FUTURE U. aims to inspire the next generation of aerospace innovation by providing standards-aligned, STEM-focused educational resources for middle and high school students. The program leverages Boeing’s expertise and employee volunteerism, to inspire students inspire students to use creativity, collaboration, persistence and problem-solving to change the world. Geared towards students in grades 6–12, FUTURE U. uses hands-on, experiential learning to ignite excitement and inspire them to become tomorrow’s innovators.
Future U. pairs virtual experiences with hands-on, standards-aligned STEM lessons for educators to guide students as they explore key concepts in aerospace and engineering. Resources are aligned to national learning standards, including the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSS: Math) and Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts (CCSS: ELA).
The program launched in the fall 2019, with lesson plans, interactive 360-degree videos with companion activities and educator guides to deepen student exploration of engineering. These resources are free of charge and available to anyone through the Boeing FUTURE U. website.
Virtual field trips (VFT) are another key strategy to engage students remotely with dynamic content and emphasize experiential learning that drive home teachings about engineering as it is applied and observed in the real working world. The ecoAction Virtual Field Trip highlight the ways Boeing is using advanced technology, engineering, and its dedicated workforce to create a more sustainable future. The immersive, virtual experience brings students to various locations around Seattle, Washington to meet STEM experts who are working on sustainability in the air, on land, in the water and in the handling and reduction of waste. Innovating the Future VFT takes students to space by visiting the historic Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. This behind-the-scenes tour will introduce students to just a few of the amazing Boeing employees who are preparing to write the next chapter of space history with the launch of the Starliner/CST-100 spacecraft and the deployment of the Space Launch System (SLS).
In addition, FUTURE U. provides educators with six lesson plans to teach students about sustainability while exploring engaging topics in science and technology. Topics include Sustainable Aviation Fuels, Bioremediation, Sustainable Flight, Semi-Autonomous Propulsion, Neutral Buoyancy, and Ocean Eco-Exploration. Take these lessons even further by meeting Boeing employees who work in space, underwater, and aviation with step-by-step employee guides and ready-to-go STEM activities to get started today. These educator resources supplement the diverse array of FUTURE U. content while also connecting across multiple disciplines.
The launch of the program aimed to expose a large number of educators and students to these resources; by tapping into Discovery Education’s access to more than 4.5 million educators and 45million students, this program was promoted via targeted outreach to key regions and audiences, media campaign on DiscoveryEducation.com, a top teacher site with over 4.2 million monthly visitors, education trade press, social media, direct-to-teacher targeted e-blasts and e-newsletter callouts, local Discovery Education community blog posts, and grassroots outreach to Discovery Education’s influential teacher community.
FUTURE U. has reached over 4.3 million students to date, along with over a half million page views of the website.
To date, more than 5,058 classrooms registered to attend the virtual field trips, educators downloaded the supplemental guides nearly 3,000 times, and the VFTs have reached approximately 922,947 students with views from 49 states and several international locations. Today, the program continues to engage students with STEM concepts by connecting them, sometimes face-to-face, with STEM careers through one of world’s leading engineering teams.