It's quite possible the first human to visit Mars could be learning the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic this very moment. Looking toward to the next 100 years – to include the potential for that Mars explorer – Boeing co-developed and curated a collection of educational resources for K-12 students to ignite their interest in science, technology and engineering.
"That first experience of seeing a shuttle launch, at 12, set the tone to go learn more," said Tony Castilleja, a mechanical engineer at Boeing who helped develop pieces of the collection. Now Tony is part of the Boeing Space Exploration team building spacecraft such as the Boeing CST-100 Starliner that will one day take astronauts into space using a completely autonomous vehicle. "My hope is that these materials and the campaign might spark interest in another young person."
Partnering with Teaching Channel, Curiosity Machine, PBS Learning Media, and Above and Beyond, Boeing engineers co-created the materials for parents and teachers to focus on fundamental skills, such as curiosity, creativity, collaboration, and problem solving. By better supporting teachers and parents with the tools they need for problem-based learning and design thinking in the classroom, it is our hope that we will better prepare students to innovate for the future.
To garner awareness and engagement with the content, the 100 Days of Learning campaign began July 15 and runs through October 22, which are the first 100 days of the company's second century.
The full suite of materials can be found here and will remain available into 2017.