STEM Education Brings Prosperity, Preparedness, and Opportunity

Since 1999, Project Exploration has delivered access to STEM learning opportunities and has valued the support from corporate supporters.

The STEM Education Coalition, reported that a survey of CEOs of major U.S. corporations in 2014 indicated that approximately 60 percent of job openings require basic STEM literacy, and 42 percent require advanced STEM skills; however, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, 60 percent of U.S. employers are having difficulties finding qualified workers to fill vacancies at their companies. Furthermore:

  • Twenty-eight percent say that at least half of their new entry-level hires lack basic
    STEM literacy;
  • Sixty-two percent of CEOs report problems finding qualified applicants for jobs requiring advanced computer/IT knowledge;
  • Forty-one percent report problems finding qualified applicants for jobs requiring advanced quantitative knowledge.

The Boeing Company has invested nearly a quarter-billion dollars in corporate giving in 2018 which Includes more than $55 million in new grants to support charitable partners and grant dollars will fund programs in 2019 and beyond. Project Exploration is a recipient of these investments. However, the Boeing Company has also invested in providing various other opportunities to Chicago youth.

Boeing Youth Lab

The Boeing Youth Lab invited middle schools students to come to the Chicago Boeing office and participate in a Boeing Engineer Design Challenge. Project Exploration took 75 middle schoolers from four west side schools; DePriest Elementary School, Plato Learning Academy, Spencer Technology Academy, and George Leland Elementary.

Students were welcomed into Boeing’s downtown offices in the grand foyer. Boeing employees escorted the middle schoolers up to the 26th floor. Students from different schools formed groups of three and listened to a Boeing engineer describe aerodynamics and Boeing’s work with space travel to Mars. The students were posed with a design challenge to create a rocket that flew the farthest distance. After spending time designing, creating, testing, and redesigning the final six teams tested their designs up on the 30th floor! As all of the students lined the walls the final competition commenced. Project Exploration students swept the challenge and won third, second, and first place! Project Exploration is excited to continue to work with Boeing to inspire Chicago’s youth!

Boeing’s Spirit of the Holidays

Project Exploration was chosen as Boeing’s Community Engagement community partner for Spirit of the Holidays this year. Boeing employees donated via E-Giving or by selecting a student from a Giving Tree in order to make so many children’s holidays brighter and meet their $25,000 goal! With Boeing employees’ generous donations, Project Exploration was able to give each student in our programs a Christmas gift, as well as provide a gift to every student attending George Leland Elementary. Boeing’s generosity to Project Exploration and the community extends far beyond the holidays and we are grateful for their support!

Holiday Celebration Day

The Project Exploration team and the Boeing Global Engagement team celebrated the holidays together at George Leland Elementary School in the Austin community on December 18. It was all hands on deck as the team members and so many wonderful volunteers came out to our West Side STEM Learning Center to wrap almost 400 gifts! Students began the holiday celebration with cake and refreshments. In addition, there were activities including face painting stations. The event ended with each student receiving a full stocking and a gift. The Project Exploration team and all of the students want to express their gratitude to the Boeing Company and its employees for their generosity and continued support.

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