geometric shapes, and more.  A major focus will be on how to use fun and engaging materials to implement the new science standards at a wide range of grade levels.   Field trip to GIZMO Makerspace will engage participants in the engineering design process and maker equipment

Kit: The kit will include an Ozobot, ultraviolet beads, a handheld ultraviolet light, pattern blocks, and four books - Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of CreativityDesigning GroupworkMAKE: Paper Inventions; and  5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematical Discussion.

: Implementing the Idaho Science Standards through K-12 Inquiry and Project Based LearningSubjects: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts/Humanities, ELA, Career Awareness, GATE

Instructor: TBA

Participants will take a deep dive into and explore how our new Idaho Science Standards can help prepare our young scientists to change the world. By taking a deep-dive into Project-Based Learning pedagogy using backward design models, participants will explore and design lessons and units to implement key instructional shifts to meet the new Idaho Science Standards. With guided instruction participants will have time and support in the design of lessons and units, build kits, and plan literacy and assessment strategies, to help foster passion for science and engineering through inquiry methodology in their own classrooms. Field trip to the lake and the local waste water treatment plant.

Kit: Participants will receive a NSTA membership and funds to support a project-based learning unit in their own teaching environment.

Aaron McKinnonAaron McKinnon

Aaron McKinnon has influenced not only the students of his own classroom, but colleagues around the state of Idaho through his dedication, leadership, enthusiasm and professional development activities. As a classroom educator for 22 years, he focused on creating engaging learning experiences every day. Teaching online classes and drivers ed has given him additional insight and perspectives to student learning. Recognition of his efforts include receiving the Milken Award, National Board Certification, and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. He continues to support and champion the science and education community of Idaho as the Science Coordinator for the State Department of Education.


Alison Ward

Alison WardAlison Ward teaches Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Science at Boise High School. An educator since 2002, her passions include differentiated instruction and working to help her students understand and find wonder in the world they graduate into. Alison received her M. Ed. in 2005, has been a teacher leader at the Downtown Teaching Farm for the past 9 seasons, is a member of the Boise School District Sustainability Committee as well as a Boise State Writing Project Fellow, and has been helping develop and deliver state-wide PD aimed at Idaho teachers shifting towards new, NGSS inspired, Idaho Science Standards. At Boise High there has been an adoption of Project Based Learning and Service Learning through Inquiry strategies. Inquiry strategies can be used by educators in K-collegiate settings, as well as professional staff development, and could easily shift to serve multiple kinds of sustainability initiatives. Boise HIgh School has adopted thematic school-wide Project Based Learning, culminating in a student-organized and student-led school-wide full-day Summit. As a member of the PBL and Summit team at Boise High School, Alison has collaborated extensively with other teachers to develop multidisciplinary lenses with which to study sustainability issues, including a school-wide read on Garbology by Edward Hume. Boise High's focus has now shifted toward Social Justice and is preparing for it's next Big Read in the 2019-2020 school year. Alison's motto for herself and her students is “Learn as if your life depends on it.”


Dr. Angela Hemingway, Executive Director

Dr. Angela Hemingway

Angela received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Boise State University, an M.S. focusing on microbiology, a B.S. in biology and chemistry, and a teaching certificate in science. She spent 14 years in high school and college STEM classrooms inspiring students to participate in science competitions and community service events. She transitioned to the State Department of Education where she served as Assessment and Accountability Director. In August 2015, Governor Otter appointed her the Executive Director for his newly formed Idaho STEM Action Center where she oversees a variety of STEM opportunities, ensuring Idaho’s long-term economic prosperity.

Participants can purchase two graduate level professional development credits from Boise State University ($60/credit) for attending all four days of the i-STEM institute. Information and instructions on how to sign up for these credits will be provided during the institute. An additional third credit can be purchased upon completion of a follow-up assignment in Fall 2019 (see below).

Fall 2019 Follow-Up Assignment – This assignment will involve developing a content standard lesson plan based on the content learned in the workshop strand you attend. The details of this assignment are TBA. Information about the assignment will be discussed during the institute.

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