Work-based learning offers valuable experience for today’s students to gain knowledge and training for future workforce opportunities. For teachers too, the STEM Teacher Externship Program helps connect classrooms to careers through the immersion of STEM educators in workplace settings for six weeks in the summer.
Ashley Mitchell, a 2019 Teacher Extern and Mathematics Teacher at St. Theresa Catholic School in Des Moines, said, “Students will not know what types of jobs are out there if we are not putting in effort to explain to them what they are. We should also be making an effort to show our students that what we are teaching can be seen in different career fields.”
Businesses and other workplaces that host teacher-externs recognize the value of the experience as well. The majority of 2019 extern employer-hosts monetized the value of the contributions of their extern between $2,500 - $10,000.
Results from the 2019 externship survey indicated that the most valued outcomes for externship host employers were:
- Getting the word out into the community about their workplace.
- Increasing interest in STEM in the future workforce.
- Establishing a school-business partnership.
- Gaining experience for the teacher extern and the workplace relevancy brought to the classroom.
The STEM Council is currently seeking interested workplace hosts for summer 2020. To express interest, please visit https://iowastem.gov/externships-host-commitment. For more information about the Teacher Externships Program, visit https://iowastem.gov/externships.