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K-5th Grade STEM Camp

Kindergarten through 5th-grade students are invited to join the Idaho State University College of Education for a FREE, hands-on STEM summer camp!

This camp offers science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) project-based learning activities with a focus on authentic, hands-on experiences that will allow campers to experience the engineering design process using a variety of hands-on materials. Campers will explore how STEM can be used to propose solutions to real-world problems. Summer camp funding was provided by the Idaho STEM Action Center. (NOTE: Camp is subject to ISU and State of Idaho health and safety guidance during that time frame). 


  1. Inspire young children to study STEM fields and pursue STEM careers in the future.
  2. Develop an early understanding and appreciation of engineering design principles.
  3. Use hands-on materials to explore how science, technology, engineering, math and the arts come together to help solve real world problems.
  4. Allow participants with special needs opportunities to increase their engagement, success, and learning in STEM subjects and activities. 

Daily Schedule

8-9:00 a.m.   Check-In and registration at the Rendezvous Building

9:00 a.m.       Session opens: Makerspace Safety Guidelines, Lesson, and Hands-On Application 

11:30 a.m.     Lunch 

12:30 p.m.     Makerspace Lab Hands-On Open Exploration or Field Trip

1:40 p.m.       Reflection and Sharing 

2:00 p.m.       Parent Pick-Up

Drop-Off, Directions, and Campus Map

  • Drop-off Location: Please reference the Campus Parking Map for K-5 STEM Camp and park in the College of Technology, Trade and Technology T&T lot or the parking lot across from the Eli M. Oboler Library. You can then cross the street to the Rendezvous Building where this event will be held. Please look for College of Education representatives who will be wearing ISU t-shirts to help with directions.
  • ISU Campus Map

Invasive Plants in Idaho

In this activity, students will learn to analyze and interpret data about invasive plants (e.g., Giant Hogweed, Turkish Thistle, Yellow Hawkweed) in Idaho. Using mathematics, students will then predict which plant will have more growth based on their results and learn how invasive plants invade areas in Idaho.

Bugs and Biomes

In this activity, students will use their creativity, problem-solving, and engineering mindsets to design and construct mini bug habitats. Understanding their insects' various needs and constraints, students will have access to hands-on materials to refine and improve their habitats with the goal of helping their insects grow and thrive.

Bacteria! It’s Everywhere?

In this activity, students will play the role of biochemical engineers and investigate what causes them to become sick during the school year. Students will test classroom lab samples for bacteria and have the opportunity to learn from an expert about healthcare protocols that help to minimize the spread of germs.

Sorting Like a Computer 

In this activity, students will have the chance to sort like a computer by using hands-on applications that help them to recognize patterns, sequences, abstracts, decomposition, etc. and be given the opportunity to see a supercomputer (or high performance computing system) in action.Students will learn from a computer science expert from Idaho State University about the importance of computers and their smart sorting techniques.

Build a Better Bean Stock

In this activity, students will design and create a better bean stock that will help Jack get away from the Giant as fast as possible. Putting on their engineering caps, students will have the opportunity to brainstorm, design, create, test, and make improvements to models with the goal of constructing the most efficient bean stock for Jack.

Do different colors absorb heat differently?

In this activity, students will test whether the color of a material affects how much heat the material absorbs. Designing containers made of various colored paper (white, yellow, red, black, etc.), students will place ice cubes in each container and leave them in the sun to melt.  Thinking like a scientist, students will make predictions, record observations, and study the effect of color and heat absorption. 

Credits for STEM Ideas and Funding 

Teach Engineering Ignite STEM Learning in K12 available at: https://www.teachengineering.org/

Masarwa, B., Hel-Or, H., & Levy, S. T. (2023). Kindergarten Children’s Learning of Computational Thinking With the “Sorting Like a Computer” Learning Unit. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 1-24.