Starts July 1, 2021

Apply to get this program for FREE and receive supplies and a stipend worth $1500!


Deadline is March 5th, 11:59 pm CST

Watch our Info Session
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Learn about FFST and get 3 tools to put your students in the driver's seat of their own learning!

Get our transcurricular, 5-week Snowflake Unit for $200 FREE!

Email 5 other colleagues in Iowa about the Fierce and Fearless STEAM Teacher program, and cc hello@QiLearning.com by Friday, Feb. 26 to get the unit!


This year alone, thousands of amazing educators like you have had to work 2-3 times your normal load just to meet the demands of your job. It's exhaustive, time-consuming, frustrating, and overwhelming!

Even before the pandemic, I drove myself to the ground and nearly quit teaching because of the demanding 50-60 hour work weeks that kept me away from my family and from doing many of the hobbies I loved. 

I've spent years working on ways to make teaching easier while enabling my students to take charge of their own learning. During my dissertation, I developed the very first theory of learning that explains how we learn in the 21st century — with technology, the internet, our new standards, and in this information society.

Now, more than ever, teachers need this support in navigating teaching in different learning spaces during the pandemic and beyond.

That theory is called Interactive Spatial Learning (ISL). ISL sparks curiosity and empowers students to seek out information on their own. They then apply those answers to real world situations, which will save you HOURS of planning every week.

Jennifer and I created the Fierce & Fearless STEAM teacher program (FFST) to share this innovative framework with you so that it can save you time and energy while reconnecting you back to your love of teaching. We invite you to imagine empowering every one of your students with the confidence, skills, and inspiration to be successful in their lives. You can do that! 

We invite you to let your fierce teaching passion loose as we fearlessly take-on the 2021-2022 year together!

Our program will help you focus on teaching the whole child through a transcurricular approach that emphasizes 21st-century skills, social emotional learning, and culturally responsive practices.

All elementary teachers and librarians are welcome, even if you teach art, music, or all subjects. In FFST, you will receive tools and support ALL YEAR LONG to help you ignite the love of learning in all your students.

As a Fierce & Fearless STEAM teacher, you will receive:

  • A year's worth of engaging, standards-aligned STEAM activities
  • Professional development in STEAM teaching methodology, culturally responsive pedagogy, social emotional learning (SEL), online and in-person teaching methodology, and the Next Generation Science Standards
  • Group mentoring and strategy sessions with Yen and Jennifer
  • Professional peer community support
  • Access to the Readorium interactive science text tutoring program
  • Access to StarrMatica's digital science text repository
  • Access to Qi Learning's Resource Library
  • Access to Qi Learning Academy's courses
  • Free admission to STEM Con 2022

Optional: You may enroll to earn 2 Iowa relicensure credits and/or 1 graduate credit from Drake University at your own expense.

Want to take this program for FREE?


Questions about the Iowa STEM Scale-Up Program? Email Sarah Derry at sarah.derry@drake.edu

Questions about Fierce and Fearless? Email Yen Verhoeven at yen@QiLearning.com

Here's a peek at what your students can do when you're in FFST!

Gummy bear catapults...

...DNA from fruit

...and slime studies. Oh my!


FFST teachers will receive 3 monthly synchronous online PD sessions that focus on STEAM teaching methodology, mindset, science content grounded in social emotional learning (SEL) and culturally responsive pedagogy. Teachers apply these methodologies in the classroom using STEAM resources that situate the learning in real-world contexts and phenomena. 

These resources cover the disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) throughout the year.  Our private Facebook PD community provides mentoring, guidance, examples, and inspiration to support teachers’ classroom practices.  We take a transdisciplinary approach to our skills-based PD, which emphasizes 21st Century Skills and their intersections with the NGSS, Common Core Mathematics and Literacy, Social Studies, and Fine Arts standards. Culturally responsive pedagogy and practices within STEAM provides students with interactions that support their academic success.



