BOZEMAN — An annual professional development conference for science teachers will be hosted virtually Aug. 9-11 by the Science Math Resource Center in Montana State University’s College of Education, Health and Human Development and School Services of Montana. The Science Summer Institute is designed for science, technology, engineering and math teachers of all grade levels, with opportunities to attend roundtable sessions specifically for elementary, middle and high school teachers.

Sessions will be interactive and take place in real time, covering topics such as assessment, cultural responsiveness and new educational technologies. Both a session and a panel will focus on Montana’s new computer science standards, which are being implemented this summer. Teachers can earn up to 16 Office of Public Instruction renewal units.

Montana State University alum Jason Baldes. - MSU photo by Kelly Gorham
Montana State University alum Jason Baldes. - MSU photo by Kelly Gorham

Keynote speakers are MSU alumnus Jason Baldes, who will speak about his role in the return of buffalo to tribal lands, and technology coordinator Kyle Calderwood, who will speak about his school district’s experiences with educational technologies such as Skype, merge cubes, microbits and Minecraft. Baldes, who lives in Wyoming, is the tribal buffalo coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation’s Tribal Partnerships Program, Region 1 director of the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council and buffalo representative for the Eastern Shoshone Tribe. Baldes has both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in land resources and environmental sciences from MSU. Calderwood is technology coordinator at Tuckerton Elementary School in Tuckerton, New Jersey, and has presented to teachers across the country on how to integrate gaming into their classrooms.

In addition, a panel called “MSU Research in Action” will feature cutting-edge STEM research projects presented by MSU faculty.

The conference will include networking opportunities, exhibitors, raffle prizes and a virtual happy hour co-hosted by the Montana Science Center and featuring “The Science of Whiskey: From Grains to Glass” demonstration.

Educators and administrators from Montana and other states are welcome to attend, as are informal and home school educators, university students and professionals from STEM education organizations. Registration is $45 for all three days, with discounts for students, members of the Montana Science Teachers Association, and employees of School Services of Montana member school districts. To learn more and register, visit

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