For several years, Idaho teachers have been attending i-STEM workshops where they work side-by-side with leaders in Idaho’s business and industry to gain skills and knowledge on how to integrate more science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) into their classrooms.
Now, i-STEM has earned an international award for its innovative approach on professional development.
The International Association for STEM Leaders recognized Dr. Louis Nadelson of Boise State University and Anne Seifert of Idaho National Laboratory last week with the STEM Professional Development Leadership Award for creating i-STEM and providing professional development to more than 1,750 teachers across Idaho.
Dr. Nadelson said the award came as a “complete surprise.”
“This has been the work of many people. I have a wonderful team that includes people from K-12, state government, higher education, and business and industry. I feel lucky to provide leadership and vision toward this,” he said.
The International Association presented 15 awards in total last week, including the award to Idaho’s i-STEM team. “This award shows we are on the right track, and we are at the forefront here in Idaho to address STEM education in a meaningful way,” Dr. Nadelson said.
i-STEM is a coordinated statewide effort by the State Department of Education, Idaho Professional-Technical Education, educators, businesses, and industry to support STEM education in grades K-12. The goal is to provide professional development opportunities that help Idaho’s teachers gain STEM content knowledge and learn activities that increase student interest and achievement in technical subjects. Specifically, i-STEM focuses on inquiry-based problem-solving and inquiry-based learning on topics of interest to Idaho, its industries and their needs.
“Congratulations to the i-STEM team for this well-deserved recognition. Through i-STEM, the education community has partnered with business and industry in an unprecedented way to help nearly 2,000 Idaho teachers as they integrate STEM education into K-12 classrooms. As a result, our students will be better prepared to go onto college and into the workforce and not need remediation once they get there,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said. “I am proud that others across the country – and the world – have recognized this innovative work.”
If you want to learn more about i-STEM, check out our video online.