SPOKANE, Wash. – Shadle Park High School students are participating in a new educational program that recently came to Spokane Public Schools.
The Boeing Core Plus Program was launched in 2014 to give students hands-on manufacturing experience.
“Boeing found us,” said teacher Tony Anselmo. “And looked in our shops, saw what we were doing. It was a perfect fit.”
Anselmo has worked in Shadle Park’s Career and Technical Education Department for 20 years. He said the new Boeing curriculum has transformed the program, giving students the chance to picture their high school learning paying off in the future.
“They’re able to connect it to real life. So, we’ll be in the classroom, we’ll look at the theory behind what we’re doing, and then when we get back in the labs and we’re able to apply that theory, is when that learning really clicks in their head, and they’re going ‘Ok, now I understand this’” said Anselmo.
The course started small. There are 12 students enrolled this year, but the word has gotten out around campus and it has become popular. There are 24 students enrolled for next year.
Boeing said they have hired around 200 students from the program and many more have found jobs with other employers in the industry.
That is a big incentive for high school students like Griffin Bacon. Bacon is a senior and is interested in a job in aerospace engineering. When he learned his school was adding he course, he knew he had to take it and it has become one of his favorite classes.
“I saw we had an aerospace engineering and manufacturing class. That’s something that I’m interested in, so I was like, ‘It would probably be a good thing for me to take the class,’” said Bacon.
The students clearly have fun and the hour flies by, but do not think this is just an hour of Tinker Toys.
There is a theory and brain power going into their projects. The skills these students practice could, quite literally, keep your plane from falling out of the sky a decade from now.
“If you’re building an airplane, you rivet pieces together so it doesn’t fall apart mid-flight. Yeah, that’s always good,” said Bacon. “It takes a lot of skill to use your hands in such a way that you could actually make something look good or high quality.”
“They’ll walk into a manufacturing facility and they’ll see the same equipment that we have in the classroom. So, it really clicks with them that, ‘Hey, what I’m doing really matters and this could be something that I could do,’” said Anselmo.