It's no competition: Safety and Quality come out on top

Boeing hosts Innovation Challenge for Core Plus Interns

August 12, 2020 in Our Commitment

Teams pitched their ideas for the Innovation Challenge during a virtual session.

Image credit: Simren Luthra

For the first time ever, Boeing Workforce Development hosted an Innovation Challenge as part of the summer virtual Core Plus Aerospace internship.

Core Plus Aerospace is a two-year high school manufacturing curriculum, developed by Boeing and provided to the state, that prepares students for high-demand jobs through hands-on learning. Students learn real-world skills that open doors to manufacturing jobs.

This year’s intern challenge included teams of student interns working together to develop ideas to improve safety and quality work practices in their shop classes, school environments and campuses.

The challenge culminated with an Innovation Fair where, each team pitched their ideas to Boeing leaders, educators and a panel of judges. Students were judged on both their presentations and on Implementation Guides that they developed for educators to put their ideas into action. While the Innovation Challenge took place virtually, that didn’t stop students from working together.

“I found it easy to work with other people and it was effortless because if the internship hadn’t been virtual, then half of us would’ve been in Everett and the other half in Renton, so we probably wouldn’t have gotten to interact as much as we did,” said intern Jevoni Sykes. “Mixing us all together was really great and it brought a lot of different ideas together that might not have been doable if it was in person.”

The challenge helped the interns understand the importance of safety and quality in a manufacturing environment.  Students had the opportunity to build and demonstrate problem solving skills, strengthen their communication, collaboration and design skills, and build relationships with and learn from experienced Boeing mentors and supporters.

After their internships end, the students will be able to highlight these achievements during future job interviews.

The below teams were deemed winners:

Derek Perez-Gomez, Chris Wigestrand Elliott Tanovan developed a Foreign Object Debris (FOD) Tray Project template for students to make and personalize in class in order to encourage trays to actually be used.  FOD containers limit loose debris around shops and increase safety.

Je’voni Sykes, Jacob Doan and Hau Truong created an add-on for inexpensive desktop Computer Numerical Control (CNC) routers that are typically bought by local schools. These models lack proper drainage and coolant containment which means fluid can spill on the ground. The proposed solution includes designs for a compact vacuum attachment to contain fluids and chips created by the machining process, which can be 3D printed or CNC machined by students.

Monica Martin Malagon, Lovepreet Kaur and Ernesto Mercado created a template for a cotton glove liner that prevents direct contact between latex or other abrasive materials and the user. They branded their idea ‘Tranquil-X’.

Interns Monica Martin Malagon and Ernesto Mercado appreciated the opportunity to work so close with their mentor.

“Our mentor brought up a lot of different perspectives that really enabled us to go and research and find more information especially on a product like ours, where we tried to be more inclusive,” said Malagon.

“It opened up a whole different area for me to think about, and encouraged us to expand our idea. It was pretty cool,” Mercado added.

“This is a really good opportunity,” said intern Elliot Tanovan from the FOD Tray Project kits group about the internship. “You get your foot in the door in so many different positions and learn so much.”

Holly Miles from Boeing Workforce Development is the Innovation Challenge project coordinator.

“The activity requires them to think through how safety and quality can be improved, and what it would take to implement in their shop classes or schools,” says Miles.

Learn more here about how Boeing’s innovative people and technology are changing the world.

Simren Luthra