Many Muscatine students are learning how STEM learning connects to local careers, thanks to last summer’s STEM Teacher Externships Program. Six teachers from four schools in the Muscatine school district took part in the six-week program this past summer. Eric Yerington, teacher at McKinley Elementary School completed an Externship at Bayer where he modified a testing method to make compounds more efficiently, which could potentially save the company many hours and dollars during the course of a year.
“The entire Externships Program is a win for everyone,” said Yerington. “The host sites get an extra pair of hands and help with projects that they may not have time for, the extern gets to learn new things and have new experiences, the students get to learn from the experiences of the extern and so much more. Through the Externship I have been placed outside of my comfort zone sometimes; I’ve been stretched beyond what I thought I could do; I’ve learned so many new things; and I’ve also had a ton of fun.”
The Externships Program creates lasting partnerships between workplaces and local schools through which teachers can connect workplace experiences with STEM content and 21st century skills. Externs are better equipped to provide students with information about career possibilities in Iowa by applying real-world applications of STEM disciplines in a local business or industry.
The STEM Council is currently seeking places of work interested in hosting a teacher extern for the summer of 2024. To learn more, visit iowastem.org/externships.