  • Gain confidence in STEAM through mentoring and a supportive learning community.
  • Incorporate social emotional learning (SEL) that cultivates healthy student identities and engaging learning communities.
  • Practice Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (CRP) to advance educational equity and academic success.
  • Use simple techniques that engage students in any setting.
  • Nurture critical-thinking and meaning-making with engaging, hands-on activities.
  • Create interactive, inquiry-based STEAM environments with low-cost and easily obtainable resources.
  • Integrate ELA into STEAM in a truly transcurricular way to teach 21st century skills.
  • Learn foundational science content to engage your students in robust, standards-aligned STEAM.
  • Use standards-aligned authentic assessments as teaching tools to promote metacognitive development and independence.
Meet Dr.Yen

Dr. Yen Verhoeven is a learning theorist with over twenty years of experience teaching science and education to thousands of people from all ages. She holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction, and is a certified online instructional designer and program evaluator. Dr. Yen is also the interim co-chair for the Iowa Governor's Creativity and Innovation Task Force. Prior to becoming the founder and CEO of Qi Learning Research Group and the STEAM Café, Dr. Yen was a college biotechnology department chair and pharmacy technology co-chair, a high school science teacher, and a lab manager. 

Meet Dr. Yen
In 2018, Qi Learning Research Group received a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - MiSK Foundation Grand Challenges Grant to develop an elementary STEM  professional development platform for teachers. The grant resulted in the development of a free resource library for elementary teachers, STEM workshops, and a supportive teacher network.
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Meet Jennifer
Jennifer Terry, M.A. has been in education for over 25 years. She has worked in multiple roles within the school system as a Pre K-8th grade classroom teacher, an instructional coach for school, and a Culturally Responsive Teaching Coach for districts. In addition to this work, she recently co-authored a Socially Conscious Social Emotional Learning Curriculum that is rooted in Culturally and Linguistically Responsive pedagogy. 
Meet Jennifer
Jennifer also works for the Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning as a school consultant. She created and leads the Summer Institute training for teachers.  

Bundled With Your Membership

Ultimate STEM Challenge Bundle
Teach 52 engaging, NGSS-aligned STEM challenges for the entire year with Feel-Good Teaching. As one of our partners, Feel-Good Teaching creates quality challenges that require simple, inexpensive materials. 

Readorium is an adaptive reading tutor that teaches reading comprehension to students in grades 3 through 8 using science texts that automatically adapts to each child's level as they progress. Kids love the content. They love the games, and they receive a personalized learning experience while teachers can track progress and receive supplemental materials.

StarrMatica Informational Texts
Starrmatica provides informational texts for every K-5 Next Generation Science Standard and the four domains of social studies. These texts can be aligned to your curriculum and your students' lexile levels, and are a great distance learning resource.


  • Receive textbooks that support science and culturally responsive instruction
  • Access to the Qi Learning STEAM resource library
  • FREE admission to STEM Con 2022 and any events hosted by Qi Learning!
  • Attendance at each professional development session (3 hours a month)
  • Monthly interactive responses and peer posts through the private Facebook group (1 hour a month)
  • Monthly journal reflection and evaluation survey (1 hour a month)
  • Participation in the Spring STEM Scale-Up Evaluation

FFST has synchronous sessions on the first three Tuesdays of every month on the following dates. As a recipient of the Scale-Up award, you will need to attend these sessions. However, make-up arrangements can be made in advance (we will be recording each of the sessions).

July* 6, 13, 20

August 3, 10, 17

September 7, 14, 21

October 5, 12, 19

November 2, 9, 16

December 7, 14, 21

January* 4, 11, 18

February 1, 8, 15

March 1, 8, 15

April 5, 12, 19

*Weather and COVID permitting, July and January dates will be swapped for a 5-hour in-person workshop on July 10th and January 29th


Q. I am not a science teacher or a science specialist. I teach art/music/general ed in elementary. Will this program work for me?

YES! In fact we really want teachers from different specialties to take our program because we approach STEAM through a transdisciplinary lens. Your experience will be an amazing asset to our professional FFST community, and we would love to have you! Our program is designed to augment what you already do, and to give you ways to level up your teaching! We can't have STEAM without Art, so we need you! Also, science-phobic and math-phobic people are absolutely welcome and cherished in our program. We're here to support you!

