ITW David Speer Academy Senior Internship Program

ITW David Speer Academy, a STEM high school on Chicago’s Northwest side, would like to partner with you in an internship opportunity for twelfth grade students. Our vision is to increase the representation of women and people of color working in STEM fields by adequately preparing students for STEM college majors and careers, and believe that the Senior Internship will be an integral component for success. Speer Academy faculty and students will work with you to meet the following objectives

● Establish a mutually beneficial partnership with business partners: professionals provide mentorship and teach professional skills while students contribute to unpaid work to the business or organization.

● Connect students with STEM professionals according to their areas of interest.

● Explore the educational requirements and traits and skills best-suited STEM careers.

● Develop hard and soft skills in a professional setting.

● Promote the training of future employees in STEM careers.

● Increase the inclusion of underrepresented populations in STEM and professional fields.

● Students attend internship on Fridays for a minimum of 75 hours from October-April.

● Students take a class at Speer Academy that coincides with their internships and reinforces the hard and soft skills they are developing, as well as presenting them with the opportunity to build a resume, improve their professional communication skills, research a career of interest, and develop a product related to the work they do in their placements.

● Students maintain a weekly work log of activities and learning at internship.

● The worksite supervisor evaluates the student’s work at the internship site and communicates with the Internship Coordinator on regular basis regarding progress, concerns, etc.

Worksite Supervisor Requirements:

● Each internship worksite supervisor will be assigned 1 or more students (depending on the availability of the worksite) for the duration of the internship (October-April).

Supervisors must

○ Be willing to mentor a student, provide professional work exposure, and have a genuine desire to help foster an interest in your profession in future generations.

○ Work together with Speer Academy to create a plan for what the student(s) will be involved in during the internship time that considers the student's safety and wellbeing. Students may either shadow and observe, or actively participate in some form of meaningful work that facilitates learning about the career. The plan, created with Speer Academy partners, should include a description of the internship, learning objectives and dispositions that are appropriate for a student placed in your business or organization (See example below).

○ Be willing to commit to forming a relationship with the Speer Academy, and host interns in subsequent school years.

○ Commit to regular communication with the internship coordinator regarding student progress as well as any concerns, including notifying her regarding any problematic situation with the student at the internship site or if student is late or absent from scheduled internship hours.

○ Complete and sign the Memorandum of Understanding with Speer Academy partners.

○ Provide the necessary supervision, training, precautionary safety instruction in the performance of the position duties and responsibilities described in the Memorandum of Understanding.

Check out our video to see our vision and mission in action!

Internship Timeline

August-September

  • Students attend internship pre-work classes where they learn professionalism, are guided through the application process, and begin to research their career of interest.
  • Students convey their qualifications and skills concisely on their resumes.
  • Students explore available internship opportunities, qualifications, and locations via the Internship Openings Page
  • Students research their careers of interest. They compose an extensive research paper in which they explore all facets of that career.
  • Students apply for available internships. Speer faculty interview students, review application materials and place students into appropriate internships according to interests and qualifications.
  • Students learn internship expectations and appropriate behavior for their placements.
  • Students reach out to internship supervisors via email to introduce themselves and coordinate the details of their first days.

October-April

  • Interns work in their placements on Fridays. The timeframe is flexible depending on the needs the business or organization.
  • Interns record weekly internship work and collect data relevant to their career on their Weekly Work Logs.
  • Interns log a minimum of 75 hours via Timeclock Wizard
  • Interns develop a product to showcase their learning in their internships. This product should be an example of what a professional in that career will produce

April-May

  • Interns prepare and finalize their portfolios and final products. This includes career research, data collection at internship, documentation of internship work, career research paper, final product and presentation.
  • Students present their portfolios to the community. Worksite hosts, families and Speer community are invited to learn about work


2017-2018 Internship dates

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday, December 1, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday, January 19, 2018

Friday, February, 2, 2018

Friday, February, 9, 2018

Friday, February, 16, 2018

Friday, February, 23, 2018

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday, March 23, 2018

Friday, April 6, 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018

Dates students are not required attend internships:

10/20/17: Teacher Professional Development: No School for Students

11/3/17: Report Card Pick Up: No School for Students

11/10/17: Veteran’s Day

11/24/17: Thanksgiving

12/15/17: Teacher Professional Development: No School for Students

12/22/17: Winter Break

12/29/17: Winter Break

1/5/17: Winter Break

1/26/18: Report Card Pick Up: No School for Students

3/2/18: Teacher Professional Development: No School for Students

4/13/18: Report Card Pick Up: No School for Students

Are you interested in hosting senior interns? Do you have questions? Would you like more information?

Contact Bekah Holland at rholland@speeracademy.org or at 312-764-8839.