We are looking for motivated teachers from all across Arkansas that want to better prepare their students for success in jobs that require skills taught in your STEM classrooms!

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.
  • Increase Arkansas STEM teachers use of evidence-based instructional practices.
  • Expand Arkansas STEM teacher professional networks.

Minimum Teacher Requirements & Expectations

  • Teaching full-time for 3 or more years.
  • Teach one or more STEM courses.
  • Teach in the state of Arkansas (preference given to teachers in historically under-served communities).
  • Enthusiasm for utilizing this opportunity to better prepare your students for jobs that you or they might not have even been aware of!
  • A safety mindset! With the pandemic still being a present concern, we need all participants in STRIVE to follow every precaution required by UA Little Rock, our business partners, and the state of Arkansas.
  • Professional attitude and interaction with the business, fellow teachers, and STRIVE team.
    • We are building bridges with local businesses and between communities in the state.
    • We want STRIVE business partners to be impressed and hungry to engage more with our schools. Let’s strive to build stronger connections!
  • Clear communication expectations.
    • Please communicate with us (STRIVE) and your business in a professional manner.
    • Leading up to and during your placement you will be expected to keep your “employer” well informed of your progress, needs, and any challenges that come up.
    • STRIVE is here to support you if you run into unexpected challenges at your placement!

Application Process and Compensation

  • Before applying, make sure to familiarize yourself with our schedule, requirements (above), and goals (above). Note in the schedule that there are a few nights when we ask all participants to stay in Little Rock (hotel provided) to build community in your cohort.
  • Prepare your application materials. This includes:
    • Your updated resume
    • A letter of support from your administrator, template found here.
    • We ask you to find out what percentage of the students at your school receive free and reduced lunch. Please ask your school administrator for this before beginning the application.
    • We ask what you likely will teach in the fall after participating in the STRIVE summer program. Please do your best to find out what this is anticipated to be (although we understand that schedules can change).
  • Submit your application (link below).
  • Your application will be reviewed by our team, then we will share it with potential business partners in your area.
    • Businesses will contact their top teacher candidates and complete an interview (virtually or in person).
    • Business/Teacher partnerships will be finalized and confirmed by STRIVE.
  • Commitment for teachers is 5 weeks (25 days),
    • 4 weeks (20 days) of which will be in the job placement.
    • 5 days of professional development; 4 in the summer and 1 in January for the open house.
  • Teachers are compensated for their participation with both:
    • Payment of $5000 for completion of summer activities
      • $4,000 paid by business partner directly to you as stipend or payment during your placement.
      • $1,000 paid by STRIVE for turning in a high quality lesson plan (most likely after rounds of revision and final approval from your advisor) by August 15th. If a quality lesson plan is submitted on the last day of professional development, you may earn a $200 bonus. Lessons must be complete and approved by your advisor before you receive payment.
    • Payment of $1,000 at end of program upon completion of all requirements (after Open House in Jan. 2025)
      • $500 related to completion of your lesson in your class, revisions made, and polished lesson plan submitted  (revisions and approval by advisors required).
      • $500 related to attending the January Open House. This includes submitting slides for video summary of your experience to your mentor, then incorporating feedback to create the summary video, modifying the video based on advisor feedback, and attending Open House.
  • 10% of your time during the placement will be reserved for working on your classroom activity/unit.

What does the application involve?

To help you prepare, please see below for examples of the information requested in the application:

  • Background information about you (how long you have taught and where and what you teach).
  • What degrees do you hold (or are working towards), and what leadership roles do you have?
  • A few questions about the classroom environment that you currently create for your students.
  • A few questions to help optimize potential placements.
    • Are there businesses in your community that you want us to reach out to?
    • Are there considerations for what type of placement you may not be able to complete due to health or other considerations?
  • Upload your current resume.
  • Administrative support: to maximize your success, we ask that you obtain a letter of support from one of your school administrators.
    • The form letter is available here.
    • Confirms that your administration is aware of and supportive of your participation in STRIVE.
    • If you are struggling with obtaining this letter of support, please contact Mark Baillie to find out how to proceed.


We encourage new participants to join the STRIVE community!

If you don’t see a business partner in your community yet, please still apply. We will work with you to try to identify an appropriate business placement partner.

Previous STRIVE participants:
Some STRIVE alumni will have the opportunity to come back as a mentor in the STRIVE program. This honor is reserved for our top participants who showcased top effort in their placement and implementation of their lesson.

If you participated prior to 2018, we welcome your application but preference will be given to teachers that have not participated in STRIVE in the past depending on financial opportunities available. If you participated in 2019, 2021, 2022, or 2023, your role must involve a mentorship component in addition to the placement.

If you participated in 2020 (virtual interviews only), you can apply for a placement without mentorship.
Once selected for the STRIVE program, failure to complete your placement obligations will exclude you from participation in STRIVE in the future.

Examples include:

  • Not communicating clearly with your business partner or STRIVE team.
  • Failure to comply with agreed upon schedule.
  • Violation of safety or other business partner policies (filming when not allowed, discussing company secrets, etc.).

Placement Process

STRIVE attempts to optimize matches based on your interests, skills, and geographic location with the needs of business partners. To achieve this, we collect teacher applications, which our business partners will then sort through to find potential matches. The businesses may then reach out to the teachers to determine the optimum fit. We call this a Placement Interview.


For 2024, you will receive a payment of $5,000 for completion of summer activities, paid in two installments during the summer (see above). Upon completion of the entire program (in January of the following winter), teachers will receive a final stipend of $1,000 for completion of all requirements (in two parts, see above).

This income is taxable, and many teachers will have taxes withheld from their paycheck by the business they are working with.

I know a perfect business partner in my community!

Some teachers have personal knowledge of local businesses that would be ideal for learning about the STEM skills our students need to build in order to be successful. Often, good contact people are people that you know from civic groups, religious groups, your children’s activities, or parents at your school. We would appreciate learning about the contact person, either in your application (there is a line for this) or by emailing us directly. Contact Dr. Baillie by the link at the bottom of the page.

We often can arrange for you to work at a site that you suggest, providing that the experience matches the goals of our program. We welcome suggestions for worksites and help in finding an ideal opportunity in your area. Partners are often interested in working with a teacher when they meet the teacher in person.

Unlike past version of STRIVE, we are not placing teachers in research labs that have an academic focus.

What do I need for my application

The google form that you will complete for your application includes information about where you teach, what you teach, how you teach, why you want to be part of the program and some information that will help us nail down your ideal placement. You will also need to upload 1) a current CV/resume so that businesses can properly understand your background and 2) a letter of support from your school administrator.