The Oklahoma State Department of Education has expanded a summer externship program for teachers.
State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said four times as many teachers are participating in the program’s second year, learning hands-on skills in science, technology, engineering and math through temporary gigs with Oklahoma companies.
"But it’s also a paid opportunity. We see that our teachers are clamoring for professional development, training, support, resources. So, this helps in multiple areas," Hofmeister said.
Opportunities listed on the education department’s website are paying up to $20 an hour.
Piedmont High teacher Cyndi Ice said she’s seen the concept known as Boyle’s Law in action at oil and gas control component manufacturer Kimray.
"They actually use that here as an application, use the formula, and actually went through the process looking at a piece of equipment that needed to be modified," Ice said.
Putnam City Academy teacher Michelle Miller is also at Kimray. Miller said not only is she learning new ways to offer her math students hands-on learning, she’s also seeing an opportunity for her students, most of whom won’t go to college after graduating from the alternative school.
"So, if I can point them toward, you know, a trade like this, where they can make decent money, only spend a little time in school or possibly even learn on the job, they can become productive members of society," Miller said.