Idaho STEM Ecosystem
The Idaho STEM Ecosystem (EcosySTEM) is a network of collaborators committed to leveraging shared resources that effectively raise awareness of STEM opportunities and connect all Idahoans to STEM pathways in their community.
The Idaho STEM Ecosystem includes a group of engaged partners from PreK-12 and higher education, out-of-school education, industry, nonprofits, state and local government agencies, and the legislature.
The Ecosystem is a division of Idaho Business for Education (IBE), a nonprofit (501c3) composed of more than 250 business leaders across the state. It seeks to create the highly-educated and skilled workforce Idaho employers need for businesses to thrive in the 21st century. IBE strives to be a driving force in the development of an Idaho education system that results in graduates who have postsecondary credentials and are workforce ready. Visit idahobe.org for more details.
The Idaho STEM Action Center is the Founding Member of the EcosySTEM and provides funds to support the work.
The EcosySTEM currently has three hubs which are delineated by Idaho’s education regions:
The goal of Idaho Exhibition of Ideas (IDX) is to equip students with the practical, technical, and creative skills needed to engage with real-world problems of today and tomorrow.
IDX is a multi-week, team-based digital design and fabrication competition where students learn and practice design, iteration and rapid prototyping skills with 3D printing technology. Student teams brainstorm, develop and prototype an idea for a solution that responds to a challenge theme and incorporates 3D design/printing in some way. IDX culminates in a regional Student Showcase, where teams will present their solution to a panel of judges and compete for prizes.
Chief Science Officers (CSOs) amplify student voice by bringing their peers and community leaders together to ignite new opportunities in STEM. CSOs are students in grades 6 through 12 who are either elected by their peers or selected by their teachers to be a liaison for STEM and innovation in their schools and community. The CSO program, developed by the Arizona SciTech Institute, is currently in 10 states and 4 countries.
The one-day STEM Discovery Workshop introduces a comprehensive framework for developing high-quality, hands-on STEM learning activities for students that support classroom, school, and district learning goals. Designed for teams of educators at any grade level (K-12), the workshop provides opportunities for both individual skill-building and meaningful dialogue within the teaching staff. During the workshop, educator teams collaborate to develop a hands-on STEM learning activity they could implement in the classroom. This is accomplished through a gamified, multi-step process (the “Learning Design Process”) that uses Design Thinking to strike a balance between engaging learners, delivering required content and staying within the educator’s capacity.
The following founding partners helped guide the creation of the Idaho STEM Ecosystem:
- Idaho STEM Action Center
- Career & Technical Education
- State Dept of Education
- Idaho Out-of-School Network
- Idaho Commission for Libraries
- Discovery Center of Idaho
- Micron Foundation
- Idaho National Laboratory
- University of Idaho
- Boise State University-Institute for STEM and Diversity
- Idaho Diversity Network (EPSCoR)
- Galileo STEM Academy