Idaho STEM Ecosystem

2023 Idaho EcosySTEM Spring Convening

2023 Idaho EcosySTEM Spring Convening

The annual Idaho EcosySTEM Spring Convening will be held at Shoshone-Bannock Event Center/Casino Hotel in Fort Hall, Idaho, on March 30-31, 2023. We are “Sharing Strategies, Sharing Stories.” Come and reinvigorate existing relationships and build new relationships, learn and share about STEM efforts throughout the state, and continue to develop the goals and infrastructure of Idaho EcosySTEM.


8:00 – 10:00 am:

Check In, Networking, Continental Breakfast
Idaho EcosySTEM Convening Day 1 Opening Presentation 2023

10:00 – 10:15 am:

Welcome, Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Chairman Nathan Small

12:00 – 1:00 pm:

Lunch Speaker – Micron Foundation

1:00 – 2:30 pm:

Breakout Sessions 1 (see details below)

2:45 – 3:30 pm:

Breakout Sessions 2 (see details below)

3:30 – 4:15 pm:

Partner Table Visits and Networking

4:15 – 5:30 pm:

STEM In Idaho Recognition Ceremony

Join us as we honor Micron and Idaho National Laboratory. Appetizers and a no-host bar will be available with entertainment from the Shokota Dancers and Spring Creek Drum Circle.

Thank you Accelerate Learning for sponsoring the food and beverages.

7:30 – 8:30 am:

8:30 – 10:45 am:

Storytime! EcosySTEM Leaders

10:45 – 11:30 am:

Breakout Session 3 (see details below)

11:30 am – 12:00 pm:

Partner Table Visits and Networking

12:00 – 1:00 pm:

Lunch Speaker – Idaho National Laboratory

1:00 – 1:45 pm:

Before You Go… Table Recap & Share-out

1:45 – 2:15 pm:

“Hubdates” – Vision for the Future

2:15 – 2:30 pm:


Breakout Session 1 - Day 1 (1:00-2:30pm)

Idaho Commission for LibrariesTitle: Broadband, Digital Equity, STEM, and You
Room: Pocatello
Eric Forsch (NTIA)
Amber Smyer (UI Extension)
Stephanie Bailey-White (ICfL)
Dylan Baker (ICfL)
Chelsea Summerlin (ICfL)

Presentations in pdf format:
Digital Access for All
Digital Economy Program
Internet for All

Description: Working together, we can use this historic investment to close the STEM education gap by providing access to high-quality, affordable broadband, appropriate devices, digital skills training, and technical support via the development and implementation of the Digital Access for All Idahoans plan.

Cathy Beals, State Department of EducaitonTitle: Parents as Partners in Mathematics Education
Room: Arimo
Presenter: Cathy Beals, State Department of Education

Presentation in pdf format:
Parents as Partners in Mathematics Education

Description: This session will engage participants in a discussion about partnering with parents to support mathematics education in Idaho. Topics covered will include what information parents want and how to include parents more effectively in their child’s mathematics education. This will be a brainstorming session with open dialogue.

Dennison Webb, Selkirk Outdoor Leadership & EducationTitle: STEM Goes Wild at SOLE
Room: Tyhee
Presenter: Dennison Webb, Selkirk Outdoor Leadership & Education

Description: Workshop participants will learn about SOLE’s journey with developing and facilitating their award-winning and nationally-recognized SnowSchool Experience program over the last 10 years in north Idaho. This place-based experiential education program utilizes local winter wildlands to facilitate hands-on STEM lessons on snow science, winter ecology, avalanche awareness, conservation literacy, as well as outdoor living and travel skills each winter. Participants will learn who, how, and why SOLE developed this STEM program to include, but not limited exploring proven partnerships with local school districts, foundations, corporations, and businesses; as well as considerations for developing their own STEM program outdoors utilizing evidence-based methods and practices.

Title: What the Heck is STEM and Where Do I Put It: Keeping STEM out of the Silo
Room: Snagg
Presenters: Erin Johnson and Ann Mennear, Aberdeen School District

Description: We will talk about the different definitions of STEM and how to make them relevant across the grade levels and in all content areas.

John McFarlane, Idaho STEM Action CenterTitle: Connecting Industry to Education
Taghee 6
John McFarlane, Idaho STEM Action Center

Presentation in pdf format:
Connecting Industry to Education

Description: Angela Miller (Idaho Power), Roger Plothow (IBE), Sunshine Shepherd (INL), Madi Bosselmann (STEM AC), and John McFarlane (STEM AC) will briefly present programs/resources from their organizations followed by a panel discussion/Q&A.

