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The GW Teachers in Industry Project (GW TIP) is an initiative to provide middle and high school core content teachers the opportunity to experience firsthand the work environment for which they are preparing their students. Externship experiences at top regional businesses allow teachers in the English, math, science, social studies and CTE content areas to become aware of the core knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the STEM-focused 21st century workforce.
The goals of the program are to:
- Bridge the gap between ‘academic’ preparation (what is taught) and ‘professional’ development (what is needed) for participation in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics/STEM workforce of the future.
- Provide insights into the demands and challenges of the 21st century work environment.
- Highlight the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary for our the future STEM workforce.
- Foster education and business partnerships to enrich the classroom content.
To achieve these goals, teachers spend the last three weeks in July participating in several externships in which they shadow employees at local STEM businesses to discover the 21st Century knowledge and skills their students will ultimately employ when they enter the workforce. The capstone of the externship is the development of educational transfer plans. Working with content area peers, the teachers identify the key knowledge, skills, and competencies they experienced in their externships and determine how to incorporate this into their classrooms. Read more about teacher's classroom connections.
Teachers in grades 6-12 are assigned to interdisciplinary teams of 3-5 members (either middle or high school). As teams, they visit their externship sites to shadow employees and participate in company activities. Past experiences include the FAA tower at Dulles Airport, seeing CAD drawings brought to life through rapid prototype printing (3-D nylon), discovering security issues in identification management on the battlefield, learning about the toxicology of wine making, understanding renewable energy product development, and determining the impact of information technology on the healthcare industry.
Participating teachers commit to spending three weeks in July from 8:30-5:00 daily. Their schedule is as follows: