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The Industry’s Excellent Educator Dedicated to STEM (INDEEDS) Award is given to two Idaho educators who create unique opportunities for students to experience the fun and excitement of STEM by integrating real-world experiences and hands-on activities into the classroom. Do you know a public-school educator who not only creates unique opportunities for students to experience the fun and excitement of STEM, but who also integrates real-world STEM examples and hands-on activities into the classroom? We are looking for educators that embody just that and we'd love to hear their STEM-azing story!

Educators from two award categories will be selected, one from K-6th and 7th-12th grades. These Idaho educators with a strong commitment to going above and beyond in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) will be chosen by our industry partners.

Who's eligible: All public K-12 educator nominations are encouraged. Self-nominations are accepted.


  • $2,000 individual cash prize from Industry awards
  • Up to $2,000 from the Idaho STEM Action Center to attend a national conference related to STEM to advance their professional practices
  • The educator's school will receive $2,000 for STEM initiatives/programs

Nominations are now closed.

Recipients will be announced at the Idaho Technology Council's Hall of Fame Gala on October 21, 2021. The event will be virtual this year, so tune in and help us celebrate these STEM-azing educators! More information on the Hall of Fame Gala.


Presenting Partner


Gold Partners

Battelle Energy Alliance

Silver Partner

Discovery Center of Idaho

Bronze Partner

STATUS: Closed

Nomination Schedule

Open: March 6, 2021
Close: July 18, 2021
Award date: September 2021

2020 INDEEDS Winner, Gina Kwid

Gina Kwid is the elementary engineering teacher at Galileo STEM Academy in Eagle. She has taught second grade, third grade, and engineering in the West Ada School District for 15 years.

Her students engage in robotics, coding, 3-D printing, electronics, space science activities, and environmental science projects. In addition, Gina coaches the afterschool junior botball teams, which compete locally throughout the school year and attend the Global Conference for Educational Robotics each summer. The school’s team won the national championship last year, and Gina was named the outstanding elementary mentor for the program.

She is a makerspace teacher and her school’s STEM night coordinator, plus Gina coaches its Idaho Exhibition of Ideas teams and the amateur radio club. She was awarded an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station proposal in 2019 that allowed students to talk live with an astronaut on the International Space Station via ham radio equipment.

A Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, Gina has presented robotics at the Idaho Education Technology Association conference and twice presented at the Space Exploration Educators Conference at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. She also has attended the Microgravity University for Educators training at NASA and the Teacher’s Institute at the Amateur Radio Relay League’s headquarters in Connecticut.

Gina is excited to see where technology and online learning take her and her students. She is ready to learn new ways of teaching and excited to watch her students grow in this new digital-learning environment.

2020 INDEEDS Winner Tim Gering

Tim Gering teaches physical science and STEM at Orofino Junior-Senior High School and is the science department chair. He has taught chemistry, Earth science, and physical science during his two decades as an educator. He completed his master’s degree in educational leadership in 2010 and served as principal at Bonners Ferry High School from 2013-2016.

Tim has spent the last three years building a STEM program at Orofino Junior-Senior High, creating curriculum and writing grants to fund its projects. He also coaches students who compete in the Idaho Science and Engineering Fair.

He looks forward to continuing to challenge his students and building the Orofino Junior-Senior High STEM program. He plans to continue partnering with Idaho businesses to provide his students with real-world experience and employable skills.

Tim and his wife, Kari, live in Orofino. Their twin daughters and son are employed in STEM careers in nursing and construction management, respectively. Their youngest daughter is a student at Orofino Junior-Senior High.

Thank you to our 2020 Partners!


