Idaho STEM Action Center spent $171,000 on summer activities

It’s been a busy summer for the Idaho STEM Action Center staff. The team of four have been around the state providing professional development for educators, awarding summer camp scholarships to students and preparing for the solar eclipse.

“The action center is having an impact on students and educators,” said Erica Compton, the program manager at the Idaho STEM Action Center. “We didn’t realize the high need for camp scholarships.”

The action center spent $171,197 on scholarships since April and $401,467 in fiscal year 2017. The action center opened in 2015, as a clearinghouse to support programs and teacher training in the “STEM” disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math.

Scholarships awarded for summer professional development:

  • Making Sense of Science — a conference for science educators who impact students in grades 5-9.
  • Achieving Student Success through Excellence in Teaching — a three-day workshop to build teachers’ understanding of essential features of inquiry, misconceptions about inquiry and the instructional focus on process skills that support implementation of Idaho science standards.
  • Educurious — a three-day training that provided educators with strategies to effectively integrate 21st-century skills into science teaching.
  • Picademy — a two-day hands-on course in digital making for teachers.
  • Discover Drones Education Package — a workshop on integrating drones in an educational setting.

Scholarships awarded for student and educator camps:

  • Idaho Falls Zoo Camp — 16 educators received scholarships for zoo exotics in Idaho training.
  • Camp Invention — 76 students from the Treasure Valley and Lewiston received scholarships to explore science, technology, engineering and innovation.
  • Eureka! Palouse Summer Program — 36 Moscow students received scholarships to learn computer programing.
  • Reuseum Ed — $5,000 scholarship for camps in Garden City.
  • Gizmo Makerspace — $5,000 for 21 STEM camps in Coeur d’Alene.

The center also purchased 6,000 solar eclipse glasses to handout at the Western Idaho Fair on Aug. 18. Entry is free from 12-2 p.m. You can pickup your glasses while participating in STEM day at the fair where kids can operate robots, build with LEGOs and explore virtual reality.

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