College of Western Idaho (CWI) welcomed over 150 educators to CWI’s Micron Center for Professional Technical Education this week for the Treasure Valley I-STEM (TViSTEM) event. CWI is one of six hosts state-wide for these annual Idaho-STEM workshops. The conference ran Tuesday-Friday (June 23-26).
TViSTEM focuses on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) instruction for Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers and is a partnership of educators, government agencies, organizations, and private companies working to improve STEM education in the state. I-STEM supporters include Idaho National Laboratory, universities, community colleges, the state Department of Education, Idaho State Board of Education, Hewlett Packard, Intermountain Gas, Micron, and Idaho Power.
The week-long event includes nine different strands that allow teachers to dive deep into STEM specific content through hands-on activities, experiments, and field trips. A few highlights included the session titled “Sparking a Passion”, where participants built hover crafts as well as designed and launched rockets experimenting with various methods to maximize distance and efficiency. Participants from the “Food Safety from Farm to Table” break-out analyzed the amount of bacteria in ground beef and learned the importance of ordering hamburger that is “cooked to temperature” as opposed to a steak, which can be ordered “medium rare”. Field trips included sites such as Micron, Langley Gulch, and the Simplot plant.
TViSTEM requires countless hours of planning and preparation and CWI teams do a significant amount of this work. Many thanks go out to President’s Cabinet, Business Office, Foundation, Security, Facilities, Information Technology, Audio/Visual, Education Department, and all the employees at the Micron Center for making it possible for this event to take place and to run so smoothly. Teachers work hard and make an impact on our future, and it is exciting to watch CWI be a part of thanking, encouraging, and training them to continue their work in integrating STEM into their educational models. Participants in the event noted; “It has been nice to be treated as a professional” and “[I] feel valued and important.”
For more information on the iSTEM initiative, visit www.sde.idaho.gov/site/istem.