Official Government Website

STEM School Designations

Note: AdvancED has merged with Measured Progress to become Cognia. As part of the merger, the STEM Standards have been upgraded and a crosswalk has been provided (see Cognia Links below) to make the transition from the old standards to the new standards easier for schools. These documents, along with other minor changes have been incorporated into this webpage.

The goal of Idaho Code 33-4701, STEM School Designation, is to provide recognition for schools or programs that provide high-quality, inter-disciplinary, multi-grade STEM education based on the criteria of the 16 Cognia STEM School Standards. Interdisciplinary learning models emphasize how STEM is practiced in the real world by STEM professionals. This type of engagement allows students to expand their learning by making connections between ideas and concepts across different disciplinary boundaries as well as within and outside of the school. Students learn to apply the knowledge gained in one discipline to other disciplines and deepen their learning. Educators see their own discipline from a fresh and energizing perspective, building excitement about teaching.

This opportunity seeks to recognize schools that provide rich STEM learning experiences for students, educators, and communities. It seeks to clearly define the best practices of STEM schools and provide consistent criteria by which schools can measure their progress toward STEM Designation.


For questions regarding the STEM School Designation program, please contact John McFarlane, STEM AC.

To schedule a STEM School Review Team from Cognia, please contact Dale Kleinert, Cognia.

STATUS: Ongoing

Funding Details:
(subject to change and dependent on annual appropriation)

Earning Cognia certification = up to $10,000.00 annually for up to 5 years.

Schools can apply to Cognia for certification anytime during the year. STEM designation occurs in January/February timeframe.





Learn More BelowTo learn more about STEM Standards, click on the buttons below.

  • Galileo STEM Academy – Eagle
  • Barbara Morgan STEM Academy – Meridian
  • Temple View Elementary School – Idaho Falls
  • Bingham Academy – Blackfoot
  • North Idaho STEM Charter Academy – Rathdrum
  • Southside Elementary – Cocolalla
  • Basin Elementary – Idaho City

STEM Community

Standard 1

School/program provides equitable opportunities for students to engage in high quality STEM learning.

Standard 2

STEM educators collaborate to develop, implement, and improve high quality STEM learning activities.

Standard 3

School/program engages diverse STEM community in order to support and sustain STEM programs and initiatives.

Standard 4

School/program has established a shared vision for STEM and has leadership structures to support effective implementation.

STEM Learning Culture

Standard 5

Leaders ensure that all partners have ongoing opportunities to access information and learn about STEM implementation.

Standard 6

Educators and leaders participate in an ongoing system of STEM-specific professional learning.

Standard 7

Students engage collaboratively in authentic inquiry during ongoing units of study.

Standard 8

Students engage in self-directed STEM learning guided by educators who are effective facilitators of learning.

STEM Experiences

Standard 9

School/program provides within-school and extra-curricular opportunities for students to extend STEM learning.

Standard 10

Students demonstrate their learning through performance-based assessments and have opportunities to develop self-assessment and self-monitoring skills.

Standard 11

STEM learning experiences integrate all STEM disciplines with an emphasis on processes and practices associated with STEM.

Standard 12

School/program provides high quality STEM courses and curriculum aligned to recognized standards and organized into interdisciplinary frameworks.

STEM Outcomes

Standard 13

Students demonstrate STEM content knowledge representative of STEM literacy outcomes that prepare them for the next level of learning and work.

Standard 14

Students develop STEM skills and cross-cutting competencies that support workforce readiness.

Standard 15

School/program engages in a continuous improvement process for STEM.

Standard 16

School/program conducts evaluative activities to ensure the effectiveness of STEM implementation.

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