GIFT is a professional development program for Georgia K-12 teachers which provides STEM internships in university research labs, industry, and informal science institutions. GIFT, created in 1991, is managed statewide by Georgia Tech's Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC). GIFT internships are supported by local partnerships throughout Georgia.
GIFT is designed to:
- Immerse teachers in work place integrated learning;
- Enhance Fellows' mathematics, science, engineering and/or technology skills, content knowledge, and abilities;
- Foster teaching based on inquiry, problem solving and real world relevance; and
- Foster an increase in student inquiry skills and positive attitudes toward science and mathematics.
All GIFT experiences share the following core components:
- A mentored and paid summer internship experience in science, mathematics, engineering or technology research and applications;
- Real world context and experiences to build innovative, relevant curricula for use in the classroom, and to promote career awareness for students; and
- Summer and school year professional development meetings, workshops and discussion groups.
High school physics teacher goes beyond classroom instruction to inspire and mentor students
Coming from a family of educators, Rajini Sundararaj said she was motivated to not only become a teacher herself, but one who supports students from underserved communities. One of the ways she has prominently elevated her students has been through her participation in the GIFT program for the past 10 years.
Georgia Tech undergraduate explores career options through pre-teaching internships
In his first year at Georgia Tech, mechanical engineering major Daniel Webber had the opportunity to engage with high school students to explore teaching as a possible career choice. During summer 2022, he was the first undergraduate intern to participate in the GIFT program.