Boeing employees share knowledge with Rzeszów students
The opening of a Pop-Up Newton Room at the Rzeszów University of Technology this spring gave Boeing employees the opportunity to educate the next generation.
For three weeks, four Boeing employees from Poland volunteered as Flight Simulator Instructors in Newton’s Up in the Air with Numbers module. Working together with trained Newton Teachers from the local university, the Boeing team used advanced flight simulators and their knowledge as aviation industry professionals to advance STEM education in Rzeszów.
Educational outreach is a cornerstone of The Boeing Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. In fact, Boeing has played a vital role in expanding Newton Room programming to nine European countries since 2019.
Hands-on STEM Education Emphasises Practicality
Newton Modules – the educational programming that takes place in a Newton Room – are hands-on experiences that emphasise practicality and give students the ability to apply their knowledge to real-life tasks. In the Up in the Air with Numbers module, students are tasked with completing a series of mathematical calculations to create a flight plan for a rescue mission, which they then fly themselves using the simulators. The Boeing volunteers involved in the project were trained to support students in successfully flying the mission route.
One volunteer, Pawel Pierog, who works at Boeing as a geospatial technician and professional pilot responsible for creating special aviation maps used by airline pilots, says, “I think it is a great idea to supplement the theory with practical, real-life exercises.”
Kamel Dherif, a Boeing Instrument Flight Procedure Designer, agrees, calling the hands-on approach used in the module as the “the best and only way” of teaching. He goes on to say that “when it comes to motivation and acquiring skills, I think that practical work is the most effective in our field. There is only so much you can acquire reading a text or viewing an image versus actually doing the real thing.”
Working with first-time navigators during the module was both exciting and inspiring for the Boeing employees. “What I liked the most about my job as an instructor was the opportunity to pass on my knowledge to the young people and to see how quickly they learn, how passionate and committed they are to completing the mission,” says Karolina Kotowicz, a geospatial technician at Boeing.
Over three weeks, more than 500 students in the Rzeszów area visited the temporary Pop-Up Newton Room and had the opportunity to learn from Boeing staff.
Building a Better Future Requires Acting Now
The Newton Concept invites students of all ages to engage with a diversity of STEM subjects, including aviation. The aim of the project and the collaboration with Boeing is to inspire young people to pursue STEM careers in the future. Marta Golyszny, the Boeing Global Engagement Representative for Poland, believes that “if we want to build a better future we need to start acting now. If we want to have smart and independent people in our business in the future, we need to help them develop the necessary skills. We need to create opportunities for people with great ideas and dreams.”
Recognizing that incorporating real-world professionals into educational experiences can also have a lasting impact on youth, Boeing has mobilised volunteers to take part in a number of Newton Rooms. “Engaging our employees like this helps create a possibility for young people to have access not only to the principles of aviation, but also to the real professionals,” says Golyszny. “They can see that they are normal people and that everyone is capable of becoming an engineer or working in the aviation industry.”