On March 25, Space Center Houston recognized Boeing for its commitment and generous support empowering the next generation of explorers with authentic science learning experiences. Since 1992, Boeing has invested more than $2 million in Space Center Houston to fund programs that inspire youth and educators through science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) education.
Together, Space Center Houston and Boeing fuel the local STEM pathway. Today’s announcement also coincided with a special meet-and-greet opportunity for Houston-area students. To help make the connection from the classroom to the real world, female students from across Houston met with leaders in the space industry to share reflections on their scientific research as a part of their hands-on inquiry-based learning through the Girls STEM Pathway initiative, presented by Boeing.
Space Center Houston also unveiled new signage recognizing Boeing for its support of the Independence Plaza exhibit complex. With Boeing’s support, the center opened Independence Plaza in 2016, the center’s biggest project since opening its doors. The international landmark is the only place in the world where guests can enter the original shuttle carrier aircraft, a modified Boeing 747, on which is mounted a high-fidelity space shuttle replica.
“Boeing’s longtime support has made it possible for us to prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow,” said William T. Harris, president and CEO of Space Center Houston. “Their generous investment and collaboration in science learning provides people of all ages with immersive science learning experiences.”
Thanks in part to Boeing’s ongoing support, Space Center Houston’s education programs have impacted more than 250,000 students and teachers annually from across the globe. Prior support includes funding to benefit Space Center Houston’s Girls STEM Pathway initiative, which engages girls with 21st-century skills to fuel their imaginations and provide authentic learning experiences in STEM careers. The comprehensive, six-phase initiative includes an introductory elementary school experience, a middle school project-based STEM experience, a summer bridge program with mentoring support and a program for high school girls to engage in scientific research.
“All of us at Boeing recognize the need to inspire exploration in the next generation of students because it is the grasp for the unknown that makes advancement possible for all of us,” said John Mulholland, Boeing vice president and program manager for the International Space Station. “It has been our pleasure to partner with Space Center Houston from the start as a place where families can come for inspiration and knowledge and to kindle that drive to accomplish great things.”
Boeing’s support for the development of the Girls STEM Pathway initiative includes three consecutive years of grant support to launch the program in 2016-18. Boeing female employees and STEM professionals have also served as role models offering mentorship support to motivate and help young girls find success in the workforce. The Girls STEM Pathway series takes place throughout the year at Space Center Houston and via online platforms. Approximately 850 students have participated in Girls STEM Pathway to date.