The Shape of Things to Come

By Thomas Jenkins

April 2016

My story is unique because it is currently being written, and its measurable effects will only be realized in the future.

I'm part of a team of educators at that is currently working alongside Boeing engineers and scientists in an effort to address the needs of the 21st century student by developing cutting-edge curriculum. Not only are these modules of instruction rigorous, but they are also creative and innovative enough to inspire a new generation of engineers, scientists and outside-of-the-box thinkers.

As someone who serves in the educational trenches, I am thankful to have an industry partner that is forward-thinking and realizes that we need content that emphasizes a growth mindset, positive risk taking and iterative design to adequately prepare our students for job descriptions that have yet to be written.

While monetary grants are always appreciated in the educational community, classroom teachers generally lack the training and the technical expertise to fully transfer these valuable practices to their students.

It has been inspirational to watch Boeing engineers and scientists volunteer their time to work alongside educators to share their knowledge and their passion, and it has given me hope that the Boeing and Teaching Channel partnership can be used as a model by others to help reshape how both science and engineering are taught in the K-12 classroom.

Houston educator Tiffani Slaughter (far right) and her fifth-grade class learn alongside Boeing Technical Fellow Ian Fialho (center) and Boeing Mechanical Engineer Bryan Murphy in an educational segment called "Wind Turbines: Rotor Blade Challenge."