2024 Business Partners

We are looking for forward-thinking business partners that want to build partnerships with local schools, specifically with STEM teachers! For 2024, teachers will complete a 4-week (20 day) internship from June 10th through July 18th (with a few days in the middle reserved for professional development at UA Little Rock).

Placing teachers in local businesses for an internship during the summer will be done in order to:

  • Increase student awareness of the many jobs that utilize the skills and concepts that are being taught in their STEM classes.
  • Increase the capability of students to apply for and be successful in those jobs, within their community and beyond.

Requirements for Businesses

  • Propose a job/project/plan for a middle or high school STEM teacher (think math, chemistry, biology, computer programming, etc.) that will keep them engaged for 4 weeks. They need to have a better idea of what they can do to help prepare the upcoming generation of Arkansas workers in the classroom through their work at your business.
  • The job/project/plan the teacher will work on needs to include skills in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math broadly speaking.
  • Contact Dr. Mark Baillie at UA Little Rock to discuss ideas (brainstorm) or to become part of the partner network!

What are STEM Skills?

  • Simply put, we want teachers to be more aware of the applications of the skills they teach in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) classes. We are calling these STEM skills.
    • Plumbers and carpenters use a huge amount of geometry, proportions, and record-keeping in their daily jobs.
    • Your marketing team may use computer-aided design to create graphics for distribution. They may also use statistical analysis of the impact of their marketing campaigns.
    • Positions like chemists, biologists, engineers, medical doctors, accountants, etc. may be easier to see the direct connection to STEM skills.
  • Be creative! If you can reasonably argue that a teacher working in a particular area of your business for 4 weeks will make them have a better appreciation of what they can do in their classrooms to help their students be more marketable with their technical and problem-solving skills, we are open to working with you!

What to Expect

  • STRIVE funding will pay teacher stipends for their summer placement!
    • Business need to pay teachers $4,000 for their 20 days on site. Business will then invoice STRIVE for this cost.
    • If you require workers comp insurance for teachers to be on site, we can discuss how this will be handled (typically involves a temp agency, and costs can be carried by STRIVE if necessary)
  • The STRIVE team will work with you to develop proposed projects for one or more teachers.
  • Teachers will begin applying to STRIVE in the Winter of the prior year.
  • Teacher select: we can either assign teachers to work at your site, or we can provide you with applicant information so you can make the select with our assistance if desired.
  • Businesses will confirm assigned teacher placements before we notify teachers.
  • Teacher and business negotiate logistics of placement (i.e. exact schedule, expectations, any required training before working on site, etc.)
  • Timing of the placement: 4 weeks (20 days). If needed, we can shift forward or backward a few days to accommodate business and teacher schedules.
    • Starts on June 10th, 2024.
    • Ends on July 18th, 2024.
  • Teachers should get an immersive experience of what it is like to work in your organization. Hence hours of work, safety training, and other expectations need to be clearly defined and agreed upon beforehand.
  • All teachers will attend in person professional development during the dates of June 16th, June 18th, and July 19th to achieve maximum impact in the classroom from the placement.
  • 10% of teacher time during the placement will be reserved for working on developing a classroom activity/unit.
  • 5-10% of teacher time should be spent learning about other workers at your company. We want the teachers to see the diversity of jobs that require STEM skills, so rotating with 3-4 other workers for a few hours will enhance their awareness of those jobs.