Program Suspended, Not Accepting Applications

Please note: We are not accepting applications at this time. The Teachers in Industry Program ended in 2016 due to administrative and funding changes.


Teachers in Industry at the airport control tower

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:



A Teacher's Experience

“This program has forever changed the way I teach.”
- Conrad Varblow, Physics and AP Physics, Freedom High School

A Teacher's Experience

"I'm amazed at how many of these business people are willing to give up so much of their time and resources to help us help our students succeed. The opportunity to visit places normally closed to the public and see how math is applied throughout the workforce has been invaluable to me. And after seeing the emphasis on Excel skills in the workplace, I have definitely changed the way our department will teach math.”
– Nicole Kezmarsky, Math Department Chair, Loudoun County High School

A Partner's Experience

"We want to show the teachers all the disciplines -- chemistry, design engineering, purchasing and cost accounting to name a few -- that are involved in making our products. And we want the teachers to stress to their students that although they may not pursue careers in science or technology, they will likely encounter these disciplines in some way on the job."
– Dr. Kathleen Saylor, CEO, REHAU NA

A Teacher's Experience

"I was in chemistry teacher heaven, especially after seeing how the products we tested [at REHAU] were installed in a real building. I couldn't wait to get back to the classroom."
– Russell Murphy, Science Department Chair, Potomac Falls High School

A Teacher's Experience

"Because I've never worked in industry, I had little knowledge of how the lessons I teach are being applied in the workplace. But after seeing the airport's giant cooling system and how chemicals and energy are managed to both conserve resources and save money, I have a whole new perspective of how I can better prepare my students to apply their knowledge in the real world."
– Russell Murphy, Science Department Chair, Potomac Falls High School

Learn More

Watch a video about teachers' and partners' experiences with GW's Teachers in Industry Project.