Home Editor's Picks Boeing grants support Mesa Public School STEM programs

Boeing grants support Mesa Public School STEM programs

Students enjoy an engaging lesson via the Aeronautical Center for Exploration, funded by Boeing's Making Space for Experimental Learning grant. (Courtesy of Mesa Public Schools)

In Arizona, The Boeing Company recently gave 10 grants totaling $685,000, including partnerships with the Mesa School District to help inspire the next generation of rocket scientists and engineers.

“Boeing is funding three STEM programs in the Mesa School District, including Experiential Learning with the Aeronautical Centers of Exploration and the Space Integration Module, Engineering is Elementary and Claiming the Evidence,” said Lisa Dunbar, state and local communications, Boeing Government Operations. “These innovative experiences provide students with rigorous curriculum rich in science, technology, engineering and math, preparing them for college and career.”

Each school year approximately 8,000 students, after two weeks of flight and space curriculum, visit one of four separate locations throughout the district to experience hands-on activities, including flight simulators and space mission exercises.

“Every fifth- and sixth-grade student has the opportunity to participate in these educational experiences,” Dunbar said. “These are programs to continue the pipeline of students experiencing the earlier Engineering is Elementary curriculum. Students learn problem-solving, critical-thinking and teamwork.”

With more than 300,000 veterans in Maricopa County and 20 percent of those suffering from PTS or depression, she said Boeing is supporting recovery programs, including the Operation Welcome Home Mending through Tending program, where veterans work through emotional challenges and prepare for work transitions by tending a local garden; and Soldier’s Best Friend, which pairs a rescued service dog with each veteran and provides training for the dog.

“Due to a 20-year drought and water preservation issues, Boeing is supporting The Nature Conservancy in a water conservation program that is reducing water usage along the Verde River by 50 percent,” Dunbar said.

“Boeing’s partnerships with these organization go beyond financial support,” she continued. “Our 3,700 Boeing employees in Arizona also give time to mentor kids and make an impact in their communities. In 2016, Boeing Arizona employees volunteered 19,000 hours.”

“We aspire to be a top performer in every area of our business, and that includes leading in the communities where our employees and their families live and work,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and chief executive officer. “By harnessing our teammates’ unique skills and passion for giving, our professional networks and partnerships, and our financial resources, we will inspire the dreamers and doers of tomorrow and drive positive, lasting change in our communities across the globe.”

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. A top U.S. exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in 150 countries.

See how Boeing and its employees give their time, talent and resources in communities around the world: 2017 Global Engagement Portfolio.

Mesa Public Schools $301,000 for STEM initiatives goes to:

  • Engineering Is Elementary for pre-kindergarten to sixth-grade students — $77,000.
  • Claiming the Evidence: Promoting STEM Thinking in Grades K-6 — $120,000.
  • Making Space for Experimental Learning — $32,000.
  • KinderU: Math… it does a mind good — $72,000.

Grant monies provide teachers with tools and skills to successfully integrate STEM into learning through hands-on projects, and the Space Integration Module (SIM) and Aeronautical Center for Exploration (ACE, formerly known as Flight Center).

“We are fortunate to continue our innovative practices for students and collaborative professional development through Boeing’s ongoing support of our Engineering is Elementary and Claiming the Evidence programs,” said Dr. Sean Enright, director of teaching and learning at Mesa Public Schools. “These programs have increased our teachers’ capacity in STEM-related disciplines and provided our students with incredibly innovative learning opportunities. Boeing’s support of our programs has spanned for well over the past three decades. We look forward to a continued partnership to enhance and advance our educational community.”

Mesa Boeing employees have also benefited district students through annual donations such as school supplies and backpacks.

– Kelly Mixer is managing editor of MyNewsMesa.com. Reach her at kmixer@mynewsmesa.com.

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