Summer Internships: Experiences from the First Year

Summer Internships: Experiences
from the First Year
Workshop 3.14
Arlene Russell, co-PI
Rachel Halper, Noyce Scholar
Noyce Phase 1 (2010)
• Highlights of UCLA program
– Results from first year
• Other programs
– Similarities
– Differences
• Lessons learned for best practices
• Impact on entering STEM teaching careers
Integration of
California Teach and
the UCLA Noyce
UCLA – Phase 1 funded Aug 2010
• PLAN: Place students who wanted to explore
STEM teaching as a career
– in high-need school
– one-week internship during September (prior to
beginning of UCLA fall quarter on Sept 22)
– provide $450 stipend to student
– provide $250 stipend to mentor teacher
UCLA – Phase 1 funded Aug 2010
• TARGET POPULATION: Rising juniors who had
taken two California Teach courses and ALL
entering STEM community college students
• MENTORS: Former UCLA TEP students
• EXPECTATION: if 5 students participated we
would consider the program a successful
model and a pilot for a larger effort in Summer
• Over 80 applications for program received in
the two-week application window which
occurred three weeks before the planned
• Scrambled to locate teachers for 40 students!
• 36 accepted the offer
Asian – 10
Filipino – 2
Hispanic or Latino – 8
White – 6
Other (Pakistani) – 1
Multi-ethnic - 6
Male - 12
Female – 22
Average age – 20.4 ( 18 – 24)
Math-related fields – 15
Life sciences – 14
Physical sciences - 5
Student comments
This first day was such an eye opener! In my high
school, the majority of students passed the CAHSEE
without blinking an eye, and it was hard for me to see
the students at Locke High School struggling with the
basics. Simply seeing how much help the students
needed, and badly they were in need of good teachers,
my first day really reaffirmed my ambitions of
teaching. Teaching is such a rewarding experience and
the second that a student understands a new concept,
it really makes my day. This internship is really an
amazing opportunity for me and I'm very lucky to be
Student Comments
I think Mr. xxx is a good teacher because he
doesn't only see the students as students, but
as children he cares for and wants to see excel.
Mr. XX told me on the first day that you have to
love teaching in order to be an effective teacher
and I can see that he really does love teaching
and I hope to be an effective teacher like him if I
do pursue this as a career.
Student Comments
I definitely enjoyed teaching and observing classes. This
experience (I thought) would either make me never
want to consider teaching or make me love it so much
that I would have a life changing experience. Neither
really happened, but I think it was largely due to the
fact that this internship only lasted four days. It was a
very nice taste of teaching however, and I still
definitely want to get involved at least one more time
on a more significant time scale just to see if teaching
is really my calling.
Student Comments
I learned a lot from this experience, and some
things even helped me to understand why
some of my favorite teachers were so
successful. One thing I always hated but now
fully understand is when teachers would allow
students to call on each other. This would
definitely always stress me out as a student, but
I can appreciate this method of learning now,
especially as I can see it forces all students to
participate in the classroom.
Student Comments
I talked extensively with Mr. XX about class
culture. I think it's interesting that class culture
is not only established in the classroom but is
also established by what a teacher does
outside of a classroom. For instance, going to
sporting events and being a coach or advisor of
a club.
Student Comments
He was a great mentor, he taught me a lot of
things. He was very kind and patient, and he
also let me know that I could call or email him
if I ever needed anything in the future. I feel
like a created a good relationship with XXX as
well as the students, and I'm more excited about
teaching and ready to do something like this
again soon!
Student Comments
There was a huge difference from Thursday to Friday, it was really
unbelievable. The students in AP Calculus seemed to be absorbing
more and moving at a much quicker pace. There seemed to be a lot
more students raising their hands in AP Calculus than in the geometry
classes. Students seemed to exude more confidence and were very
willing to learn. It was definitely more difficult for me to help the
students in Calculus because the concepts were some that I hadn't
reviewed in quite a while, and it took some extra thought to make sure
that I knew the correct answers and how to teach. The students
seemed very grateful for my help and definitely picked things up very
quickly. After working with low performing students, as well as very
advanced students, it's very difficult to decide which level I'd like to
Student comments
One of the main things that I was nervous about going into the internship
was how I would interact with inner-city students. Growing up in a good
neighborhood, basically consisting of retirees and small typical suburban
families, I had no idea what to expect out of the students whether good or
bad. After working with them for a day I can honestly say the proportions of
good students with goofballs was about the same as the school I attended.
The only major difference is that these students know less to begin with, but
many of them caught on quite quick. As for actually working with the
students, I found myself (and them as well) a little hesitant to engage with
them at the start, but after 15 or so minutes I felt totally at ease and after
that it was like tutoring anyone. Finding out that many of the students had a
substitute teacher for Algebra 1 who was trained in English was quite eyeopening. I'm a math major at UCLA, but I don't think I'd be anywhere if it
weren't for the help of many good teachers on the way. I truly believe that
the higher proportion of failure is a result of the actual school system rather
than the students themselves.
Other programs
• Do your internships involve actual classes in
high-need schools?
• Do the students in your internships move into
teaching programs?
• What works? What doesn’t?
Other programs
What data are you collecting on your summer
interns for
– NSF program evaluation
– your project evaluation?

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