The Arizona Educational Foundation is the recipient of a $100,000 Boeing grant supporting work in anti-racism and STEM in schools.
Boeing is a longtime proponent of STEM education with school-based partnerships throughout Arizona, particularly in Mesa where the company manufactures Apache attack helicopters, according to a release.
The $100,000 grant given to the Arizona Educational Foundation is part of a $50 million investment over the next four years to confront racism and build more inclusive opportunities within the communities where Boeing resides.
Supporting and celebrating excellence in pre-K through 12th grade public schools is the mission of Arizona Educational Foundation. Part of that support is making sure students and teachers are provided with specialized learning and engagement opportunities. Arizona Educational Foundation’s new anti-racism initiative, called Our World, is a direct response to the death of George Floyd and a way to help students and teachers build understanding, the release states.
“When discussing race, especially traumatic events that flood national television and social media, young people want to be part of those conversations,” Kim Graham, Arizona Educational Foundation executive director, said in the release. “They have questions and school is often the only place where students can have constructive conversations around racism, bias, and privilege. AEF created Our World to help provide teachers support and training to help their students.”
Ms. Graham believes the Our World initiative will provide teachers with strategies to not only having constructive conversations with students about racism but also provide them with ideas for creating culturally inclusive classrooms where all students feel valued. With Boeing’s support, AEF will be able to provide the Our World initiative to any Arizona public school that wants the training free of charge.
In addition to supporting Our World, Boeing gave AEF funding for teachSTEM, a unique program for junior high and high school students that raises awareness about the need for more STEM teachers, the release states.
“Arizona is a major hub for technology yet our state labors under a severe teacher shortage, especially in areas like math and science,” Ms. Graham said in the release. “teachSTEM provides classroom-based opportunities for students to build STEM workforce skills and also learn from STEM subject matter experts. Everyone’s story includes a teacher, so every engineer, every scientist, every doctor, found their way to that career by way of a teacher.”
Because of Boeing, students will be able to take a virtual tour of an Apache Attack Helicopter and recently had a virtual classroom visit from a Boeing pilot. teachSTEM is AEF’s way of helping students build important connections between what they are learning in the classroom and real-world experiences that influence their future career choices, the release states.
Learn more about the Arizona Educational Foundation at azedfoundation.org.