The Boeing Company and its founding family have made a $30m philanthropic donation to the Museum of Flight to create the Boeing Academy for STEM Learning.
The new education program will focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics and will be facilitated at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
The $30m donation by both the Boeing Company and June Boeing, the widow of William E.Boeing Jnr (son of Boeing Company founder William Edward Boeing), is the latest in a series of steps made by the state of Washington to address the insufficient local supply of people qualified to work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
The Boeing Academy for STEM Learning will aim to solve this recruitment problem by having an ambition to double the number of students who will be facilitated by the Museum of Flight over the next two years.
The STEM Learning program will also focus on creating more women working in the scientific fields, as well as attracting more students from communities underrepresented in STEM careers.
The announcement of the $30m pledge by the Boeing Company and Mrs June Boeing was made during a recent ceremony at the Museum of Flight, which was attended by students currently learning at the facility as well as Museum of Flight trustees, local elected officials and education leaders.
President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Ray Conner, told the ceremony that the STEM program would help boost employment in important industries of the future.
“I’m pleased and proud to announce the launch of a remarkable initiative,” he said.
“It will allow The Museum of Flight to significantly expand STEM opportunities from kindergarten through college, the number of students will double by 2017 – and double again by 2019.
“Jobs related to science, technology, engineering and math represent the future.
“But thousands of openings will go unfilled because Washington State doesn’t have enough qualified candidates to fill them.
“We are confident The Museum of Flight is the perfect partner to help us expand the pipeline of diverse, talented young STEM professionals in Washington and beyond.”
The donation from the Boeing Comp any is one of many efforts to help improve the STEM education pipeline and tech industry’s diversity in Washington State.
Other initiatives include the University of Washington’s progress in increasing the percentage of women earning undergraduate computer science degrees, and state funding to train more K-12 computer science teachers.