Grant to increase the number of highly qualified teachers of STEM
Boise State University, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and partner school districts across Idaho have been awarded a $1.125 million grant over three years to increase the number of qualified teachers of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in the state.
The grant provides $375,000 a year to support summer institutes in STEM teaching and learning for K-12 teachers at five locations across the state. The U.S. Department of Education’s Mathematics and Science Partnerships program awarded the grant through the Idaho State Department of Education (ISDE).
“It is critical that we support our STEM teachers by increasing their knowledge and confidence for teaching these topics to better prepare their students for the STEM workforce in Idaho,” said co-principal investigator Anne Seifert, K-12 STEM regional manager for INL.
The summer institutes are part of the Idaho STEM initiative (i-STEM), a partnership that includes the ISDE, the state’s universities, K-12 educators and businesses and industry working to enhance STEM education in Idaho.
About 100 kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers are expected to take part at each of the workshop locations, called i-STEM Teacher Institutes.
Courses called “strands” are the primary focus of the three- or four-day intensive institutes. In the strands, about 15 teachers explore STEM-related content such as mining, energy, nutrition and robotics.
In addition, they learn how to integrate technology into their instruction, interact with regional and nationally recognized experts, plan in teams for using what they learn in their classrooms, and network with each other to learn more about best practices in teaching STEM.
The institutes are scheduled for:
• June 17-19, Eastern Idaho Technical College, Idaho Falls
• June 17-20, Idaho State University, Pocatello
• June 17-20, North Idaho College, Coeur d’Alene
• June 24-27, College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls
• June 25-27, College of Western Idaho, Nampa
Teachers also will explore ideas for integrating the STEM opportunities in their communities into their teaching. As well, teachers will earn continuing education credits for their participation.
More information about i-STEM is available at http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/istem/.
(source: Boise State Communications; image courtesy: www.sde.idaho.gov/site/istem/)