Funds will help continue and expand after-school STEM programming in six North St. Louis County school districts.
[St. Louis, MO] Maryville University has been awarded $70,000 from Boeing to continue its longstanding partnership in providing STEM programming for under-resourced schools. Grant funding will enable Maryville’s Center for Access and Achievement (CA2) to support after-school STEM clubs in six partner school districts throughout North St. Louis County: Ferguson-Florissant, Ritenour, Jennings, Riverview Gardens, Normandy and Hazelwood. These Clubs are part of an overarching program created and overseen by Maryville’s CA2, “FutureSTL: Science and Technology Leaders.”
Through FutureSTL, teachers in the six partner districts attend Maryville’s STEM Education Certificate program, an intensive 75-hour, tuition-based course designed to reinforce and build their STEM instructional skills. The course originated in 2016 through an initial grant from Boeing, and Boeing has remained an integral partner with Maryville ever since.
Teachers in the six designated districts complete the STEM Education Certificate with scholarship support provided by Boeing and additional partners. In order to receive scholarships, the teachers agree to become STEM Champions in their individual schools—offering after-school STEM Clubs to their students for at least 20 hours during the school year. The new grant from Boeing will support activities of these Clubs throughout 2024, which may include everything from coding, to robotics, engineering design and more. Students will also have opportunities to participate in STEM-focused academic competitions such as FIRST LEGO League and Cyber Patriot.
“All students should have opportunities for open-ended, real-world problem solving and STEM education provides this in ways that are engaging for students now and useful throughout their lives and future careers” said Steve Coxon, PhD, Maryville professor and executive director of the Center for Access and Achievement.
Since the STEM Education Certificate program began, more than 100 teachers from Maryville’s partner school districts have completed the program, and more than 40 are currently STEM Champions—impacting approximately 600 K–12 students annually. The new grant from Boeing will help increase the number of STEM Champions to 50 or more, and provide STEM Club involvement for up to 750 students annually throughout the six school districts.
STEM skills remain foundational to student success in school and throughout their lives. In addition to hosting after-school STEM Clubs, STEM Champion teachers use classroom time to provide engaging, real-world problem-solving activities, and help students prepare for post-secondary study and envision future careers in these high-demand fields.
This is especially important in the St. Louis region, where STEM jobs continue to outpace qualified candidates. Nationally, STEM jobs were anticipated to grow 15 percent between 2021 and 2031, and offer salaries that are 35% higher, on average, than those of other careers. In Maryville’s partner school districts, almost all students are from groups that are underrepresented in STEM fields.
Boeing’s steadfast support of FutureSTL has been key to the program’s success. Some former STEM Club participants are now earning STEM-related degrees at Maryville, while others are assisting in Maryville’s STEM-focused summer programs. “Boeing’s long-term support has allowed us, together, to serve thousands of St. Louis area students, as well as to prepare dozens of their teachers in STEM education,” Coxon said. “This greatly amplifies the number of students who will be served into the future.”
About Maryville University
Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a comprehensive and nationally ranked private institution with an enrollment of nearly 11,000 students. Maryville offers more than 90 programs at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels to students from 50 states and 58 countries. Among recent graduates, 98 percent are employed or attending graduate school.
As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future, leading with sustainability, and cultivating a culture based on the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity.