Two JHS teachers participating in Summer STEM Externships

This summer, the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council matched teachers from schools across Iowa with local STEM workplaces for the ninth year of the Iowa STEM Teacher Externships program.

Two Johnston High School teachers are spending six weeks expanding their STEM careers and job skills knowledge; Nick Crosse, an industrial technology teacher at Johnston High School, is working at Iowa Sign Company, and Dave Oldham, a life and physical science teacher at Johnston High School, is working at Kemin Industries. They are building new ways to connect the Teacher Externship experience directly to classroom content and 21st Century Skills identified in the Iowa Core Curriculum. Plus, these businesses enjoy the help of an educated and skilled local teacher as a participant and contributor on projects for the summer.

Photo of JHS teacher Nick Crosse working with the Iowa Sign company during a summer STEM externship.

Nick Crosse, a JHS industrial technology teacher, is working with the Iowa Sign Company for his summer STEM externship.

More than 60 teachers across the state were matched with workplaces near their school districts based on that organization’s needs, the teacher’s skills and the subject they teach. By keeping the matches local, these school-business partnerships create lasting partnerships between the teacher, the teacher’s local school and that business/industry, ultimately providing students with STEM career information about business and industry in their community, as well as an answer to the question, “When am I ever going to use this?”

“The students are the main beneficiaries of the program,” said Meghan Reynolds, program coordinator. “Teachers bring relevance to their classrooms through lessons built off their Teacher Externship experience, as well as the ability to expose students to STEM careers that they may not have known existed.”

The work that these teachers are doing will not only be an asset to their classrooms, but to the district as teachers enhance the knowledge of and opportunities for work-based learning in the Johnston Community School District.