Maryville University has been awarded $150,000 from Boeing to support after-school STEM activities in six school districts throughout North St. Louis County. The project is part of an overarching program through Maryville’s Center for Access and Achievement (CA2), “FutureSTL: Science and Technology Leaders.”
The grant builds on prior support from Boeing over many years. In 2016, Boeing provided initial funds to create a STEM Education Certificate program, an intensive 75-hour, tuition-based course (offered twice annually) in which teachers from any school district may enroll to reinforce and build their STEM instructional skills.
With funding from Boeing and additional partners, the CA2 has been able to offer scholarship assistance for teachers in five partner school districts (Ferguson-Florissant, Ritenour, Jennings, Riverview Gardens and Normandy) to attend the STEM Education Certificate program free of charge. In order to receive scholarships, teachers from these districts agree (upon completion of the program) 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 2022, with the addition of a new sixth partner, Hazelwood School District.
Since the STEM Education Certificate program began, more than 75 teachers from Maryville’s partner school districts have completed the program, and more than 30 have become STEM Champions — impacting approximately 450 K–12 students annually. The new grant from Boeing will increase the number of STEM Champions to 40, and provide STEM Club involvement for up to 600 students annually throughout the six school districts.
STEM skills are foundational to student success in school and throughout their lives. “Students engaged in our STEM Clubs across North St. Louis County have tremendous potential to take on STEM careers, but need high-quality opportunities like FutureSTL to both excite and prepare them for post-secondary STEM programs and to help solve the world’s problems,” said Steve Coxon, PhD, Executive Director of the CA2 and FutureSTL principal investigator. “FutureSTL works so well because we partner directly with passionate teachers to give them the training and tools they need to meet their students’ needs.”
Not only does STEM preparation increase a student’s interest in pursuing STEM in higher education and as a career; increasing participants’ proficiency in STEM will ultimately help the St. Louis region meet current workforce demands. Nationally, STEM jobs were anticipated to grow an average of 9 percent between 2019 and 2028, with median salaries of $87,000. In Maryville’s partner school districts, almost all students are from groups that are underrepresented in STEM fields. Remote learning, made necessary during the pandemic, has only widened that gap.
FutureSTL STEM Clubs, with support from Boeing, will offer a wide range of activities throughout Spring 2022 and the following Fall — from coding to robotics, agriculture, aerospace engineering and more. Students will also have opportunities to participate in STEM-focused academic competitions such as FIRST LEGO League, Cyber Patriot and Destination Imagination.
Partnerships such as the one with Boeing are vital to this effort, Coxon noted, adding, “We are grateful to Boeing for the continued support of our ongoing efforts with schools and seeing the potential FutureSTL students have to continue to grow the St. Louis region’s STEM talent.”
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 and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity. Learn more at www.boeing.com.