Plotting our diverse paths towards science and math learning
Dr. Adam Johnston

Learning is complicated, and I’m convinced that we don’t actually agree upon what it really means. This might be especially true in science and math. Learning takes place in multiple modes along multiple dimensions and with lots of different results, and many of us have experienced some of our best learning experiences outside of traditional classrooms or labs. I want to highlight and honor the role of personal experience and wonder in students’ learning. In particular, how do we take experiences that might occur on a performance stage, a city park, a small kitchen, or a vast desert and incorporate them into STEM learning for all? I’ll bring examples of these and other experiences for us to consider what teaching and learning means and could aspire to, in our classes and beyond.

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Lessons Today Having Life-Enhancing Consequences for Tomorrow: Inviting students to become even better versions of themselves
Dr. Edward Burger

In this thought-provoking presentation, we will explore mindful life lessons that can be offered in all classes at all grade-levels that invite our students to flourish in and beyond their formal education. Dr. Burger will share some practical mindsets that allow students to think, create, and connect ideas more effectively. These practices hold the promise of transforming how our students will understand and make meaning of their lives and their world while also providing the infrastructure for them to thrive far into their future. There will even be a few entertaining opportunities for the audience to try some of these powerful mindsets through some frivolous puzzles having profound implications

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Making Math Fun: Games and Humor in the Math Classroom
Michael Buhler

Have you ever heard that math class is boring? Well it doesn’t have to be. Careful planning and a sense of humor can help make math fun again. And when kids have fun, they are more engaged and feel less alienated from the subject. Come and see what one teacher is going with games and humor in his classroom.

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Equipping Students to Succeed using Literacy Strategies for Science
Neva Telford

Teachers will learn to use multiple strategies that promote the Literacy Standards: SEP (Science and Engineering Practices), WHST (Writing for History, Science and Technology, and RST (Reading for History, Science and Technology). This workshop will teach authentic learning strategies which result in student ability to compare and share information, negotiate meaning and co-construct knowledge. When students discover the relevance, their energy for and attention to the task will soar! Such activities emphasize learning as a function of interactions with others and with the shared tools of the classroom prompting the emergence of pedagogical strategies and models such as example/non example, close read, DBI and culminating in an argumentative essay.

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Let's Demos! 
Maria Ayala-Marshall

Participants will learn the basics of Desmos and create content that they can use Monday morning.

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What is Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, and Dyslexia and What to Do
Kim Zeydel

Come learn about these three learning differences and how to help a student who has one, two, or all three learning differences. This session will consist of some background knowledge, characteristics of these learning differences, simulations, and hands-on activities that one can use in the classroom to help these students. It will have a math focus, but the techniques can be used in all classrooms. All grade levels are welcome.

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Models and simulations can be used effectively in the science classroom to better understand ecological concepts and cause-and-effect relationships in nature. In this hands-on session, discover activities that will give students practice in collecting and interpreting data to better understand their local and global environment and human impacts on ecosystems. Create 3-D representations of global land use, model amounts and sources of fresh water, simulate world population growth trends, and more. The presenter will discuss how to implement these activities as part of broadening students’ understanding of Ecosystems (Life Sciences) and “Earth and Human Activity” (Earth & Space Sciences). He will also share how to use the lessons for integrated math/science instruction. Participants will receive lesson plans and background materials in an electronic format, all matched to Idaho Content Standards.

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Reaching the Science Standards Using Coding 
Brittany Pike & Laurie Salvail

Learn how to reach the three-dimensional science standards in your classroom through hands-on coding with the micro:bit and free online Microsoft MakeCode simulator. Gain personal hands-on experience using a BBC micro:bit to teach the Next Generation Science Standards. Participants will discover how to engage students through phenomenon-based learning that incorporates coding, age-appropriate cyber skills, and the science standards. Come learn how to do simple block-based coding projects and teach problem solving through coding at an age appropriate level with tips and pointers from a presenter who has over 12 years experience in the elementary classroom. CYBER.ORG will provide each participant with access to Science+ and their many resources, which are always free to teachers in the United States. Each shared lesson includes much more than just coding. Students collaborate in teams, engage in critical reflection, develop models, and share their ideas. Engineering Design is also used to make ideas more concrete as students apply what they have learned to solve real-world problems and design solutions. No previous experience is required, but participants are asked to bring a laptop or tablet.

