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Idaho STEM School Designation

Section 33-4701, Idaho Code, states that the State Board of Education shall “award STEM school and STEM program designations annually to those public schools and public school programs that meet the standards established by the state board of education in collaboration with the STEM action center.”

To receive designation, Idaho public schools (and public school programs) must apply to STEM AC for review and demonstrate that they are meeting the State Board-approved Idaho Standards for STEM School Designation. Upon successful review, the STEM Action Center recommends the school/program to the State Board of Education for approval.

As an incentive—and in recognition of the ongoing costs associated with high-quality, comprehensive STEM programming—the STEM Action Center offers financial sponsorship to schools and programs that have earned and maintain a current Idaho STEM Designation. In return, these schools and programs are expected to be exemplars of integrated STEM and project-based learning and be active participants in professional learning community (PLC) that proliferates best-practices in STEM education across Idaho.

Schools in Idaho with STEM Designation


STATUS: Ongoing

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

Earning Idaho STEM School Designation = up to $10,000.00 annually for 5 years, and upon recertification, an additional $5,000 annually for another 5 years.

Reviews for STEM School Designation typically occur during the Spring semester, with official designations being awarded by the State Board of Education the following Fall. School officials may contact the STEM Action Center at any time to inquire about the process.


For questions regarding the STEM School Designation program, please contact Nate Dean, STEM AC.


To learn more about STEM Standards, click on the buttons below.

An Idaho STEM designated program or school will demonstrate clear and convincing evidence of meeting the following standards in a consistent and systematic manner.

STEM Standards

Standard 1

STEM Learning: Learners actively engage with STEM instruction and curricular resources that focus on problem-solving, collaborative project-based learning, and the engineering design process.

Standard 2

STEM Instruction: Staff members strategically integrate evidence-based STEM practices into all disciplines, fostering cross-curricular connections and enhancing the overall educational experience for learners.

Standard 3

Professional Development: Staff members and leaders engage in relevant professional learning opportunities that are designed to enhance their skills and knowledge in STEM education.

Standard 4

Community Engagement: Staff members and leaders regularly engage families and community partners to foster a thriving STEM environment.

Standard 5

Assessment: Learners primarily showcase their understanding through performance-based assessments that emphasize practical application and/or real-world relevance, and are given regular opportunities to engage in reflective self-assessment.

Standard 6

College & Career Readiness: Learners engage in college and career exposure, exploration, and advising opportunities that build durable skills in preparation for subsequent opportunities.

Standard 7

Technology & Resources: Staff members and leaders integrate technology and physical resources to support and enhance STEM instruction.

Standard 8

Knowledge Exchange: In partnership with the broader STEM community and the Idaho STEM Action Center, staff members and leaders share knowledge of best-practices and provide innovative professional development.

Standard 9

Fairness & Access: Staff members and leaders support all learners, including nontraditional and historically underserved student populations in STEM program areas.

  • 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
  • J.R. Simplot Elementary – American Falls
  • Columbia High School STEM Academy – Nampa
  • Hemingway Elementary STEAM School – Ketchum
  • Project Impact STEM Academy – Meridian
  • Fernan STEM Academy – Coeur d’Alene
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