STEM Internships

A chemistry teacher conducting an experiment with a conical flask and a beaker.

Try teaching and take a step towards our Training Programme on our week-long paid internship for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) students.

  • Boost your chances of a place on our Training Programme.
  • Develop skills that schools are crying out for.
  • Earn a national living wage.
  • Try out teaching first-hand.
  • Inspire disadvantaged pupils to take on STEM subjects.
One week
We hold one internship in spring 2020 and two in summer 2020
Applications for 2020 are now closed.

Get paid to try out teaching and spend time inspiring amazing young people to take on STEM subjects.


Develop the skills that headteachers are looking for

You won’t be photocopying or making cups of tea. You’ll be getting practical experience of life in the classroom, including actual teaching. That means you’ll gain skills such as presenting, classroom management and communication, that will put you in good stead for taking on Teach First’s Training Programme.

Earn a salary for one week

We’ll pay you:

  • the national living wage of around £307 per week
  • expenses including travel and accommodation

Try out teaching to find out if it’s for you

Share your love for science and maths, experience the real-life buzz of leading a class and the thrill of those eureka moments.

Inspire disadvantaged pupils to take on STEM subjects

You’ll be working in schools in deprived areas where you can have the greatest impact. Not only will you learn about the barriers young people from low-income homes face, you’ll inspire their passion for science, technology, engineering and maths in the classroom. 

Boost your chances of a place on our Training Programme

At the end of the week you'll attend an hour-long assessment (no need to attend a day-long Development Centre, as would usually be the case). This’ll give you a chance to put the skills you’ve learned during your internship into practice and grab an early place on our Training Programme - a Times Top 100 graduate scheme. 

Girl holding something in a bunsen burner flame with metal tongs
girl in a physics lesson with her hands on a van de graaff generator


Training and workshops

For the first couple of days, you'll be in a training venue. You'll have training and workshops, which will:

  • Build your teaching skills and knowledge.
  • Find out what it takes to be a leader in the classroom.
  • Learn more about the crisis facing STEM subjects.
  • Discover how you can be part of the solution.

School visit

Now it’s off to one of our partner schools for a taste of life as a STEM teacher:

  • Teach a lesson in your specialist subject.
  • Observe outstanding teachers in the classroom.
  • Meet Teach First ambassadors and the school’s senior leadership team.
  • Talk to young people from low income backgrounds about going to university.
  • Fire pupils’ enthusiasm for STEM subjects.

Your final day on the internship

Head back to your training venue to take part in the selection process for our Training Programme. Because we’ve already spent lots of time with you and you’ve experienced school life, it’s shorter than our usual selection day.  

You’ll have a one-to-one interview and take part in a final exercise. All the skills you’ve learned on the internship will put you in a great position to progress onto our award-winning scheme and the graduate job that goes with it.

The logistics

We sort out the practical stuff so you can focus on getting the most from the internship.  

  • You’ll earn the national living wage during the internship and we’ll pay your accommodation and travel expenses.
  • If you live further than 1.5 hours travel time from our training venue or your school we’ll put you up in student residences, serviced apartments or a hotel nearby.
  • Before you embark on this internship you'll need to complete six hours of online training, which you will be paid for
  • We pay the fee and register your details for a DBS certificate. This is to check if you have a criminal record. If you’ve spent more than six months abroad you’ll also need an international DBS certificate which you can get through the same provider.

If you have any questions about the STEM internship and whether you’re eligible, just email us.

an intern in glasses and a suit smiling
a female intern writing on a whiteboard


What you need to apply

To join the STEM internship you must have a grade C or above in GCSE English and Maths.

You must also:

  • be studying for a STEM degree OR have A-levels at grade A*-B in the following subjects: two sciences (biology, chemistry or physics) and/or maths and/or technology (design technology or information communications technology)
  • have a predicted 2:1 or higher for your degree
  • be graduating in 2021, unless you are studying for a PhD, in which you must have completed your studies by the end of 2020

What if you have non-UK qualifications?

You can still apply. Add your overseas qualifications to the online application form. If we make you an offer we’ll need proof they’re equivalent to the UK ones we require – we’ll help you do this at the time, but you’ll need to cover the costs for doing so. You’ll also need to confirm:

  • that you are a UK citizen or have the right to work in the UK
  • if you have been abroad for six months you will need an international DBS certificate (see “The logistics”)

Who we’re looking for

Our aim is to find people with the potential to be great teachers. That doesn’t mean we need you to be the finished product, but you do need to have the basic qualities needed to get there, and ideally a passion for teaching and an interest in taking part in our Training Programme.

When we assess your application we’ll be looking for these key teaching competencies:

  • humility, respect and empathy
  • interacting with others
  • understanding and motivation
  • leadership
  • planning and organising
  • problem solving
  • resilience
  • self reflection

You may not have all of them just yet. But if we think you’ve got what it takes to develop them on our STEM internship and Training Programme, we’ll give you the chance to.

young student holding something in a bunsen burner wearing safety goggles and smiling
intern standing up speaking to three students who are seated


Course dates

  • Spring internship (Birmingham): Monday 20 April - Friday 24 April 2020
  • Summer internship 1 (London): Monday 8 June - Friday 12 June 2020

Application form

Your application starts with our online application form. It takes around two hours and asks you to demonstrate some of the key competencies we look for in prospective teachers.

We want you to submit the strongest application possible. That’s why we have a team on hand to answer all your questions and talk you through your application before you hit submit. You can get in touch with them via email. You can also chat to your university recruiter.

In-person assessment

If your application is successful, you’ll be invited to our London office for a half-day assessment. This will give you even more opportunities to show us you’ve got what it takes to be a great teacher. You’ll be asked to demonstrate competencies in each of the below activities:  

Group task (40 mins)

You and up to three other fellow candidates will be asked to present a short pre-prepared presentation and get feedback from peers. But don’t worry - you’ll be given subject topics to choose from before your assessment. 

Interview and coaching (30 mins) 

You’ll then share your experiences relating to our competencies in the interview and coaching activity. This isn’t like every other interview – you'll be given coaching at the end by one of our trained assessors to support you in your areas for development 

Observe and respond (15 mins)

Lastly, you’ll get to observe a lesson previously given by a Teach First teacher. At the end you’ll discuss what you think could make the lesson even more engaging.  

Throughout these activities you’ll focus on your development, giving and receiving feedback, and self-reflection. All while getting to interact with like-minded candidates. 

intern standing at a whiteboard with sticky notes and a pen
a close-up of an open booklet that needs to be filled in


Why do we need more STEM teachers?

  • STEM subject teaching has a critical shortage of teachers. This unfairly impacts children from low-income backgrounds, hindering their potential and jeopardising the whole country’s future.
  • 50% of mixed-gender state schools do not have a single girl studying physics at A-level.
  • 24% of science teachers in the poorest areas do not have a relevant qualification, compared to 17% in the richest.
  • 21% of young people do not pass GCSE Maths at grade 4 or above
  • 40,000 more STEM graduates are needed every year in the UK to meet demand.

When young people don’t take on STEM subjects, the shortage of STEM expertise becomes a self-perpetuating cycle. By becoming a teacher and inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians, you could be part of the solution. Our STEM internship is a great place to start:

  • It won Best Short-term Insight Scheme at the National Undergraduate Employability awards.
  • 85% of people who complete it are offered a place on our Training Programme.
  • 93% of people who take part rate the internship as outstanding.
male student wearing glasses holding up a DNA double helix model
student pouring liquid from a measuring cylinder into a glass beaker

Our country needs teachers, now more than ever. Join our most important cohort for a generation. Places for our 2021 Training Programme now open.

Training Programme

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