McCall Idaho Payette Lake morning

Summer Institute

The MOSS Teacher Institute is full for summer 2015. Thank you for your interest!

 The University of Idaho's award winning McCall Outdoor Science School is seeking teachers to participate in our Summer Teacher Institute. Teachers will learn about Adventure Learning (AL) as a pedagogical and curricular framework, will explore concepts related to project/problem-based learning (PBL), and will use AL and PBL in the workshop as a framework to learn about water resources in a changing climate and the development of biofuels from wood product waste.

Goals of the Teacher Institute:

  • To give teachers a chance to experience field science research, tools and technology and learn about current projects being conducted in Idaho
  • To explore issues related to biofuels production
  • To form a community of educators who can support each other in implementing new materials in the classroom


Target audience:      

Jr. High and High School teachers from all disciplines

Arrival date and time:

Plan to arrive and check-in by 5:00 PM on Monday, June 22, 2015

Departure date and time:    

Plan to depart around 2:00 PM on Friday, June 26.  


Cost of registration is FREE!  Food, lodging and all institute expenses are covered through a grant from the USDA.    

Continuing Ed credits:          

You may receive up to 2 credits through the University of Idaho for your participation in the Teacher Institute.   


Food and lodging are provided at our Field Campus in McCall.  Plan on sharing a bunkhouse with 2-3 other people of the same gender.  


A $600 stipend will be paid to you for your participation.  Expectations for this workshop include participating in an online forum (to be shared by early June) to get familiar with concepts before your arrival, full participation in all sessions at the workshop, completion of evaluation forms and focus groups, participation in a follow up survey and recruitment of 1 or 2 colleagues who will “follow” our learning expedition online by joining the blog that will be created as part of the workshop. 


Email Karla Bradley Eitel or call 888-634-3918.


Adventure Learning is a hybrid online and face-to-face approach to teaching and learning that has an Adventure team (in our case, a group of teachers) explore an issue in a particular place.  As they learn and explore, they use the internet as a medium to connect to other students, teachers, and experts through synchronized interactions (e.g. video chats over the Skype platform) and asynchronous postings of artifacts such as journal entries, videos, photographs and maps.  AL has been found to motivate students (Moos & Honkomp, 2011) and inspire meaningful collaborations and inquiries for students and teachers (Doering & Veletsianos, 2008; Veletsianos & Doering, 2010).

Problem-based Learning is an inquiry-based approach to learning that has students work in small groups to solve real-world problems.  Students identify what they know about the subject or problem, and what they don’t know and need to find out.  They work in small groups to conduct primary and secondary research and come up with potential solutions that they communicate to an audience of peers and experts.

Adventure Learning and Problem-based Learning can be powerful ways to motivate students to take ownership of their own learning.  In order to fully explore these pedagogical frameworks, we will walk teachers through a problem-based learning activity and will use Adventure Learning as a means of curriculum development and a mode for communicating with peers, experts, and colleagues.  

This workshop will explore concepts and questions related to bioenergy. Specifically, we’ll be examining a biofuel project currently being developed in the Pacific Northwest. The Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA) is a USDA funded collaboration between Washington State University, the University of Idaho, the University of Washington and several other public and private entities. The goal is to develop a supply and production chain to produce aviation biofuel and valuable co-products from wood waste, and to evaluate if this system will be feasible from economic, social and environmental perspectives.