The STEM Teacher Externships program aims to help teachers answer that age-old question, "When will I ever use this?"

During the summer, STEM educators work side-by-side with knowledgeable and skilled industry employees who help bring the classroom curriculum to life. STEM Teacher Externships provide educators with the exposure to answer questions about real-world application, prepare students for careers they may have in the future and improve educational experiences.

“The experience I've had here will definitely change how I approach certain topics because I've seen the kinds of skills that the people who work here at different levels need to have. I will be able to give my students an idea of the kind of future employment they can expect to have if they only aspire to certain levels of education and training.” -Doug Darland, Muscatine High School, 2011 Iowa STEM Teacher Extern – Monsanto (Muscatine)

Goals

  • Create lasting partnerships between workplaces and local schools.
  • Connect Teacher Extern experience with STEM content and 21st century skills identified in the Iowa Core.
  • Give students real-world career information about career possibilities right here in Iowa.
  • Give teachers the opportunity to see and use the latest real-world applications STEM disciplines in a local business or industry.

STEM Teacher Externships are full-time, six-week temporary summer positions in local businesses and agencies for licensed, secondary teachers of mathematics, science and/or technology. STEM Teachers earn a stipend of up to $5,000 (including two paid professional development days), as well as three graduate credits through the University of Northern Iowa’s Continuing Education program.

Teachers

See the STEM Teacher Externship Application information.

Workplace Hosts

Learn about becoming an Externship Workplace Host.

Resources

Iowa STEM Teacher Externships Brochure

Testimonials

Rosenboom and Interstates

Robbie Cundy, mathematics teacher at Sioux Center High School, shares about his experience working with data at Rosenboom and Interstates as part of the STEM Teacher Externships Program.

Iowa DNR, State Hygienic Lab and University of Iowa Leddy Research Lab

Marc Benedict, instructional coach at Graettinger-Terril and Ruthven-Ayrshire Community School Districts, provides insite into what he gained through STEM Teacher Externships experiences with Iowa Department of Natural Resources, State Hygienic Lakeside Laboratory and The University of Iowa Leddy Research Laboratory.

Rosenboom Machine and Tooling, Iowa DNR and GKN

Rob Cunningham, mathematics and computer science teacher at Spirit Lake High School, shares about his experience as a STEM Teacher Extern at Rosenboom Machine and Tooling, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and GKN.

Iowa STEM Teacher Externships Program: Des Moines Public Works Forestry Division

Olivia Palmer, first-year science teacher at Christ the King in Des Moines, and Taylor Hubbard, a science teacher at Ankeny High School, talk about their Teacher Externships experience working with the Emerald Ash Borer and creating a preventative plan for residents in the Des Moines area.

Iowa STEM Teacher Externships Program: Central Iowa Healthcare

Erin Weatherly, a life science teacher at Marshalltown High School, discusses how her role as a teacher has contributed significantly to Central Iowa Healthcare and how her experience there has opened her eyes to new technology and methods high in STEM that have dramatically changed since she first started teaching.

Iowa STEM Teacher Externships Program: Monsanto

Nick Scheetz, science teacher at Washington High School, and Bret Woodward, mathematics teacher at Muscatine High School—East Campus, took the summer to explore the behind-the-scenes world of Monsanto to learn more about career opportunities in their communities that will interest a broad variety of students who have different passions beyond high school.