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Teaching Human Ecology with Models and Simulations 
Bryce Mercer

Math Stackers! How to build vocabulary and accountable talk in the K-2 classroom!
Erika Meadows

Active Math Reasoning

Develop mathematical thinkers with Math Stackers! Kids discover the relationships between the properties of math through stacking and comparing our mathemagical blocks. Hands-on learning has never been so fun and engaging. Learn how to develop mathematical language for all students. This session will focus on numeracy, addition, and subtraction strategies.

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Make Time for Science with Project-Based Learning
Terra Tarango

If we treat content areas as silos, we’ll simply never find time for Science. In this session, discover how to create authentic learning experiences that increase engagement, develop critical and creative thinking skills, and connect across all content areas. Be the teacher that transforms everyday lesson plans into memorable learning experiences without spending hours of prep time. Come with a willingness to try something new; leave with project ideas that engage students not only in learning, but in making their world a better place!

Educational Gardening

Participants will be challenged to solve some puzzles while learning simple ways to turn regular lessons and reviews into Escape Room challenges which can be done individually or in groups. Some ideas shared will involve paper and pencil while others will require devices to implement. Ideas shared can be used for different subjects from grades 3 through high school.

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I can't wait for Math! Teaching Algebraic concepts using patterns
Tringle Witt

Learn ways to introduce algebraic ideas and concepts using patterns in a way that engages students and sparks their curiosity for more math learning. Learning through patterns also supports automatic differentiation and provides learners ways to recreate their learning in the future, when others have "forgotten how to do that."

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Escape the Humdrum
Sue Darden

STEM Research

Merrie Rampy & MaKayla Guthrie

Idaho STEM Action Center

This session will identify and provide examples of STEM research options for students grades 6-12. Attendees will take away standards-based materials and specific contact/support information. In addition, attendees will receive materials demonstrating the benefits of student and teacher participation in independent STEM research, including building a culture of excellence and enhancing STEM college and career opportunities. Ongoing support will be available throughout the school year as teachers help their students prepare for presenting their research at one of three Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair-affiliated regional science fairs.

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Teaching Evolution with Engaging Content
Shanie Parkinson

The Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science has created FREE units on evolution to cover middle school standards. The units take students to interactive web pages, online games, puzzles, videos, and more. The variety of assessments contained in the TIES units provide opportunities to help all students succeed. Since it was created in March of 2022, the units have been downloaded over 2,500 times by teachers all over the country and adopted by several school districts. The session provides access to all our free materials, including student response sheets, answer key/rubric, and exam. Teachers will leave the session with a better understanding of evolutionary biology, what the theory of evolution explains, the evidence behind it, and the mechanisms which drive evolution. In addition, teachers will now be connected to a network of science teachers who share resources on social media and offer free monthly webinars by scientists and science authors

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Science Saves! Promoting Science Appreciation
Neva Telford

Science makes lives better. In innumerable ways and across all of humanity, individual lives are longer, healthier, and fuller due to the advances of science. Yet science gets too little credit for its massive contributions to human wellbeing. Our lessons teach students appreciation for science. They include teacher notes with curriculum standards at the end of each presentation, student response sheets, rubrics, and lesson plan documents. It’s all free! The workshop provides participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide rigorous, developmentally appropriate instructional strategies and assesses student progress. Our ScienceSaves lessons highlight different assessment strategies, including data analysis, graphing, and engineering projects. For example, “Science Saves Lives” is a lesson that highlights three examples of how science has saved or improved human lives. Students will work in groups to create their own inventions to save or improve people’s lives. The sky’s the limit in this engaging engineering lesson!

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Tricked into Thinking
Patty Low

Everyday events make us wonder. Some of these events happen every day, some only once in a while. Some events can easily be investigated, some not. However, each of these events provides us the opportunity to THINK. Why do some things float and other sink? What happens when you drop a golf ball from the top of a tower? What is a Lunar Eclipse? How long do they last, how often do they occur? How do dominant and recessive genes impact characteristics? Using simulations allow students to become true scientist. Students can create a variety of trials that test limits, different variable and quickly make adjustments to prove their case. Using online simulations teachers and students can be Tricked into Thinking.

