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ISU CS Serves

Community Engagement and Impact is one of the four core themes that form the mission of Idaho State University: "As an integral component of the community, Idaho State University develops partnerships and affiliations through the exchange of knowledge, resources, research, and expertise. Through a diverse university staff, faculty, and student body, ISU provides cultural, social, economic and other opportunities to enrich the lives of citizens."

Author Barbara Jacoby defines service-learning as "a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities for reflection designed to achieve desired learning outcomes".

ISU CS Service in the News

STEM/CS-Related Service Opportunities

  • Prepare and deliver a presentation (e.g., Why CS? or interactive machine learning) to teach/motivate STEM/CS to youth and/or parents
  • Regularly attend a high school class to help kids learn how to program
  • Regularly attend an elementary school class to help kids learn how to type
  • In collaboration with a CS faculty member, design a CS mentoring program for ISU CS students and enlist students to volunteer as mentors
  • Provide tutoring/mentoring to a student in computer science
  • Direct or assist with ISU CS Outreach events with LEGO Robots
  • Arrange to teach CS to women at the Women's Correctional Facility (Mandatory training schedule)
  • Do research into specific needs/opportunities in the community or on campus. Present your findings.
  • Write a letter to a civic leader expressing your educated thoughts about support and needs for CS in Southeast Idaho
  • Develop a simple program or website to help a non-profit organization
  • With faculty approval, collaborate to organize a CS social event for current and future students (CS Movie Nights, Spring/Fall Socials, game nights, service events)
  • Volunteer for department recruiting events (e.g., majors fairs, Experience ISU, Bengal Visit Day) to share information about CS with prospective ISU students
  • Helping organize or execute a hackathon (e.g., Idahack) or a similar event
  • Serve as a leader in the ISU CS ACM organization
  • Provide service in helping organize/host ACM activities
  • Consider asset-based community development (ABCD), acting to coordinate/leverage assets/indivuals that already exist in the community
  • Create/lead a new project to provide service opportunities for future students and others
  • Check out for ideas
  • Create a chapter of FreeGeek in Pocatello to provide used computers to SE Idahoans
  • Help design a website or mobile app for an ISU entity (e.g., Bengal Newspaper)
  • Search around in other departments and ISU organizations for opportunities
  • Help United Way with helping
    • update software and create a unified experience across computers
    • set up new machines
    • convert from Outlook to Gmail
  • Help Idaho Museum of Natural History develop and exhibit VR content

Service Audiences

The following represent potential STEM/CS-related service opportunities in the Southeast Idaho region. Students should consult with an ISU CS faculty member regarding opportunities of interest. Students may consider service opportunities among a variety of existing audiences including (but not limited to):

  • Elementary, Middle, High Schools (classes, assemblies, clubs)
    • Chantel Reddish, Century HS CS Teacher ( (Pocatello)
    • Ty Pearson, Highland HS CS Teacher ( (Pocatello)
    • Douglas Huseby, Grace Lutheran HS CS Teacher (
    • Chad Harris, Bingham Academy HS CS Teacher ( (Blackfoot)
    • Rik Dummar, Madison HS CS Teacher ( (Rexburg)
    • Matt Alexander, HayWire Robotics ( (Pocatello)
    • Spencer Christiansen, Pocatello HS Business Tech Teacher ( (Pocatello)
    • Lisa Dalton, American Heritage Charter School Grades 5-8 Business/Tech Teacher, ( (Idaho Falls)
    • Mark Sorensen, Connor Academy K-8 ( (Chubbuck)
    • Virginia Ashcroft, Gem Prep (K-10) STEM club coordinator, 208-709-9594 STEM (Pocatello)
    • Julie Tillitt, Hillcrest High School Coding Team, ( (Ammon)
    • Donaven Haderlie, Cyber Patriot Competition Middle and HS Coach, (
  • Community youth groups (e.g., 4H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts)
    • Steven Holm, 4H Committee member SE Idaho,, (208) 604-2194
    • Mattie Honea, the Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Council STEM Program Specialist,, (208) 377-2011 ext. 7257
    • Pat Pyke, CEO of Girl Scouts Silver Sage in Idaho Falls, (208) 810-7249
    • Roechele Parsons, membership coordinator for troop and volunteer support,, (208) 810-7620
  • After school clubs
    • Roy Angle, Livewire robotics (
  • Library events
  • Parent groups and PTAs
  • Civic leaders
  • Senior citizens and living centers
  • People with Learning Disabilities
    • Aspire Human Services
  • Non-profit organizations
    • Felice Otero, United Way (
    • Religious organizations
  • Idaho State Veterans Home
  • Fort Hall Reservation
  • Church youth groups
  • Pocatello Women's Correctional Clinic
    • Caralee Dille, Education Program Coordinator (
  • ISU Programs
    • Program Faculty
    • Miriam Dance, CoSE Director of Public Relations (
    • Logan Ramsey, Editor-in-Chief at The Bengal Newspaper (
    • Austin Betzer, ISU Hackathon organizer (
    • Holly Kartchner, Early College Program Coordinator, (
    • Sue Akersten, Senior Lecturer at Intensive English Institute,, (208) 282-3662
    • Virginia Jones, Idaho Museum of Natural History,, 208.282.2195
  • Underrepresented groups in CS and STEM
    • Women (e.g., check out Girls Go CyberStart)
    • First-generation college students
    • African American, Hispanic, Native American populations
  • Broader causes
    • Creating a culture of kindness
    • Caring for the environment
    • Building inter-generational relationships
    • Empowering senior citizens

Students should demonstrate professional and ethical conduct in their service. In situations where youth are involved, students should make arrangements for service opportunities with parents and/or adult supervisors.

Student Experiences

"I don’t have a lot of experience with mentoring so it was a little scary for me starting out but I quickly realized I had the skills and ability to help foster a new programmer’s aptitudes." -Clint Brown

"One of the things that jumped out to me... was that there was not a single girl in either one of the CS classes offered at _______ High School... It reminded me of how I wasn’t exposed to CS until I arrived at ISU, and if I had to do another service-learning project, I would want to... reach out to young girls in the community or something that would encourage girls to embrace STEM... I learned from this project... that I have come so far from my freshman year. Sometimes I feel lost in this major or that don’t know as much as my peers. Helping with an introductory course made me realize that I’ve learned so much that I am at the point where I can actually help teach others." -Delaney Moore

"This scenario and the ISU events helped me to learn more about the path I want to take with my career." -Nathan Taylor

"I worked with my own personal community, and that made me realize there were enormous amount of people who would love and appreciate this type of help." -Brad Tyler