Real-World Externships for Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: A Bridge for Uniting Education and Industry

Presenter: Jeffrey Weld
In this session, the presenter will discuss the profile of a three-year project involving over 40 Iowa companies—including John Deere, Principal Financial, Pella Window, Monsanto, Tones, and others— that have hosted over 200 secondary teachers for full-time, summer-long work. The teachers gain valuable and authentic experience while earning graduate credit, a stipend, and “street cred” in their fields of expertise.

Jeffrey Weld, Executive Director, Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council; Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Northern Iowa
Jeffrey Weld has directed the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council since the fall of 2011. He also maintains a faculty appointment in the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Biology Department where he has prepared naturalists and teachers since 2000. Weld’s research and writing focus on identifying and overcoming barriers to innovative science teaching at the secondary and collegiate levels. He has authored scores of research articles, essays, book chapters, and the popular science teacher preparatory textbook, The Game of Science Education. He is a past president of the Iowa Science Teachers organization and UNI’s chapter of Sigma Xi—the scientific research society. Prior to joining UNI, Weld served on the faculty at Oklahoma State University. He was also a former high school biology and chemistry teacher. Weld was named the Ciba-Geigy Life Science Teacher of the Year in Iowa in 1993, was a recipient of the Pella Corporation Focus on Teaching Excellence award in 1994, and was one of fifty national Access Excellence Fellows of Genentech, Inc. in 1995. In 2007, Weld was named the Four-Year College Biology Teacher by the National Association of Biology Teachers. In 2013, the Iowa Science Teachers association honored him with their Outstanding Service Award and the University of Iowa’s College of Education bestowed upon him their highest alumni award—the Yager Educational Accomplishment Honor. Weld serves on several state and national boards, including on the Board of Directors of the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation and the Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology. He received his BS, MS in Science Education, and PhD in Science Education with emphases in Ecology and Endocrinology, all from the University of Iowa.