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Solving the Fractions Problem:
From Research to Classroom
Patty Low

Fractions knowledge by grade 5 uniquely predicts success in higher mathematics. Yet, tests show that it’s a struggle for many from grade 3 on. Fortunately, new research is finding instructional strategies that work. Join us to explore how applying an adaptive, game-based technology can help more students succeed.

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Maximizing School Technology Patty Low

Schools and teachers have a wealth of technology at their disposal today. The spread of technology has dramatically changed the classroom like no other educational innovation. Students can, with the click of a few keys, uncover information more quickly, digest that information and present it to their teachers and peers in a way that looks extremely professional. Technology will also allow students to take situations and problems encountered in class and change variables to evaluate the outcome. Online simulations allow students to truly understand predictive models and then critically assess the PROS and CONS related to their outcome.

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What’s in a Word? Upping Your Game in Science Vocabulary Instruction.
Liesel Christensen

Remember those awful, long vocabulary sheets? Ugh. Teaching vocabulary is often boring, time-consuming, and ineffective. But not anymore! Learn how to make it fun and productive in this interactive workshop. Attendees will:


1. Learn an overview of the non-traditional five-steps of vocabulary instruction

2. Participate in vocabulary games/activities.

3. Find out what a morpheme is and get resources for finding lists and meanings.

4. Learn ways to incorporate morphemes into classroom activities and learning throughout the year.

5. Have time to collaborate with other attendees to discuss how they might adapt or apply steps in their own upcoming classes.

6. Have planning time during the session to apply concepts to an upcoming unit of study.


Vocabulary comprehension is important in the NGSS practice of obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. Students must be able to extract meaning from texts and clearly communicate evidence and ideas if they are to participate in authentic science and engage in argumentation (Framework, 2012). This presentation will help teachers make realistic and sustainable changes to their vocabulary instruction and will give teachers tools to prioritize vocabulary instruction in engaging and meaningful ways within their own classrooms.

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Data Nuggets: Using Authentic Data Sets in Science and Math Classrooms
Dr. Melyssa Ferro

After talking to STEM career professionals from a variety of career pathways, it has become obvious that students are leaving our school systems without enough interaction with authentic data sets. Data Nuggets is a great way to incorporate more data into your science or math classroom in the upcoming school year. This resource, developed by scientists at Michigan State University in partnership with educators and the National Science Foundation, has great data sets from real experiments for K-16 classroom use! These data sets come with leveled student worksheets, teacher preparation and background information, and answer keys. Data sets can be searched by content area or research topic and include opportunities for students to make contact with practicing researchers in lots of science fields of study. Get your students involved in STEM careers with some awesome data analysis investigations!

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Phun with PhET
Dr. Melyssa Ferro

Digital simulations are a great way to supplement traditional science and math labs for students to interact with and collect data about in an engaging way.  Check out this session on using PhET simulations from the University of Colorado, Boulder to get some ideas on how to spice up your next unit!  These simulations are available for a wide variety of math and science content topics and have some great lesson plan ideas built into the website.  Many of the simulations are available in different languages and have accessibility features to meet the needs of your students.  This session will end with a make and take opportunity so come to the session with a topic in mind that could benefit from some data collection and you can leave with a lesson plan ready to implement this fall!

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Building Mathematical Communities in High School
Naomi Finnegan

How can we get high school students to see themselves as capable of not only ‘doing’ the math, but valuing and engaging in the reasoning of others? Our lesson study team has been tackling this question and is ready to share the observations and knowledge gained from analyzing interactions with students, as well as the implications for teaching practices that we now use as a result of our research.

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Walking Through the New Science Standards
Andrea Baerwald

The State of Idaho adopted New Science Standards in 2022. What does this mean for Idaho teachers and students? This session will walk participants through the changes that were made to the Idaho Content Standards in Science. The session will include information on how to read and interpret these new 3-Dimensional standards and find resources related to teaching, assessment, and professional development.

