Teachers internship leads to unique learning experience

Published 4:09 pm Monday, May 3, 2010

The Teachers Internship Program, or TIPs, gives selected teachers the opportunity to get hands-on experience at jobs centered on their specialty area of teaching around the community.

After attending orientation, the teachers intern at a local business, then develop a lesson plan and Power Point presentation for faculty at their schools. Following this the selected teachers invite a business representative to come and speak.

Allison McKeller was first sent to work at the McWane Science Center for three days during the summer time.

“During this time, I met so many wonderful people,” she said.

As part of the program she and the others were encouraged to invite someone from their internship to come and speak to the children at the school. McKeller quickly invited Ben Moon, a man who was in charge of the Challenger Space Missions at the McWane Science Center.

The children were all engaged as he spoke of NASA and the Space Missions. Many students had questions ready for him at the end, and he patiently answered each one with interest. After he spoke he began to explain a NASA grant that offered the funds for a field trip to the McWane Center. The trip included two levels of missions, one for kindergarten-second grade, and the other for third-fifth grades.

McKeller saw the excitement of the children when they talked about a potential trip to the McWane Center. She soon decided she would apply for the grant.

“I applied for this trip and was able to get all of the students here at Wilsonville in for the adventure halls and the space missions for free,” McKeller said.

After winning the grant for all the students at Wilsonville, McKeller was even more thrilled to tell the students and work out all the details. She described how you never know if you will win or not, all you can do is try, and you may get lucky just as she did.

The only cost the students had to pay was their lunch and for transportation. They all agreed it was an experience they will not forget. The teachers loved the hands-on games and experiments the McWane Science Center offered and the learning experience it gave each student.

Kennedy Tolbert is the new community columnist for Wilsonville. She can be reached at kennedytolbert@bellsouth.net.