Businesses and organizations around the world sent out an “S.O.S.” to schools and students: They need bright, young minds to lead the way for advances in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
And through PENCIL, schools like IS 141Q The Steinway School, a middle school in Astoria, Queens, partner with companies like American Airlines to enhance classroom learning by applying those lessons and skills to the career world.
That’s a big 10-4 on school-business collaboration.
PENCIL and American Airlines’ partnership took flight in 2009. IS 141Q came aboard with PENCIL and American Airlines in 2012. American Airlines employees from John F. Kennedy International Airport’s (JFK) management team visited the school to deliver a series of lectures and information sessions to educate students about various career paths in commercial aviation.
And on a recent December day, the fall semester’s partnership culminated with an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of the American Airlines terminal and hangar. Approximately 65 sixth-grade students had the opportunity to gain hands-on career experience at an early age.
“We are proud to partner with IS 141Q and PENCIL,” David Lombard, American Airlines Manager of Alliances at JFK, said about their School Partnership. “Helping the children learn about the aviation industry and how it can be a truly rewarding profession is what brings me back year after year.”
Lombard said that both schools and businesses should take advantage of such partnership opportunities because it benefits everyone.
“The students get a chance to see and learn things outside of the classroom while we (businesses) get a chance to give back to our communities,” he said.
PENCIL President David Weiner agreed that the School Partnership with American Airlines gives students exciting opportunities for real-life work environment experiences.
“It is critical for businesses and schools to continue to work together to make sure our students are on the path to success, now and in the future,” he said.
And our future starts with students such as Mohammed and Bonita, who through the PENCIL School Partnership, discovered new career paths.
“We learned all about engines and types of fuel and other facts about planes that related to our science lessons,” Mohammed said of the PENCIL School Partnership with American Airlines.
Bonita said that she enjoyed learning about science and how it is “something new beyond the classroom.”
“Because of PENCIL and American Airlines, I was able to talk to real business people in the travel industry,” Bonita said. “It was great to have my questions answered. That is something I want to do when I grow up!”
The PENCIL School Partnership of American Airlines and IS 141Q continues to cruise toward success for all students, both inside the classroom and into the horizon beyond.