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Boise State hosts first Materials Camp for Idaho teachers

An Idaho teacher conducts an afforable experiment in the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering at Boise State.
Photo by Jamie Fink

Before the start of a new school year, teachers from across Idaho visited Boise State University for a unique hands-on experience to help better engage their students in STEM activities.

The ASM Materials Camp, hosted by the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering, provided teachers with free, week-long workshops introducing them to materials science and engineering content that make math and core science principles more enticing and relevant for middle and high school students.

“This is the best professional development I’ve ever participated in,” South Hills Middle School teacher Jill Chaffin said. “Boise State was so welcoming and the content-specific material has reenergized my excitement for teaching science.”

The first-of-its-kind camp in Idaho featured 15 teachers from across southern Idaho; representing rural, suburban and urban schools in the Boise, Kamiah, Kuna, Nampa, Twin Falls and Vallivue school districts. Teachers were introduced to the research and cutting-edge equipment housed in the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering at Boise State.  

The ASM Materials Camp is designed to introduce a wide variety of people to the impact that the science and engineering of materials has on everyday life. The ASM Materials Education Foundation provides camps for students of all ages at the K-12 levels, and a separate camp specifically designed for teachers.

“As a third-grade elementary school teacher, this camp has been an eye-opening experience,” said Greenhurst Elementary school teacher Candice Jenkins. “I am excited to show my students awesome experiments and spark their excitement for science and engineering.”

An Idaho teacher poses for a quick photo while conducting an experiment during the ASM Camp.
Photo by Jamie Fink

The camp allowed teachers to participate in low-cost lab experiments, showcasing how materials topics are great motivators for any engineering, technology or science course that students can learn.

Next year’s ASM Materials Camp for Teachers is slated for July 22-26, 2024, in the Micron Center for Materials Research on the Boise State campus. Those interested in participating can contact Maya Duratovic by email at or by phone at (208) 426-5600.