Our Story

Growing the STEM was started in 2017 by Lilian Smith and Adeline Smith who wanted to share their love of math with more students in their community.

About Lilian

Lilian Smith is a student at Coeur d’Alene High School. Her interests are running cross country, debate, student council, tennis, and mathematics and academic competitions. In her free time, she enjoys baking, swimming in lake Coeur d' Alene, and working at Abi’s Ice Cream in downtown Coeur d’Alene. She started and leads the Math is Cool team at Fernan STEM Academy and serves as vice president on the board of Growing the STEM, where her focus is on fundraising and planting new programs.


About Adeline

Adeline is currently a student at Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy and attended Sorensen Magnet School of the Arts and Humanities when she helped to start Growing the STEM. Her interests are doing art, singing, writing, dancing, math competitions, volleyball, cello, and swimming. She is also part of the season 5 cast of the theatre advocacy group Girl, Awake. She likes to spend time with her friends playing games and laughing and reading realistic and science fiction. She also likes to go camping and spend time in nature. She had the idea for the Mathletes Mentor program and has served as a Mathletes Mentor and a valuable advisor in the development of the program.  She now serves as a coach of the Bryan Elementary Math is Cool team.

Our Board

Rebecca Smith, Gonzaga University, President

Lilian Smith, Coeur d'Alene High School, Vice President

Caline LyBarger, Deaconess Hospital, Secretary

Magen Schmidt, Neurosurgery and Spine Northwest, Treasurer

Shanna Marshall, Sorensen Magnet School, Education Chair

Chris Pfeiffer, North Idaho College, Marketing Chair

Mat Lanigan, Mountain West Bank, Strategic Planning Chair

Our Core Values

Youth Development. We value kids helping kids, therefore placing students in leadership roles to develop the next generation of leaders and teach young people that they can make a difference. 

Equality. Given the importance of STEM education and known barriers and inequalities in the STEM fields, we seek gender, socioeconomic, and cultural parity among participants in STEM activities.

Fun. We believe that to be successful in expanding student engagement in math and science education, activities must be fun, entertaining, and hands-on.

Hard Work. To make sustainable and impactful change in our community, we need to work diligently and push students to become their best.

Confidence. We believe confidence is a critical component in nurturing students’ interest in and pursuit of math and science fields and work to foster this in our programs.

our founders' experience


Lilian at MathCounts in middle school


Adeline at her first Math is Cool competition in third grade