SEATTLE — The Boeing Company and June Boeing, wife of the late William E. Boeing, Jr., have each contributed $15 million to expand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education offered through The Museum of Flight.
The donations will launch the Boeing Academy for STEM Learning, a new STEM-focused education initiative that aims to double the number of students served by the museum’s immersive programs over the next two years, particularly from communities underrepresented in STEM fields, according to museum officials. The programs are also designed to connect students to in-demand jobs.
“This is an opportunity to invest in our children and in our region’s future economic health and growth,” said Ray Conner, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Boeing is committed to serving underrepresented areas of the community and we are proud to partner with The Museum of Flight to help inspire students to reach new heights.”
Washington state leads in creating STEM jobs, but by 2017 an estimated 45,000 STEM jobs in Washington will go unfulfilled due to lack of qualified candidates, according to Washington STEM, a non-profit organization advocating for increased investment in STEM education.
In addition, the $15 million investment from Mr. and Mrs. Boeing, set in motion before Mr. Boeing passed away this past January, will be used to facilitate the long-term preservation and exhibition of the museum’s artifacts, as well as the museum’s operations.
“When it came to The Museum of Flight, Bill cared about everything — the collections, the visitors, the youth and the financial health of the institution,” said Mrs. Boeing. “He was delighted that our support would honor the past, while today’s Boeing would ensure a robust future for children, regardless of economic means.”
The museum provides STEM education programming for students from pre-kindergarten through high school and is home to Highline Public Schools’ Raisbeck Aviation High School (RAHS), which has a curriculum focused on engineering and science.