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.

Classroom Connections

Five men working on TIP Project

A major component of the GW TIP project is for teachers to take the knowledge and skills they experienced in the work environment back to their classroom to enrich their teaching content and their lesson delivery. This is accomplished through educational transfer plans. Sometimes these plans simply note what the teachers feel is important to incorporate into their teaching, and in other cases, full-blow lessons and units arise out of the experience. Most of the educational transfer plans are works in progress that will evolve to reach their full potential; however, here are a few examples of projects resulting from the externship experiences.

Educational Transfer Plans
for Middle School and for High School

Project Implementation in 2010-2011

As a result of one teacher’s experience at REHAU (a company that specializes in polymer protrusion) physics teachers at Freedom High School are using a REHAU manifold from their geothermal systems to demonstrate parallel and series circuitry. Students are using the manifold to analyze the flow of water and see how the process of engineering geothermal solutions is in many ways analogous to electronic circuit design. Conrad has also incorporated group problem solving and oral presentation skills into his physics curriculum as a result of what he saw as workforce requirements during his externships.

Science Fair
Potomac Falls High School students and faculty visited Dulles International Airport to meet with airport scientists who monitor the propylene glycol (a de-icer used on aircraft) levels in the water retention ponds on the airport property. They learned that these scientists also work closely with Fairfax County’s water treatment facilities to protect the water table should excessive amounts be detected. While propylene glycol is not considered toxic, there are strict guidelines regarding acceptable levels in drinking water. These students are developing a project to model the absorption rate of the propylene glycol in the Biological Treatment Units (BTU's) at the airport.

Earth Science
Honors Earth Science classes at Potomac Falls High School are conducting a semester-long research project in geothermal energy. This project was inspired by the geothermal heating and cooling systems created by REHAU. The students are analyzing how different rock strata impact the heat retention rate in their geothermal models. They built and tested the models in groups and then pooled the data from all 5 honors classes for statistical analysis. During the second semester, students will conduct individual research projects on a topic of their own choosing following the same steps of the scientific method that were modeled in the geothermal group project.

Couch to County Passport
It is not just about science projects. Two teachers at River Bend Middle School discovered how much there is to do and see in Loudoun County as a result of their externship experiences, particularly with Visit Loudoun, the tourism bureau. As a result these teachers have researched various events and activities in the county that would enrich their students’ background knowledge and help them see connections between school and the world around them. While most of the activities are just plain fun, the students are also seeing language used in various ways and the importance of communicating clearly as well as the role science plays in their daily lives.



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.