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INL News Release
July 18, 2011

Kortny Rolston, 208-526-0962, kortny.rolston@inl.gov
Misty Benjamin, 208-351-9900, misty.benjamin@inl.gov

Idaho teachers to attend science, technology summer workshops

IDAHO FALLS -- More than 300 Idaho teachers will pan for gold, launch rockets and build robots this month during three expense-paid workshops designed to help them incorporate hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities into their classrooms.

The i-STEM teacher institutes will be held July 18-21 at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene and the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. The third workshop – which is new this year – will be held July 25-27 in Boise.

The institutes are part of the Idaho STEM initiative, a partnership of educators, government and businesses working together to improve science, technology, engineering and math education in the state. Members include Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the state universities, community colleges and technical schools, K-12 school districts, the Idaho State Department of Education, Idaho State Board of Education, Idaho Department of Labor, Idaho Professional Technical Education, Hewlett Packard, Partners for Prosperity, Idaho Community Foundation, Micron, Idaho Power, JP Morgan and others. More information is available at www.sde.idaho.gov/site/istem.

"If the United States is to stay competitive globally and we are to sustain and grow Idaho’s economy, we need to make sure we are educating tomorrow’s highly skilled work force," said Anne Seifert, INL’s STEM education coordinator and executive director of the i-STEM initiative. "To do that, we need to make sure our teachers have the resources they need."

During the four-day workshops, teachers choose a specific topic such as robotics, water systems, gold mining or health care to study. The topical sessions are taught by experts and incorporate hands-on activities teachers can use in their classrooms. Teachers also participate in general sessions in which they learn how to integrate STEM into all the subjects they teach.

Teachers who attend the institutes will receive continuing education credits, resource kits and a Hewlett-Packard notebook computer to keep.

The i-STEM institutes are funded by grants and by industry supporters like Battelle Energy Alliance, the contractor that runs Idaho National Laboratory, Micron, HP, Idaho Power and others.

STEM education is a priority for the U.S. Department of Energy and Battelle Energy Alliance. Since 2006, Battelle has committed more than $2.5 million to support STEM education in Idaho.

INL is one of the DOE's 10 multiprogram national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of the strategic goal areas of DOE: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation's leading center for nuclear energy research and development.

Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

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-INL- 11-020

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