Teachers in Industry


"I have been able to bring more real work significance and references to my teaching. I have more knowledge about how the industry works, which allows me to use it as a reference to STEM related concepts and make real world connections."

-- Teacher

Program Type

Teacher Development/Training
Work Readiness/Employment

Target Audience

Teachers/Educational Leaders




Grades 6 - 8
Grades 9 - 12

 Accomplished link

Program Impact

Our vision is to enroll 10 -15 new Master’s teachers and 15 -20 professional development teachers each year, so each summer 50-75 teachers experience high-quality STEM work experiences in their local communities.  Our participants increase in their knowledge and implementation of 21st century skills and their students have increased knowledge and interest in STEM careers. 


Program Overview

Teachers in Industry is an innovative business-education partnership that places experienced classroom teachers in paid positions in the STEM workforce for 6-8 weeks during the summers. The program also offers coursework towards a Master’s Degree in Teaching and Teacher Education or professional development credits.

Teachers in Industry is an intensive real-world program that combines the best practices of teaching and learning with the expertise of the business and research communities, creates a community of practice that will support teachers, and helps teachers build their expertise in content and delivery of STEM skills within the 21st Century Skills Framework.

 Teachers take their real-world industry experience back into the classroom to more effectively prepare students to enter the future workforce. In addition, companies directly benefit from the skills and knowledge teachers bring to their workforce each summer. Teachers in Industry is a vital long term investment in the development of future scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematics essential to the 21st century workforce. 

How To Get Involved

Teachers in Industry depends on our corporate partners to provide 6-8 week summer work opportunities for our teachers at industry wages.  We also depend on corporate funding for tuition support for teachers in the MA program: the total tuition for one teacher for all 3 years of the program (estimated based on 5% tuition increases per year) is: $24,779. 

Funders and Partners

Teachers in Industry is a partnership between the University of Arizona Colleges of Education and Science; Tucson Values Teachers, a regional business initiative focused on retaining, recruiting and rewarding K-12 teachers; Southern Arizona Leadership Council, an organization of business leaders committed to improving the economic climate and the quality of life in our community; and numerous industry partners who hire the teachers as temporary summer employees. Examples of current industry partners include Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson Electric Power, the Salt River Project, Arizona Public Service and Texas Instruments. A complete list of companies who participated in summer 2014 is provided on our website.  Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz), a public-private partnership that supports STEM education, provided the funding for Teachers in Industry for the first four years and is continuing to support the program by promoting us to schools throughout the state and encouraging businesses in areas new to Teachers in Industry to participate. We are currently funded through the 100Kin10 initiative by the Freeport McMoRan Foundation.


Julia Olsen, Director

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Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.