Opportunity for U.S. STEM teachers

Opportunity for U.S. STEM teachers

During the Global Solutions STEM Challenge, high school students from different U.S. cities will team up to take on real world STEM challenges in their communities. Over 10 weeks in Fall 2021, teams will virtually collaborate to develop a STEM-based solution to a challenge prompt.  

The program provides standards-aligned curriculum, teacher professional development, and technical support to harness technology and students’ competitive spirit, strengthen problem-solving skills, and develop enduring connections.  

IREX will match each selected teacher facilitator with a co-facilitator in a different state and provide teachers with training and support to lead the challenge either as an in-class or extracurricular activity. During the 10-week challenge in Fall 2021, students will complete a mix of synchronous and asynchronous assignments to work toward developing a prototype that they will pitch in a Virtual STEM Project Fair. Students will compete for $5,000 in prizes for winning solutions! 

The Global Solutions STEM Challenge curriculum is adapted based on learning from IREX’s experience supporting nearly 100 schools in the U.S., Jordan, and Iraq to provide high quality virtual exchange and project-based learning for their students.   

The program focuses on including BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) as well as women and girls across both BIPoC and non-BIPoC communities who are underrepresented in the STEM workforce. Students from participating schools will have opportunities to virtually engage with diverse adult role models who have overcome systemic barriers to excel in STEM careers. 

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible to facilitate the Global Solutions STEM Challenge, the applicant must: 

  • work in the U.S.;
  • hold at least a bachelor's degree;
  • have a minimum of one year of full-time instruction experience in a U.S. 9-12 educational institution;
  • be currently employed as a full-time teacher in a U.S. 9-12 educational institution;
  • be currently teaching grade 9-12 math, science, computer science or closely related subject.

Preference will be given to applicants who work in schools serving a student population that: 

  • includes a significant population of BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) students;
  • includes a significant population of students with disabilities;
  • is of a high socioeconomic need, especially where 40% or more of the student population qualified for Free and Reduced-Price Meals (FARMS).

Facilitator Responsibilities  

The selected teacher facilitators will:

  • Secure support from their school administration for participation in the challenge; 

  • Participate in professional development on effective virtual collaboration and inclusive STEM education during Summer 2021 (approximately 8 hour time commitment); 

  • Form and lead a student team from their high school; 

  • Partner effectively with their teacher co-facilitator in the U.S.; 

  • Lead the team’s virtual and in-person instruction and collaboration in Fall 2021 guided by provided curriculum. 

Benefits for Facilitators, Students, and Schools 

Benefits for facilitators, students, and schools include: 

  • Access to tested, standards-aligned challenge curriculum with teacher and student guides; 

  • Online collaboration space, professional development training, and responsive tech and curriculum support throughout the challenge preparation and implementation; 

  • Facilitated challenge sessions and access to small group virtual conversations with STEM professional and corporate partners; 

  • Technology support stipend of $250 per teacher; 

  • Opportunity to compete for $5,000 in prizes for winning solutions.

How to Apply

Complete the online application form. The application includes information about the teacher, school, and student population as well as two short-answer questions. It is designed to be completed in about 30 minutes. 



Contact stem.gs@irex.org