Impacting Key Issues
Inspiring science and math education
Photo: Mike Clews
Helping students and teachers soar
The dream of flight. For many people it just remains a dream. But for hundreds of students worldwide, those dreams are taking off and becoming reality.
“I want to become an engineer and design the most innovative and efficient aircraft of the future,” said Gao Xin, a fifth-grade student from Beijing Second Experimental Primary School.
Gao is one of many young people who have participated in “Soaring with Your Dream,” a technology and engineering-oriented program launched in 2008 to build sustainable growth and encourage the study of science and technical subjects in Chinese schools.
Photo: Ma Gang
“The ‘Soaring with Your Dream' program is an example of an educational initiative that contributes to building a future work force for a sustainable economy in China and supports teachers to help students meet future challenges,” said David Wang, president of Boeing China.
Soaring with Your Dream inspires teachers and elementary school students about the science of aviation while cultivating the future talent of China — a fast-growing market that makes up almost one-fifth of the world's air travel. During the program's first year, teachers from more than 100 schools in the Beijing area were trained in basic aviation principles and more than 20,000 aviation textbooks and 10,000 airplane model kits were distributed to 100 elementary schools. In 2010, Boeing expanded Soaring with Your Dream to 150 schools to reach more teachers and school children on the outskirts of Beijing. Additionally, topics such as protecting the environment and reducing carbon emissions were included in the training program.
On the other side of the globe in the United Kingdom, Yateley School student Grace Roaf proudly said, “engineering as a whole is so interesting to me and I'm starting to love it more and more.”
The Yateley School is leading a small group of schools under the U.K. Schools Build a Plane challenge, an ambitious program that challenges students between the ages of 14 and 18 to build, fly and the help sell a light aircraft. In June 2009, more than 20 Yateley students began building a single-engine two-seat RANS S-6 Coyote from start to finish. Following months of hard work, the first flight is expected to take place in December 2010 following final inspections and flight certifications.
“This exciting project directly engages young people and their teachers with the practical elements of science, technology, engineering and math in a fun and inspiring way.”
—Roger Bone, president of Boeing U.K.
“We are very excited to be involved in the project,” said Yateley School Science Teacher Caroline Uttley. “It is extremely important to find new ways to inspire the next generation of pilots, engineers and scientists.”
Launched in 2008 by Boeing and the Royal Aeronautical Society, the U.K. Schools Build a Plane program aims to provide young people with hands-on experience about engineering and building aircraft. Along the way, students and teachers learn scientific and engineering principles behind flight in addition to project management and problem-solving skills.
Throughout the airplane build, Boeing experts and Royal Aeronautical Society members provide training for educators and act in a mentoring capacity to students. As with all aviation projects, the program includes a commercial focus with winning schools, marketing and selling the aircraft they build.
“This exciting project directly engages young people and their teachers with the practical elements of science, technology, engineering and math in a fun and inspiring way,” said Roger Bone, president of Boeing U.K.In 2009, Boeing directed about $55 million towards education programs worldwide to enhance young people's interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and to prepare the future work force for tomorrow's jobs and careers.