Wings of Hope is in the final stages of designing a new program to engage youth in hands-on STEM learning through working on aircraft. Stakeholders were convened over three extensive sessions to develop the Soar into STEM program’s curriculum and outcomes. Led by STEM expert and consultant, Dr. Deborah Holmes, and Wings of Hope Global Programs and Partnerships Director Dr. Jessica Watson, the committee includes representatives from three St. Louis-area school districts (Jennings, Ferguson-Florissant, and Kirkwood), the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, Boeing, St. Louis Community College, Women in Aviation, Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Association and, of course, Wings of Hope. Maritz Corporation provided the initial funding for the program design phase.
“Our goal is to engage students in our own hangar while working with airplanes. We think there’s an opportunity to excite kids about STEM-related activities and aviation,” says Wings of Hope President and CEO Bret Heinrich. “We’re involving partners like the Girl Scouts and Women in Aviation to help encourage young women to explore this field.”
By exposing students to aviation as a humanitarian tool, the program also aims to ignite in students a passion for serving others. Soar into STEM is on track to launch during the 2018-2019 school year.