STEM Signing Days go virtual

The setting looked a little different this year, but that didn’t diminish the excitement of STEM Signing Days

October 01, 2020 in Community

The setting looked a little different this year, but that didn’t diminish the excitement of STEM Signing Days — events that recognize students who are committing to study a STEM field at a college or trade school.

“We weren’t able to hold in-person events this year because of COVID-19, but we still wanted to honor the accomplishments of these students,” said Erin Fisher, Boeing Global Engagement manager. “They’ve committed to study STEM, and they’re going to attend some of the top colleges and universities in the country in the fall. That deserves a celebration.”

Boeing Global Engagement teams across the U.S., working with community partners, got creative and produced digital events using platforms like Zoom to make sure the students’ achievements could be recognized.

Close to 600 students participated in STEM Signing Day events at 11 locations across the U.S. so far this year — the most since Boeing began supporting the events in 2017.

In South Carolina, 92 seniors — representing every county in the state — committed to studying a STEM-based curriculum after high school. Students were encouraged to post to their social media accounts showing their Boeing swag and excitement.

“I’m happy to pursue my dream in becoming an engineer. Thank you [Tallo] and [Boeing] for making this happen,” proclaimed an Instagram story from Daunna Holmes, one of the South Carolina seniors.

STEM Signing Day events were held for the first time in Gary, Indiana, and Delaware.

“I plan to major in environmental science, then after I graduate, go into the Air Force and hopefully get a bio-environmental engineering job,” said Brittany Sanders, a student who participated in the inaugural STEM Signing Day for Gary. “In a Black community, we don’t hear a lot about environmental science, and I wanted to do something I wasn’t hearing about.”

“I want to be part of the generation of students who create a brighter future for all,” said Alex Hernandez, one of Chicago’s 48 honorees. “My dream job is to be a structural engineer and work for Boeing.”

In the Puget Sound region, students posted videos online sharing their career goals and thanking their mentors.

“STEM, and particularly mathematics, introduced me to a new way to analyze things. I came to love the feeling of satisfaction that came from understanding how the world around me worked,” said Lydia Calderon-Aceituno, from Spokane, Washington, in her online video.

In the Potomac region and Arizona, Boeing early career employees engaged with students and answered questions.

“In the world of engineering, the language we all speak on Earth is math and physics, and that enables great capabilities for our future,” said Tony Castilleja, a systems engineer on Boeing Human Spaceflight programs. He delivered his remarks to the students in both English and Spanish.

“I look forward to working with all of you future innovators at Boeing to help make the world a better place. Remember the key to success is education. I’ll see you on the launch pad.”

In other locations, Boeing leaders and local elected officials were able to interact with the students online and offer their congratulations — a unique engagement opportunity that was facilitated by the use of the digital platforms.