Teachers participate in STEM Action Center training after pandemic hiatus
The State Department of Education and STEM Action Center hosted i-STEM Summer training institutes for educators this month, after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the workshops last year.
The virtual seminars included computer science for kindergarten through second-grade students, game design and virtual reality in the classroom, wildlife conservation in your backyard and teaching mathematics through gaming.
More than 300 teachers registered to attend the workshops, which were being livestreamed through the state’s four community colleges and Idaho State University and Lewis-Clark State College.
“I am delighted that the STEM Action Center’s i-STEM institutes are back this summer, offering ideas and inspiration to Idaho teachers at a critical time,” state superintendent Sherri Ybarra said in a news release. “After a year disrupted by the pandemic, it is essential to develop skills, tools and strategies for overcoming learning loss — particularly in the STEM fields so important to students’ academic and career success.”
Registration open for fall student mental health and wellness conference
The Idaho School Counselors Association, Idaho School Psychologists Association and School Social Work Association of Idaho are teaming up to host the 2021 “Stronger Together” conference in October, focused on student mental health and wellness.
The two day event, on Oct. 7-8 will include keynote speeches from leading area psychologists and social workers, as well as panels about community mental health and student well-being. The goal of the conference is to unite mental health professionals around Idaho to “advocate for and empower the mental health and wellness of Idaho K-12 students.”
The conference will be held at Boise State University in the fall and the registration cost varies from $55 for students to $125 for industry professionals.
Sandpoint teen competes in Distinguished Young Women competition
Camile Neuder of Sandpoint will compete in the finals of the 64th annual Distinguished Young Women national competition this week. The competition awards scholarships to young women around the country who are evaluated on their scholastics, talent, public speaking and fitness. Participants submitted virtual entries this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Neuder, who graduated this spring from Sandpoint High School, is the only Idaho representative in the national competition. She’s in the running to be one of eight finalists vying for the title of Distinguished Young Woman of America, 2021. According to the program’s website, she’d like to become a physics engineer and would like to study at the Colorado School of Mines.
The program will be broadcast at DYWNationalFinals.com through Saturday. Scholarships will be awarded over three nights, and the eight finalists will be selected Saturday in a live broadcast from the Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, Ala.
Emmett bus driver wins ‘Trainer of the Year’
Rachel Crawford of Emmett was named the 2021 bus driver trainer of the year by the State Department of Education’s student transportation division.
Crawford started driving school buses in 1998, quitting her night-shift job so she could work while her kids were at school. She worked in Meridian and Utah before moving to Emmett in 2009.
“Rachel has a very warm and welcome smile for everyone she meets. All drivers who train under her direction have nothing but complimentary comments, saying she is very positive and easy to work with,” student transportation supervisor Shauna Davis said in Crawford’s nomination.
Two of Crawford’s three children have graduated from Emmett High School, the district said in a news release. But Crawford considers all of the students who ride her “bus babies.”