Encouraging the next generation of thinkers, dreamers and creators can be a daunting role for teachers. It is exciting to see corporations like Boeing being actively involved in promoting STEM learning activities – and why wouldn’t they, they could well be providing the tools that encourage their next generation of aircraft designers.
Are you a teacher who is looking for fun classroom activities with a STEM focus? Boeing, Iridescent’s Curiosity Machine, PBS Learning Media and the Teaching Channel have produced a collection of educational materials and tutorials that children can use to find alternative energy sources, engineer an airfoil, and design their own satellite, among other activities.
These activities are designed to help students develop important skills like the ability to think critically, collaborate and communicate effectively. Boeing engineers worked side-by-side with partners to develop lesson plans, documentaries and design hands-on activities that break down complicated concepts into easy-to-digest resources.
“Working with Boeing engineers, who learned exactly what skills need to be fostered to inspire real-world problem-solving, was a unique opportunity. The engineering design challenges we developed together with Boeing have helped us bring science and engineering concepts directly to school children and families in many underserved and underrepresented communities around the world,” said Dr. Amy Kim, senior director of Iridescent Curiosity Machine. “Problem-solving is not limited to the specific math and science formulas, it’s about how to apply the engineering design process in hands-on ways that yield many solutions. This collection of content achieves that goal.”
The classroom content is appropriate for students K-12 and covers a range of topic areas, including:
- The magic of flight
- STEM teaching tools
- Space exploration
- Designing the future
- How flight took off
- You can build it!
- Engineering in action
- Interactive adventures
- Career runway
- Movies in-flight
From 2013-2016, Boeing invested $2.6 million in grant funding to support the creation, use and local implementation of these design challenges – including 90 videos featuring educators and Boeing engineers. More than 20,000 students and their families have completed challenges from the collection.