- Sep 10, 2019
The benefits of student internships in STEM-related fields and the positive impact these opportunities have on young people have been well documented. Gaining hands-on exposure to industries such as construction or engineering—and witnessing the vast array of career paths available to them—helps students navigate the murky waters often associated with relating classroom content into real-life context.
But what happens when not every student has the opportunity for an internship? How are they able to gain exposure to diverse career options and the skills necessary for success, all from their seats within a traditional classroom?
One answer lies in teacher externships.
At its core, a teacher externship is a professional development opportunity that takes a teacher outside of the classroom and immerses them into an industry-specific work environment. This provides the educator with a first-hand account of how STEM principles taught within the classroom are brought to practical use by various companies. In bringing this experience back to their work and embedding it into their curriculums, teachers can offer lessons with more relevance to their students by way of their new-found knowledge of real-world applications of the content.
Boston-area Teachers Make the Grade with BoSTEM Externship
For two weeks in August, Boston-area educators took a deep dive into the AEC industry as they participated in a STEM-focused externship made possible by a partnership between Boston Public Schools’ BoSTEM program and the United Way. Construction and design industry representatives from Elkus Manfredi Architects, Nitsch Engineering, Autodesk, StudioJAED, and Gilbane Building Company all worked together to plan and implement this immersive and collaborative exercise.
As an industry partner supporting the initiative, building professionals from our Massachusetts and Rhode Island business units orchestrated a day-long workshop which exposed participating teachers to real-world applications of their lessons in mathematics, technology, and problem solving. Each segment of the workshop focused on topics such as lean construction principles, estimating and purchasing, collaboration between industry partners (such as the important relationship between design professionals and construction managers), construction scheduling techniques, and the use of virtual design in construction. The goal of the exercise is to equip area teachers with the ability to relate to their students who may be interested in a career within the construction industry in a way they may not have been able to before.
For more information on BoSTEM and teacher externships, click here.