Q. I am not a teacher, but I work with elementary-aged children. Will this program work for me?

If you are looking to create a STEAM program at your site or a makerspace, then this program is for you. Librarians, child care, and after school program coordinators are absolutely welcome! In addition to professional development in STEAM methodologies and content, you will receive oodles of ideas to help bring STEAM to your students. 

Q. I teach homeschool. Will this program work for me?

If you are an adult seeking STEAM for your own children, this is not the program for you. We emphasize collaborative skills — often in small groups. If you are looking for STEAM lessons for families, you can check out our other offerings with our Hands-on-Homeschool program

Q. I can't make some of the dates. Can I still take the program?

Yes, but you need to let us know in advance and make arrangements to make-up the assignments. These sessions will be recorded, and we expect you to watch the recorded sessions and do the required reflection and application. As a STEM Scale-Up educator, you are expected to take the training, because every session is intended to support you in your teaching. Application and reflection are crucial toward helping you implement the program at your school or site. 

Q. I am not a K-5 teacher. Will this program work for me if I'm a librarian/teach middle school/am an after school provider?

While most of the program is geared to support K-5, it will be useful to any educator who teaches elementary aged children. For instance, librarians and after-school providers will find this program very useful as well. This is not, however, geared to homeschool (unless you are teaching several children in a pod). Depending on your situation, this program may also be appropriate for middle school. Please email me at Yen@QiLearning.com if you have any questions. We can talk about whether this program may be right for you.

Q. I'm just looking to check boxes, but I don't really want to change how I teach or think about teaching. Will I be able to be a passive participant in your program?

To put it bluntly, no. This program is for passionate educators who are dedicated to inspiring and changing the lives of the children they teach. FFST is about supporting people who are committed to being change agents and advocates for their students. We're all about walking the walk and doing the things that we expect of our students and of each other. No passive learning here. ☺️

"Thank you so much for encouragement and ideas as we go through this unusual time. I love the idea you had to include/invite parents to the distant learning class too! When we are in our school building we always encourage our parents to get involved so online learning shouldn't be any different! I also believe this toolkit is going to be a tremendous help. Thank you!"
Claudette B.
"This is small, but I like the way Ms. Terry uses the phrase "What questions do you have?" instead of "Does anyone have a question?" To me it gives the message that it's normal for students to have questions and that the teacher wants to hear them rather than giving the impression that students asking questions will be an annoyance or hinderance to the class moving forward." 
Jesse E.
"You have been incredible! Thank you so much for creating this digital learning opportunity for us. It was priceless and I am so grateful for you, the resources you shared, how you shared them...all of it! Much love for sharing your love of CLR with us!"
Corrine S.
"I feel like I learned more about how to actually teach this week than I did in my college training. I truly feel like I am better equipped to teach & communicate with my students." 
Erin P.
"This training made me think deeper into my teaching pedagogy to support more than just the traditional teaching method." 
Maria P.
"WOW! There was so much jammed into this session!!! I am so excited!!! Thank you for all of these amazing resources and accompanying videos."
Kathryn J.
"This was the BEST and MOST effective PD I have had all summer! What a FANTASTIC workshop!! Most engaging and interactive virtual learning I've ever experienced."  
Rita H.
"WOW- these presentations made me feel SO GOOD. It was a revolutionary experience for me to see how effective virtual learning could look and feel." 
Lizzy R.
"I found the presentation by Yen Verhoeven extremely informative and useful. It made me think about how I teach science to my students and the changes I can make to help them become critical thinkers."
Sheila S.
3rd and 4th Grade Teacher
"This truly was the best virtual training I have ever been a part of! Thanks so much for your energy, commitment, creativity, and communication on this!" 
Pat S.
"Dr. Yen's presentation got me excited about teaching science, gave me practical hands-on activities that I can use immediately, and provided me with resources for the future. This seminar was extremely valuable!"
Andrea M.
4th Grade Teacher
"This was perfect. After completing 2 weeks of eLearning and 1 week of Spring Break, I was feeling overwhelmed and a little lost. I decided today was a day to just regroup and set a simple plan for the coming days. This was tremendously helpful with that."
April J.
"Thank you so much! I enjoyed learning from you and it was wonderful to see you in action."  
Kelly R.