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Santa Clara Teachers and Industry Join Forces to Promote STEM Education

Santa Clara Teachers and Industry Join Forces to Promote STEM Education

Veteran Santa Clara Unified School District teachers Craig Young and Jack Riviere are two of ten Santa Clara teachers who have partnered with Bay Area businesses and universities to work in eight-week summer fellowship programs that, come Fall, will help them inspire their students to pursue the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education (IISME) is a consortium of Bay Area organizations that founded the summer fellowship program in 1985 in partnership with the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California at Berkeley. These organizations believe that teachers are the primary agents to inspire and develop the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Thirty-eight organizations are hosting 165 teacher fellows for this 28th summer program.

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“Our Learning and Development group participates regularly in the IISME intern program,” says Debra Korbel, Silicon Valley Bank technical training manager. “Teachers bring a high level of creativity and thoughtfulness to how they approach learning. We benefit from their fresh perspective as well as their finely-tuned skill level.”

“IISME does a wonderful job of helping match teacher skills and interests with corporate needs. Their respect and appreciation for teachers makes working with them a joy,” says Jack Riviere, a Cabrillo Middle School teacher for eleven years.

Riviere’s background in online teaching and learning is a good fit for helping to implement Silicon Valley Bank’s new HR system. He credits his positive experience with Silicon Valley Bank and IISME staff, for making “a summer spent ‘working’ surprisingly refreshing.”

Craig Young, who has taught physics at Wilcox High School for five years, has a second fellowship in the field of nanotechnology (sometimes called molecular manufacturing) at Stanford University.

“I bring an education perspective to the fellowship. The researchers at Stanford are very interested in how to communicate their work to a larger audience, especially younger students.  They very much want to help develop the pipeline of students interested in pursuing science and engineering degrees. I help the researchers translate their often very complicated and specific work into language and images that will be effective with the general public and teenagers,” says Young.

IISME’s Education Transfer Plan helps teachers link their summer work experiences to their teaching.

“I will be able to use my greater proficiency with Adobe Captivate to create more engaging and effective online lessons,” says Riviere. “My students will appreciate hearing how a local company has been able to combine technical and pedagogical excellence with high employee morale. Students like to hear about what technical and soft skills will help them be successful in the working world.”

“Many teachers look for ways to supplement their incomes during the summer. IISME fellowships provide a generous stipend while offering a chance to do interesting, challenging work that can provide a new perspective for classroom teaching,” says Young, one of 25 teachers at Stanford for the summer.

“We’re lucky to have the program available in this area and such a wide variety of academic and corporate research labs willing to participate.”

Since 1985, IISME has awarded 3,135 Summer Fellowships to K-16 teachers from 672 schools and 123 districts, primarily in the Bay Area. For information, visit www.iisme.org.

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