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Gliding to a future in engineering

High school student throwing balsa wood glider

Pete George/Boeing

Eighty high school students participated in the Boeing Engineering Challenge at Washington University in St. Louis.

High school students who took part in the Boeing Engineering Challenge had a chance to soar to new heights with their creations recently.

The challenge on May 4 called for student teams to work together to design hand held balsa wood gliders as part of a six week long project, with help from their teachers and Boeing employees who volunteered to mentor them.

Boeing organizers have a bigger vision in mind: to inspire future engineers and scientists. They hope innovative programs and hands-on activities like the glider challenge sparks creativity in students and a desire to learn. It’s just one example of the many ways The Boeing Company supports science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach, and developing the workforce of the future. The challenge followed soon after the FIRST Robotics Championship in St. Louis, which attracted more than ten thousand students from around the world to compete in building robots.

Held at Washington University in St. Louis, the challenge brought together more than eighty students, and university administrators called the relationship they share with Boeing, invaluable.

“It is because of the partnerships that Boeing has with Washington University and other schools that spark the imagination of young minds,” said Chris Kroeger, associate dean of students for the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

“It also helps Boeing attract the next generation of engineers.”