Presenting Partner

2020 Gold Partners

2020 Silver Partner

2020 Bronze Partners

Lynette Leonard

Lynette Leonard is currently the Librarian at Southside Elementary, in Cocolalla, Idaho. She has lived in many states over the years.  Lynette is originally from South Jordan, Utah.  She has been teaching children over the last 15 years in both formal and non-formal settings.  For the last 4 years she has also been teaching literacy, technology classes such as coding, STEAM and much more.  Lynette believes every child should have the same access to STEAM skills no matter their geographical location, social economic status and/or ethnicity. This has been a motiving factor for her to bring STEAM resources to the students of the small rural school of Southside Elementary.  She has created a makerspace in her library. She incorporates STEAM skills in all her library and computer lab lessons and collaborates with classroom teachers to do the same with their core lessons and projects. Lynette started a 3D printing team and has created a summer STEAM camp, hosted STEAM career nights, implemented a library wax museum night and is an instrumental leader in progressing STEAM education at Southside Elementary.  In addition, she has been instrumental in pursuing funding for STEAM programs currently at Southside and continues to do so. Lynette's dedication to bring STEAM resources to children has her currently working on bringing the first STEAM SmartLab classroom in the state of Idaho to Southside Elementary School.

Her dedication to teach children expands beyond Southside Elementary as she has volunteered or is currently volunteering, in other community organizations such as Cubs Scouts; where she is held many positions including Day Camp Program Director for the Inland Northwest Council,  Boy Scouts , Master Naturalist and (SOLE)Selkirk Outdoor Leadership & Education.

Lynette is a mother of three wonderful sons, who inspire her to help every child aspire to their full potential.  She lives and works for children; and their educations and successes are her rewards.

Robin Wilson

Robin Wilson is a science teacher with the personal and professional objective of connecting students to science and developing their analytical thinking skills to help them become better decision makers as adults. Her teaching style is patterned after her own experiences as a scientist and focuses on providing her students with real-world context and have them “doing science”.  Prior to February 2014, Robin Wilson was a professional biologist managing regional, statewide, and national programs in Nevada for over 15 years. When the opportunity to geographically relocate and shift careers came about, Robin transitioned by receiving her Master’s in Teaching and becoming a secondary science teacher. Since August of that same year, Robin has been teaching at Emmett High School, in Idaho, as a biology and chemistry teacher. In this short period of time, she has been successful in accomplishing her objective, with students going on to college in science fields, students participating in various college-ready internship science programs, and strong participation in regional science fair competitions.  In 2018, Robin was appointed as Science Department Chair in the Emmett School District and has been working diligently to advance the science program at the Emmett School District. She also oversees her beloved Biology Club. Robin Wilson has a daughter who has a Masters in Civil Engineering and is employed by the Nevada Department of Transportation.

Thank you to our 2019 Partners!


Platinum Partners

Gold Partner

Silver Partners

Bronze Partners

2018 INDEEDS Winner, John Barenberg
K-6th: John Barenberg, a 3rd grade teacher at Marsing Elementary in Marsing, ID

John has proven himself to be an innovative leader for STEM education not just in his school, but in his entire community. Not only has he taught 3rd grade for 31 years, John has been instrumental in building a one-of-a-kind afterschool and community education program. By partnering with local businesses, community groups, and the municipal government, John has brought students to the table with parents and local leaders to learn about such varied topics as rocketry, 3D printing, agriculture, and weather.

Laura Wommack, 2018 INDEEDS Winner
7th-12th: Laura Wommack, a 10th-12th grade teacher at Lakeside Jr-Sr High in Plummer, ID

Laura has been the recipient of several prestigious training and research experiences- from collaborative research opportunities with NASA to a National Geographic trek to learn about Arctic ecology firsthand. Her passion for instruction shows in the ways she provides quality experiences to her students. Laura uses digital methods to connect her students with astronauts, forensic scientists, ecologists, and other STEM professionals.

Thank you to our 2018 Partners!


Gold Partners

Silver Partners

Bronze Partners

Jason George of Vision Charter School in Caldwell
Jason George of Vision Charter School in Caldwell
Paula McElroy of Westside Elementary School in Payette
Paula McElroy of Westside Elementary School in Payette

Thank you to our 2017 Partners!

Gold Partners

Silver Partners

Bronze Partners

Melyssa Ferro of Syringa Middle School in Caldwell
Melyssa Ferro of Syringa Middle School in Caldwell
Sonia Galaviz of Garfield Elementary in Boise
Sonia Galaviz of Garfield Elementary in Boise

Thank you to our 2016 Partners!

Gold Partners

Silver Partners

Bronze Partners

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