Teacher Externships Empowering Teachers & Students
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Teacher Externships Empowering Teachers & Students

Every summer, CareerConnect partners with the Colorado Bioscience Institute to help teachers with advanced industry externships. The goal of the program is to give teachers first-hand opportunities on the latest research and development in Colorado’s growing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) industries. 

The Institute’s Research Experience for Teachers (RET) is an intensive program implemented five days per week over four weeks during the summer. The teachers spend about 130 hours with an innovative STEM company working on real-world projects and 30+hours in teacher professional development. The goal is to help build long-term collaborative partnerships between K – 12 education and the industry. 

Meg John, Vice President of the Institute, said “It is highly important for teachers to have a greater understanding of the industries their students may be entering tomorrow. I see teachers come into the program self-identifying as science teachers and return to their classrooms self-identifying as a scientist…that is a classroom game changer.”

Eighth grade science teacher, Ryan Cronshaw, has a full-time externship with Velocity Sciences. Velocity Science is a start-up diagnostic products and services company in Boulder. They are addressing some of the world’s toughest health problems using innovative solutions problems in human diagnostics, food safety, and environmental monitoring. 

Denver Public Schools (DPS) CareerConnect teacher Makala Woods, from East High School, is spending her summer with AlloSource. AlloSource develops, processes, and distributes life-enhancing bone and tissue allografts to the medical community.

CareerConnect met up with Cronshaw and Woods at Surefire Medical, Inc. last week. They spent the day with five other teachers and the engineers at Surefire. Surefire develops advanced catheters to help interventional oncology physicians reduce tumor size while protecting healthy tissue in liver cancer patients. Surefire hosted the teachers with a facility tour, an engineering challenge and an insights session on cutting edge medical device technologies.

Bryan Pinchuk, Engineering Manager, at Surefire said, “We love being involved in community programs, especially when it pertains to young engineers or scientists. The Colorado Bioscience Institute cultivates bright minds for companies like ours. Together, we continue approaches to advance therapy and help improve disease management for patients.”

Cronshaw said the opportunity wasn’t just good for his personal growth, but that it would have a direct impact on his classroom.

“The biggest thing I’ve taken away is how advances in biotechnology really benefit patients’ lives and how that makes their process of cancer and chemotherapy more bearable” said Cronshaw.

He said, “I have relevant, innovative ways to get things going in the classroom, rather than something I just read about, or heard about. It makes [science] much more tangible.”

Surefire is one of many companies that the Colorado Bioscience Institute partners with to bring real world experiences to teachers.

Cronshaw said, “Programs like this allow teachers to get kids excited about science and about their future careers in the sciences.”

Thank you to Surefire Medical, Inc., Velocity Sciences, AlloSource, and Colorado Bioscience Institute for your incredible support of our teachers!

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