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Leadership Initiatives for Teaching Technology (LIFT2): A teacher externship program inspiring students in the STEM fields


About the Program

The LIFT2 program, now in its 16th year, places committed teachers into paid externships in companies in STEM fields so they can experience first-hand what careers might look like for their students. Through their job experiences, and a companion project-based learning course, these teachers develop the skills and insights to make their teaching come alive in order to inspire their students. Over the course of a year, each teacher in the LIFT2 program might influence 100 to 400 students, and over a career they may touch the lives of 5,000 to 10,000 future employees.  

Learn about the experience of one of the sponsor companies.


Applications Closed


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Information for Sponsors





Interested in becoming a sponsor?

Click here for more information.

Recent sponsoring organizations include:


Authentic Teaching from Authentic Experiences

The highest form of learning and engagement for students comes when they can apply the knowledge and skills they acquire in the classroom to solve problems. While most teachers have deep knowledge of their content areas, few, if any, have experience applying the content to address real world challenges. By being exposed to the many ways in which the content they are teaching might be used outside the classroom, teachers' experiences in the LIFT2 program invariably allow them to improve and inspire the learning of their students and lead a greater number of students to contemplate STEM careers.


Program Components

Experiential Learning

  • LIFT2 participants will work in externships in a company for 5-8 weeks during the summer taking on authentic projects, shadowing professionals, contributing their expertise to the organization and experiencing the opportunities that STEM careers offer. Teachers are paid a stipend of $20 per hour for their work.
  • Employers assign a mentor to oversee the externship and guide the work assignments.
  • In many cases teachers will bring their students to the work site so that they can experience the STEM field first hand.


Classroom-Based Learning and Reflection

  • Participants also take a 3-credit graduate course during which they develop a Project-Based Learning (PBL) curriculum unit that they can bring back to their classrooms.
  • In the fall, participants take a 1 credit follow up course where they demonstrate and document their students' learning through the lessons they developed.

Program Features

For Extern Participants

Program Requirements:

  • 5-8 weeks on site (summer)
  • 3-credit Project-Based Learning graduate course (through Framingham State University), including 3 in-person meetings and the development of a project-based learning unit
  • 1-credit course (fall) that includes teaching the unit they developed and reflecting on their experience

Who can apply:

Educators involved in teaching math, science, and/or computer science/technology, in middle or high school will be given preference in the application process, especially those teaching in high needs schools or districts. 

Program schedule:

  • 5-8 weeks at site placement in July and August
  • 3-credit course throughout summer (exact dates TBA)
  • 1-credit course in fall (exact dates TBA)


Sponsors and externs from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and southern New Hampshire are eligible to apply for this program.

Course provided by Framingham State University, Course Location One Wells Avenue, Suite 402, Newton MA.

Stipends for Externs:

Externs are paid a stipend of $800 per (40 hour) work week for 5-8 weeks ($20 per hour)