Recruitment Begins for Teacher Quest Tampa Bay Pilot Program

Posted on: November 19, 2008

The Technological Research and Development Authority (TRDA) is recruiting businesses in the Tampa Bay area for an exciting education program. The Teacher Quest Tampa Bay pilot program is a professional development initiative that will employ Florida certified teachers in grades 6-8 in science, math and technology-based positions during the summers of 2009, 2010 and 2011. Teachers working in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk and Manatee counties will take their work experience back to the classroom to enrich student awareness of careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The 3-year program is made possible through a $300,000 grant from the Helios Education Foundation.

“Supporting the Teacher Quest Tampa Bay program will help strengthen teacher professional development in the math and sciences and potentially impact 6,000 students,” said Helios Education Foundation President and CEO Paul Luna. “We are excited about sparking student interest in the science, technology, engineering and math fields by connecting classroom experiences to real world applications.”

The Teacher Quest Tampa Bay pilot program connects Florida teachers with employment opportunities designed to enhance teachers’ science, math and technology skills and knowledge. The program will provide a vital link between school and work, where teachers serve as a conduit for middle school students, exposing them to career and academic pathways, as well as connecting the math and science they are learning in the classroom to the skills they will need in the workforce. Teachers will also receive training to develop lessons based on inquiry, problem solving and real-world relevance that makes math, science and technology more exciting and challenging for students.

“This is a call to action for businesses looking for a turn-key solution to link to education and impact the future workforce,” said Chester Straub, TRDA Executive Director, “It’s a way to encourage students to choose a STEM-related career.”

Targeted businesses for summer of 2009 include the following sectors: agritechnology, biotechnology, energy, finance, high-tech manufacturing, and information technology. Participating businesses will benefit by integrating motivated professionals into their workforce in a cost-effective manner, full-time, for six weeks. Teachers will be screened, hired, and paid as temporary employees of TRDA, alleviating any hands-on administration for businesses.

For more information about how your company can provide a work experience next summer for a teacher in the Tampa Bay area, contact Diane Matthews at or call (866) 263-9564, Ext 106.

About Helios Education Foundation

Helios Education Foundation is the largest nonprofit organization serving Arizona and Florida focused solely on education, and is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals by creating opportunities for success in postsecondary education. The Foundation’s community investments are made across three impact areas: Early Childhood Education, the Transition Years (grades 5-12) and Postsecondary Scholarships. Since inception in 2004, the Foundation has invested over $51 million in education-related programs and initiatives across both states.

About TRDA

Launched in 1987 as an independent special district of the state of Florida, TRDA leverages federal, state and private resources to develop and implement technology-based programs in four target areas: education, business incubation, energy and technology transfer. Since its inception, the TRDA has leveraged tens of millions of dollars in funding to support its education and economic development programs. By infusing new technology into businesses and schools, the TRDA helps to strengthen the economy and education throughout the state and nation. For more information, visit

Category: Career & Technical Education

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