Boeing Partners With Mesa Public Schools to Excite Students About Science and Technology
Mesa, AZ | Submitted by Lisa Dunbar
In today’s global, high-tech world, careers in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields will become increasingly important. In fact, the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that STEM occupations will grow at double the rate of other occupations in the coming years.
That’s why Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, is committed to inspiring future engineers and scientists. Through a partnership with Mesa Public Schools, Boeing has reached tens of thousands of students with a variety of science-based, hands-on programs:
- Since 2012, Engineering is Elementary has reached elementary school students throughout the district, as a way to encourage curiosity, experimentation and problem-solving skills. Students learn to think like an engineer. Working in teams, they’re given a real-world problem to solve, along with some supplies, but no specific directions. Students have tackled everything from knee braces to clean water and energy creation. The hands-on projects are guided by teachers who have been trained in engineering principles and teaching best practices. A favorite among students, Engineering is Elementary has reached more than 29,000 students and close to 900 teachers at 65 schools in Mesa. Better yet? Tests show an 80 percent increase in understanding of engineering design.
- Fifth graders in the Mesa School District learn about flight during their science curriculum studies and have access to two flight centers equipped with flight simulators, courtesy of Boeing and its Desert Sages retirees. Covering everything from the principles of flight to airplane components, youth are able to test their skills in fixed-wing and helicopter simulators. There are approximately 4,000 students annually who have the opportunity to learn more about the science of flight.
- To really get students excited about careers in flight, Boeing also hosts a summer Aviation Camp, in conjunction with the Commemorative Air Force Museum and Mesa Public Schools. This two-week outreach program covers the history of aviation, in addition to key STEM topics, including the physics of flight, aviation safety and the impact of weather. Campers have the opportunity to try their hand at flight in aviation simulators and to flex their engineering muscles while constructing model aircraft.
- To get youth thinking even bigger, the Space Integration Module is an opportunity for middle school youth to collaborate, invent and experience science in action. Complete with a crew exploration vehicle, international space station, and mission control, youth have access to technology to help strengthen their STEM skills and inspire future aspirations. In the 2015-16 school year alone, the Space Integration Module reached nearly 150 teachers and more than 4,500 students in Mesa Public Schools.
Boeing is helping to prepare thousands of Arizona students for their future by engaging in critical thinking with these valuable STEM programs with a goal of inspiring future scientists and aviation manufacturing workers.