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Things are Looking Up - STEM in the Schoolyard
Michelle Youngquist

In this session, we'll explore the local environment through hands-on activities using tools you have readily available. Get to know the brand new Project Learning Tree "Explore Your Environment" K-8 Activity Guide and accompanying NGSS Toolkit, along with other helpful resources. Attendees may choose a free set of 3 activities from the new guide. You'll leave with proven activities that you're eager to use with learners right away.

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Taking Stock of the Malacological Economy - Respiration and DNA
Birgid H Niedenzu

I want to share info about a MJ Murdock Trust research project I did in 2020 and  2021, the Partners in Science program that the Trust sponsored to make this research happen, as well as some of the teaching strategies for scientific inquiry in the classroom. The research concerns metabolic rates in endemic land snails of the Galapagos Islands, and yes, I was able to do field research in the Galapagos (and hope to return to do more). Because of the Partners in Science program, I have taken a different approach to lab investigations, trying to make them fresher and inquiry based. The DNA extraction lab is one of those previous cookbook labs that I have updated.

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Melding of the Minds: Museums' Role in Science Literacy
Stevie Lancaster

In this presentation, explore the many ways that Museums, as community institutions, strive to help educators engage students with cross curricular programs, opportunities, and resources. Dive into more than just field trips and only interacting with artifacts in cases and discover effective ways that students can develop science literacy in real world situations. Learn how students are able to receive a comprehensive Museum experience that fosters creative engagement in the classroom for both science and the humanities and how these two subjects are easily blended together to support each other. During the presentation, you will get a chance to get hands-on with a few informal activities that “meld” science literacy and creative endeavors together so that the students come away with a desire to learn more about the world around them, whether inside or outside of the classroom. Our goal at the Museum of Idaho is to support local teachers in their constant search to enrich the educational life of students and open their eyes to amazing possibilities right here in our local area of Idaho

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Idaho's New Math Standards Walk Through K-5, 6-8, and 9-12
Dr. Catherine Beals

This session will provide K-5 or 6-8 or 9-12 Teachers a walk through the newly adopted Idaho Content Standards for Mathematics and highlight both changes and resources from the SDE to support teachers in implementing the new standards. Teachers will also have an opportunity to discuss the Idaho Instructional Framework for Mathematics in this session and connect it to the new standards.

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Scratching the Surface of Coding With Kids
Kari Wardle

PBS KIDS ScratchJr. is a free coding app specifically designed for children in grades K-5. During this hands-on session, teachers will WATCH, PLAY, EXPLORE, CREATE & SHARE! They will take on the roles of Programmer, Background Designer, Character Designer, Sound Designer and Editor creating projects using their favorite PBS characters. Come learn to code with your favorite PBS characters, and develop curricular connections you can use in your classroom tomorrow

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Mining the Gems of Geometry
April Taylor

Do you want to capitalize on your students’ love of geometry to infuse joy and rich engagement in your mathematical classroom? Do you find it challenging to devote enough time and weight to the elementary geometry standards over the course of the year? “Geometric and spatial thinking are important in and of themselves because they connect mathematics with the physical world… They are also important because they support the development of number and arithmetic concepts and skills.” (Progressions Document for the Common Core State Standards). In this session, we will use our spatial reasoning to mine for a deeper understanding of geometric concepts. We will draw connections between the progression of geometry standards and Van Hiele’s Levels of Geometric Thought. You will walk away with ideas to support the development of students’ spatial reasoning.

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Let’s Engage Students through Phenomena-based Instruction in STEMscopes 
Kenn Heydrick

Come preview our 5E-based science curriculum that is digitally delivered and written for your standards. We will explore phenomenon to show the various types of student engagement in STEMscopes. The focus on constructivist learning in STEMscopes allows students to deepen their understanding about phenomena.

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Teaching students to reason and problem solve is the cornerstone of quality math instruction. This session will highlight several engaging strategies such as Three Reads, Numberless Word Problems, and more that will provide multiple entry points for all students to engage in the math and ignite a passion for problem solving in your classroom!

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Strategies to Support English Language Learners in the Science Classroom 
Kenn Heydrick

Engage in strategies to help your EL population make sense of science concepts and apply their science knowledge to real-world applications. In this session, we will explore a variety of strategies for differentiating instruction so that ELs within the classroom can build their ability to communicate science concepts effectively.

