SPEEA members support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
For 2018-2019, the SPEEA NW Council awarded $40,000 to support groups focused on student outreach for careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The groups were recommended by a review committee of members. Each grant went to a team or organization with a SPEEA member involved as a volunteer, coach, mentor or parent.
A total of 70 groups applied and 52 received funding for grants. Some of the groups included multiple teams for robotics competitions.
In addition to SPEEA members allocating dues money to support STEM and community service programs, SPEEA members are active in their communities supporting these and other educational programs to foster the next generation of aerospace professionals.
Todd Rosenfelt is a SPEEA member and SPEEA workplace advocate, and also estimates spending about 400 hours a year as a volunteer related to STEM.
Rosenfelt started volunteering with STEM outreach as a science-fair judge in 2006 after an Associate Technical Fellow (ATF) convinced him to try it. A 777X systems test integration engineer with 29 years at Boeing, he admits; “I probably would have benefited from access (to STEM) if it existed. I would definitely have joined a robotics team.”
Supporting Kansas Robotics competition
The SPEEA Midwest Council makes an annual contribution to the Kansas robotics competition BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology). In this robotics program, hosted by Wichita State University (WSU), middle and high school students design and build a remote controlled robot. Professional engineers and teachers serve as coaches.