Breakout Session 2 - Day 1 (2:45-3:30pm)

Title: Fireside Chat with the SDE’s Content and Curriculum Department
Room: Pocatello
Presenter: Academic Coordinators, State Department of Education

Description: Academic Coordinators from the Content and Curriculum Department at the State Department of Education will share how we can support educators and schools. Then we will turn the time over to you! What can we do to help support and strengthen STE(A)M in our schools and communities?

Joshua Sneideman, Learning BladeTitle: Supporting STEM/CS/CTE Career Exploration
Room: Arimo
Presenter: Joshua Sneideman, Learning Blade

Presentation in pdf format:
STEM/CS/CTE Career Exploration Presentation

Description: In this session, we will explore Learning Blade and Career Blade two free resources provided by the Idaho STEM Action Center to support educators in exposing their students to the real-world context of STEM/CS/CTE careers. The session will also include a review of Learning Blade’s new Intro to Coding course designed to help middle schools expose students to coding.

Amy Christopherson, College of Southern Idaho and Van Davis, College of Eastern IdahoTitle: Amy and Van’s AWE-some STEM Adventure
Room: Tyhee
Amy Christopherson, College of Southern Idaho
Van Davis, College of Eastern Idaho

Description: When is the last time you were awe-struck? What natural phenomena create a sense of wonder in your life? We invite you to join us for our workshop dedicated to experiential learning as we explore ways to rediscover wonder and have some fun!

Title: STEM-ifying Your Out-of-School Programs
Room: Snagg
Jennifer Redford, Idaho Commission for Libraries
Cindy Bigler, Gooding Public Library
Denise Burnett, Ada Community Library
Kathy Kent, Oneida County Library

Description: Library staff from throughout Idaho share strategies and techniques for promoting STEM learning and engagement in out-of-school opportunities.

Title: She Can STEM: Event Planning to reach under-served populations
Room: Taghee 6
Ashley Schaffner, Idaho EcosySTEM
Erika Meadows, State Department of Education Science Coach
Heather Smith, White Pine STEM Academy
Michelle Anderson, JR Simplot Elementary School

Presentation in pdf format:
She Can STEM

Description: ISEE STEM’s Event Planning Committee will present on their recent event, She Can STEM. They will discuss the process for selecting this event, planning and preparation, pitfalls, and considerations for planning your own event.

Breakout Session 3 - Day 2 (10:45-11:30am)

Title: The Tale of Three STEM Journeys: How to integrate STEM no matter your background
Room: Pocatello
Penni Aufderheide-Keck, Jerome High School
Chris Torgesen, JR Simplot Elementary
Barbara Nelson, Hillcrest High School

Presentation in pdf format:
My Story, Barbara Nelson

Description: Come listen as educators from regions 4, 5, and 6 share how they use STEM as a vehicle to improve teaching and learning in their classrooms and schools. Allowing students to connect STEM beyond just their science classrooms into the real world to foster innovation, computational thinking, and problem-solving, they share how they set their students up for success in all areas.

Million Girls MoonshotTitle: Reimagine Together: The Million Girls Moonshot Initiative
Karen Peterson, National Girls Collaborative Project

Description: This session overviews the goals and impact to-date of the Million Girls Moonshot national initiative to engage one million more girls in STEM learning opportunities through afterschool and summer programs. Presenters will overview the Moonshot’s Transformative Practices and share tools, trainings and resources programs and educators can access at no cost.

Claire Sponseller, University of Idaho Extension 4-H

Title: The Little Trailer That Could. Stories from the STEM Ecosystem’s First Initiative: Think Make Create Labs
Room: Tyhee
Presenter: Claire Sponseller, University of Idaho Extension 4-H

Description: Idaho Think Make Create Labs has twenty-five mobile makerspaces located across Idaho. Learn how the STEM Ecosystem’s first initiative has expanded STEM educational resources to Idaho’s communities, increased the trained adult workforce delivering STEM education, and brought communities together to increase access and leverage local resources for Idaho’s unserved and rural youth.

Grant Hathaway, STEM ForgedTitle: Engagement through Playing and Building Video Games
Room: Snagg
Presenters: Grant Hathaway, STEM Forged

Description: It’s no secret that video games are a big industry that generates a lot of interest from youth. Learn how STEM Forged has leveraged the interest of youth all over the country to implement meaningful and impactful STEM programs. From competitive esports to after-school game design clubs, there’s a world of opportunity for students to access with the right approach.

Special Thank You to our 2023 Sponsors

Idaho STEM Ecosystem
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