Eighty-two teachers are back in the classroom with another effective tool in their instruction toolbox following their summer STEM Teacher Externship. One school district will experience ample work-based application in classrooms after five externs from the Clinton Community School District took part in the summer program.
High School Mathematics Teacher Zach Mohr was placed with Zurn Elkay, a clean water products company, where he aided the engineering team in the development of a system to more efficiently bring parts to the manufacturing floor.
“I am enjoying the fact that I am being challenged to think differently than how I would from the day-to-day teaching that I normally do,” said Mohr. “I think we all can fall victim to our daily habits and norms in life, and this experience has been so new to me and every day I feel that I am growing as an individual, as well as an educator.”
High School Science and Mathematics Teacher Bill Feaster worked with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources at the Maquoketa Wildlife Unit. Eighth Grade Mathematics Teacher Eric Brown and High School Mathematics Teacher Albert Hayton both completed an externship at Custom-Pak, a plastic molds maker. Brown and Hayton worked together on capability studies, specifically establishing a database of statistics and calculations to evaluate if the manufacturing process for specific parts is statistically able to meet requirements and specifications of the customer. High School Welding Teacher Ted Lamb worked with M. A. Ford, a machining tools manufacturer, to develop guidelines for drafting and print creation and utilized multiple computer-aided design (CAD) drafting software
“The program is very rewarding,” said Lamb. “I teach vocational classes, so getting firsthand experience of what employers are looking for is the best experience that I can take back to my classroom.”
To learn more about the Iowa STEM Teacher Externships Program for the 2024 experience, visit iowastem.org/externships.