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Teaching Problem Solving to ALL Students
Kenn Heydrick

During this session, we’ll explore a middle school science unit that invites 6th - 8th grade student teams to use evidence and real-world data to program a scientific simulation that represents a coral reef ecosystem under threat. The goal for students is to effectively communicate to stakeholders how various threats affect the health of a coral reef and how those threats may be mitigated. During the unit, students also gain first-hand experience with sequences, loops, and conditionals as they write code to program underwater robots to remove threats in variable conditions. Student teams work together to evaluate their code by testing their executed code against expected outcomes and real-world data.

Participants of this session will experience each activity as a student would, using hands-on materials and digital simulations. Throughout the session, participants will collaborate in small groups, analyzing each activity’s level of rigor, relevance, engagement, and ability to effectively deliver three-dimensional learning.

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Expanding our idea of models
Chris Stoker

When asked to think about modeling standards in science, students and teachers often think of creating physical models that mimic real-life objects. However, modeling can include many other things such as graphical models, mathematical model, computational models, and mental models. The concept of a mental model can be a powerful way to frame learning; students are usign data and experiences in the classroom to build better mental models of how the nature works. They are not simply absorbing information, but they are rewiring their brains to understand the world differently. This strategy also makes it much easier to deal with misconceptions in science as it becomes the mental model that is incorrect and not the student.

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What do Computer Science, Coding, and Coral Reefs have in common?Francis Ogata

Soaring Your STEM Programs to Greater Heights with Funding from Idaho STEM Action Center, Foundations and Private Donors

You have great plans for your STEM programs, but you are looking for additional funding. This presentation will describe grants available from Idaho STEM Action Center, Idaho STEM EcosySTEM, and local foundations and where to find information on additional educator grant opportunities. Included in the presentation will be tips for how to write grant applications and budgets to improve your chances of being awarded a grant and what you need to do when you receive a grant. The presentation will include information on the Idaho STEM EcosySTEM which can build your network of STEM partners in education, industry, and government. The presentation will also contain information regarding private donors and how they can help fund your STEM programs

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Assessment Matters: Building 3D Science Assessments
Sara Tolman & Rylee DiVeto

Idaho adopted new science standards. Now, we need new science assessments! Instead of testing students on their ability to memorize facts, we want to assess students on their ability to DO science. Join your State Science Coaches as they help uncover the "why" and "how" of building and using 3D assessment aligned to 3D standards. Be ready to engage in conversation, hands-on learning, and ideas for practical ways to create and integrate 3D assessment into your classroom!

STEMazing Funding and Professional Development Opportunities
Erica Compton & Kaitlin Maguire

You have great plans for your STEM programs, but you are looking for additional funding. This presentation will describe grants available from Idaho STEM Action Center, Idaho STEM EcosySTEM, and local foundations and where to find information on additional educator grant opportunities. Included in the presentation will be tips for how to write grant applications and budgets to improve your chances of being awarded a grant and what you need to do when you receive a grant. The presentation will include information on the Idaho STEM EcosySTEM which can build your network of STEM partners in education, industry, and government. The presentation will also contain information regarding private donors and how they can help fund your STEM programs.


Imagine Math and the Idaho Mathematics Instructional Framework
Angelica Manthei

The State Department of Education has partnered with Imagine Learning to support Idaho students from kindergarten through geometry. Imagine Math combines a rich curriculum with fun, adaptive digital experiences to help students be confident math learners. Age-appropriate learning environments, real-time scaffolding, personalized learning pathways, and built-in motivational systems make Imagine Math unparalleled in student engagement. Come see these features and learn how this unique program can support the Idaho Mathematics Instructional Framework.


Imagine Edgenuity Math: Solutions for Online 6th-12th Grade Curriculum
Eric Tuck

The State Department of Education has partnered with Imagine Learning to support Idaho math students in grades 6-12 Imagine Edgenuity’s Courseware!


Imagine Edgenuity draws upon decades of pedagogical and instructional research and insights from industry experts and educators to deliver effective and engaging instructional content that empowers each student to take an active role in their learning.