STEM News Splash

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Office of Public Instruction



STEM News Splash

Indian Education for All Best Practices Conference

IEFA OPI page photo


Registration is now open!

The Montana Office of Public Instruction’s Indian Education for All Unit is excited to announce our virtual IEFA Best Practices Conference May 15 and 16.  Each day will offer a keynote address from a high-profile Indigenous leader, followed by a 60- to 70-minute interactive presentation by an IEFA expert(s) and selected from a short list of offerings.  The event will most likely be offered through Zoom, but other platforms will be considered for logistical and interactive enhancement.  Some presentations will be offered on both days to increase availability of opportunity. The conference will focus on the Essential Understandings, tribal resiliency, and honoring the accomplishments and perspectives of Montana’s first peoples. This event will be provided FREE of charge. Please contact Joan Franke at 444-3694 or with any questions.   


EPA Award Programs for Teachers and Students

Keeping Cave YouTube video opening

The President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) recognizes outstanding environmental stewardship projects from Kindergarten through 12th grade by promoting environmental awareness and encouraging community involvement. Learn more at the  President's Environmental Youth Award site. 

The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE) recognizes outstanding K-12 grade educators who integrate environmental, place-based experiential learning into school curricula and school facility management across the country. The White House Council on Environmental Quality, in partnership with the EPA, administers the PIAEE awards program.  Learn more at the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators site.

Applications for both awards programs are due no later than April 30, 2021.

Thinkalong: Free Resources

Brain image

Help your students use critical thinking in science.

Using trusted source materials from PBS, NPR and local public media stations, Thinkalong is a free program that helps students think critically about media, develop informed opinions, and practice respectful, civil discourse.  

MFPE Educators Conference

October 21-22, 2021

This conference will be hybrid, virtual and face to face in Great Falls, Montana

Please consider sharing your expertise!  Application deadline to present is April 30, 2021.

Bring Glacier National Park to Your Classroom!

Glacier National Park Conservancy Logo

Bring Glacier National Park to your classroom! Sign up for a fun, interactive, and curriculum-based virtual program led by one of our Education Rangers.  They are offering a variety of Distance Learning programs geared toward K-12th grade students, including wildlife, geology, habitats, or simply talking to a ranger. Visit the website to learn more about Glacier’s Distance Learning program and to register. They have live distance learning programs with K-12 classes through May

Butterfly House Virtual Classroom Learning

Butterfly house presenting to a Kindergarten classroom

Message from the Butterfly House,

"The Missoula Butterfly House & Insectarium believes deeply that regardless of where you live, or how your school year is unfolding, you should have access to engaging, powerful educational opportunities. With that belief in mind, they have developed an exciting set of programs available to anyone with an internet connection and webcam. There is still space available to sign up for this spring but don't delay, spots are filling up quickly! All virtual field trips from MBHI are 1 hour long (45 minutes for Kindergarten), can be taught via Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams, feature live Bug Ambassadors, support MT state science standards, are taught live, and are fully interactive."

Information and sign up available at the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium.

Grizzly Bear Conservation and Management Class

Grizzly Bear Conservation and Management Class for Science Teachers

If you feel it is safe to attend in person, learn about Grizzly Bears - adaptations, ecology, conservation efforts, management strategies, and living safely in bear country:

  • Tuesday, June 29, 2pm - Thursday, July 1, 2pm
  • Earn 20 MT OPI Renewal Units
  • Cost:  $60
  • Jack Creek is located between Big Sky and Ennis, MT
  • Discuss grizzly conservation and management with federal and state grizzly bear biologists
  • Work with bear biologists to develop materials for your classroom
  • Answer the question:  "Can grizzlies and humans coexist in the lower 48 states?"

Please contact Robin Hompesch ( for details on the course content, and contact Abi King ( for any questions about registration, the venue, meals, etc.  Registration is now open.

Celebrate Earth Day!

Earth Day Image of Tree-Mood

Earth Day Resources:

Rural Libraries Opportunity to Advance Learning In STEM Digitally

The Rural Engagement to Advance Learning In STEM Digitally (REALISD) in School Libraries will provide an online professional development workshop for school librarians working in rural areas across the United States! The workshops will provide school librarians the knowledge, skills, and abilities to support STEM education efforts in their school through digital tools and resources.

The summer workshop will be an interactive virtual event that will be held in late July 2021. The workshop will be followed by an online module in the Fall in which participants will work with other participants and project personnel to explore further topics on supporting STEM efforts and to ultimately create a final STEM in Practice Plan for their local school.

By participating in this program, participants will earn three hours of graduate course credit, with all tuition and fees paid for by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the federal agency supporting the REALISD Program. If selected as a participant, all other expenses for participating will be fully funded by the REALISD Program.

We invite you to apply for this program at the REALISD website by May 31, 2021!

Questions?  Email

Students Reach out to Educators for Climate Change Education

Eugene, Oregon students reach out to the Council of State Science Supervisors to encourage more climate change education for all grade levels.  

This is one video of their request to the Oregon State Education Department.

Action on Climate Change from students is not new to Montana.  In 2019, Missoula students wanted their voices to be heard; hear what they had to say in these interviews from NPR.

Science Resources:

Articles, Webinars, and News

old newspaper pixabay


     Education Commission

NEWS Resources

Calendar of Events & Opportunities

Keep updated with new opportunities, professional development, and science resources at the Montana OPI's Science Page.  


This message was sent by Michelle McCarthy, Science Instructional Coordinator.  You can reach Michelle by email at or by calling (406) 444-3537 or (406) 860-6619 (cell).  If you want to share out this subscription or unsubscribe you can change your email subscription status.

The OPI is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation, require an alternate format, or have questions concerning accessibility, contact the OPI ADA Coordinator, 406-444-3161,, TTY 406-444-0235.