Boise’s first Picademy Training

In July of 2017, the Idaho STEM Action Center partnered with the  Raspberry Pi Foundation to host the first Picadmey training in Boise, Idaho. This training was one of only four Picademy trainings across North America this year. Other 2017 training sites were in Providence, Rhode Island, Irvine, California and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

This training is geared towards providing educators with knowledge of digital making and the confidence to creatively compute with tools like the Raspberry Pi computer. Raspberry Pi minicomputers are the size of a credit card and plug directly into your monitor. These are an affordable way to allow people of all ages to engage in and get excited about computing and coding with languages such as Python and Scratch.

Two cohorts of forty educators from across the nation were chosen from a competitive pool to attend this highly sought-after professional development experience. 36 Idaho educators were among the 80 educators to receive training in Boise.

All educators who completed the training received official Raspberry Pi certification, recognizing their mastery of the skills they need to teach computer science and coding in their learning environments. As a part of this program, they also join global community of certified educators to exchange ideas and best practices.

The Idaho STEM Action Center is committed to Idaho’s computer science initiative. We are proud to have worked with global leaders like the Raspberry Pi Foundation to help increase statewide computer science awareness and access. Through sustained partnerships with global leaders in the field, the STEM Action Center will continue to provide high-quality professional development opportunities, grants, camps, competitions, scholarships and much more.

Check out Boise's Picademy Training:


FabSLAM 2016 — Awe Inspiring Results

Idaho FabSLAM 2016 was a huge success! Over 75 students (grades 5-8) and 26 mentors from around the state converged on the Discovery Center of Idaho for the inaugural 3D Design and Fabrication Showcase event held May 14th. The FabSLAM Showcase was the culmination of a project that began in March when the STEM Action Center and the Digital Harbor Foundation trained 20 teachers from 15 schools throughout the state as coaches and equipped them with 3D printers. For this year’s theme, each team identified an issue in their community that could be addressed using 3D printing and digital fabrication and then developed and documented a product to help resolve it. At the FabSLAM Showcase, the teams presented their solutions to a panel of five judges and a public audience for review and feedback.The winning teams received over $1,250 in cash prizes to help continue funding STEM learning in their schools.

And now for the winning teams! Drum Roll Please!...

Students from around Idaho participate in the 2016 FabSLAM Idaho Showcase at the Discovery Center of Idaho in Boise, Idaho, on Saturday, May 14, 2016. The FabSLAM Showcase was the conclusion of a 3D printing design and fabrication competition featuring teams from schools around Idaho conducted by the Idaho STEM Action Center.

From Nampa, Lone Star Middle School’s G T.E.A.M. took first place with its Homeless Emergency Life Pack, or HELP. The wheeled suitcase can be turned into a one-person shelter. The team also earned the Students’ Choice Award based on votes from their peers. You can view the team website and learn all about the project.  In second was the ElemEngineers from Boise’s Hawthorne Elementary School — the only elementary school participating in FabSLAM Idaho this year. The team created a trap that hangs on fruit trees to lure and kill fruit flies that destroy soft-skinned fruit crops. Check out this team's design cycle at their website.  Coder Bunnies, the third-place team from Kuna Middle School, created a filtration system to remove trash and sediment from canal water before it’s used for irrigation. Read about the process this team used to create a viable filter here.

Other participating schools included Emmett Middle School in Emmett, Jefferson Middle School in Caldwell, Jerome Middle School in Jerome, Kimberly Middle School in Kimberly, Lakeside Junior/Senior High School in Plummer, Marsing Middle School in Marsing, Middleton Middle School in Middleton, Vera C. O’Leary Middle School in Twin Falls, Vision Charter School in Caldwell, West Middle School in Nampa, and Vallivue Middle School in Caldwell.