The Long Beach Unified School District, in partnership with the City of Long Beach, recently launched its Space Beach Teacher Externship Program, a professional development program for K-12 educators to create streamlined, easy-to-navigate career pathways for students interested in aerospace and related industries.
The program kicked off in August with a three-day workshop inviting LBUSD educators from Cabrillo High School, California Academy of Math and Science and Sato Academy to meet with aerospace industry leaders, engage in discussions on workforce and existing needs, and gain hands-on experience to help them contextualize the academic content they teach to their students. The workshop also included special visits to local aerospace companies such as Boeing, Relativity Space, Rocket Lab, SpinLaunch and Virgin Orbit.
"The Space Beach Teacher Externship Program is an opportunity for high school teachers to connect with the aerospace industry,” said LBUSD Assistant Director of Career Pathway Development Renee Shipman. “Through this collaboration, teachers are able to see how skills taught in the classroom can be applied in real-world settings."
The Program is the first step in engaging youth, employers and educators through teacher externships, work-based learning activities, internships and future employment placements. It is part of the Space Beach workforce development initiative, led by the City’s workforce bureau, Pacific Gateway Workforce Innovation Network.
Through the program, LBUSD educators will collaborate with Pacific Gateway to develop a multi-disciplinary cross-career academy project-based learning activity aligned with STEM and college-based standards. The collaboration also includes plans for a youth STEM/aerospace conference to be coordinated in 2023.
“The aerospace sector is a huge part of our city and our local economy,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “It’s great to see this program continue expanding opportunities for our students and educators to partner with from these fantastic Long Beach companies.”
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