Science Keynote
Dr. Joshua B. Smith


Dr. Joshua B. Smith traces his interest in geology to his sixth birthday, when he received a totally consuming dinosaur book as a gift. This interest grew through his formal education (BS, University of Massachusetts at Amherst; ScM, PhD, University of Pennsylvania) and a field research career that has spanned eight countries, three Canadian Provinces, and 23 states and territories. He has taught Earth Science courses at multiple levels, from K-12 homeschooled students to PhD candidates. Most recently, this has involved NGSS-aligned field projects that he designed for homeschooling students in Maine. He has managed graduate student research teams, led multiweek international field expeditions, and directed a diverse team of science assessment professionals. Dr. Smith has held three-dimensionally-aligned summative item development responsibility for, or has been involved in, contracts with Delaware, Washington, Utah, Hawaii, West Virginia, Idaho, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the US Virgin Islands. These positions have involved facilitating or leading many dozens of educator meetings related to drafting of phenomena and phenomenon-focused test questions, and the development or review of three-dimensional standards-aligned test blueprints and test items. He has also run professional development short courses on both phenomena and the structure of three-dimensional standards.

 highlight of 2021 super conference science presenters

August 5 

Equipping the Middle Level Classroom to Succeed in Science, Math and Social Studies Literacy

Neva Telford ISTA President, Shanie Parkinson ISTA Region 6 Representative

Climate Science Communication and Stories

Augie Gabrielli, Tristan Harris

Explore Your Environment - Field tested hands-on activities for Grades K-8

Michelle Youngquist

Viral Diagnostics Lab: Explore the tools and techniques behind COVID testing

Allison Nishitani


So What's the Deal with Phenomena?

Joshua Smith


 Integrate Art (with the Boise Art Museum)

Drew Williams

Understanding, Creating, and Implementing Success Criteria

Marine Freibrun


Virtual Field Trip: Engaging Students in Evidence-Based Science, Math, and CTE Instruction Incorporating Virtual Reality (VR)

Joe Parlier


Using 21st Century Skills to Learn about the Amazing Periodic Table of Elements! (subtitle: Student Created Periodic Table of Projects)

Adrienne Shilling ISTA Board Member

Advances in CRISPR Gene Therapies and how to teach CRISPR in the classroom

Damon Tighe

Yellowstone, the Nation's Classroom

Matt Ohlen


Virtual Field Trip: Engaging Students in Evidence-Based Science, Math, and CTE Instruction Incorporating Virtual Reality (VR)

Joe Parlier


Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars Program for High School Students

Tanya Elmer, ISTA Board Past President

August 6

Science For SEL: Observation journals to promote self reflection for improved mental health in students

Benjamin Satterwhite

Scratching the Surface of Coding With Kids

Kari Wardle

Modeling in Science: Making Student Thinking Visible

Emily Sarha ISTA Board Member, Rylee DeVito

Integration is Elementary: Planning for Creative and Engaging Ways to Integrate Science and Math with ELA and Social Studies

Sonia Galaviz


Phun with Phet! Using PhET Simulations in Math and Science Classrooms

Melyssa Ferro ISTA Board Member

Arts Integration in your Classroom with Sun Valley Museum of Art

Katelyn Foley

11:30- 12:50

Safer Chemistry: Green Chemistry Replacement Labs

Ben Jarvis, Tanya Elmer ISTA Board Member


Are you a good teacher? You should consider applying for the The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Award

Dr. Cathy Beals, Tanya Elmer ISTA Board Member

Genes in Space: Genetics on the International Space Station, Free Loaner Equipment, Curriculum, and More!

Allison Nishitani


Understanding the Science of Reading: Impact on Instruction!

Sally Brown


Empowering Student Research

MaKayla Guthrie, Merrie Rampy