Celebrate Engineers Week with Generation Beyond!

By Declan Boran-Ragotzy

Do you have a future engineer in your classroom? Find out during Engineers Weekwith Generation Beyond! Lockheed Martin and Discovery Education have partnered on an exciting initiative to inspire the next generation of innovators, and with all new aviation themed resources, you can challenge your students to use critical thinking to solve real-world problems. In this blog post, guest blogger Declan Boran-Ragotzy will tell us how he’s incorporating these resources into the classroom. 

Lift Off on Your Next Legacy. That is the idea that comes to mind when exploring Generation Beyond’s aviation resources. By integrating skills from Math, Science, Technology, and Engineering courses, students have a unique experience to investigate future careers in these industries and how innovation keeps propelling us into more sophisticated opportunities. Because of the cross categorical program approach and hands on components, students feel invested in the activities and are empowered to create long lasting solutions.

Generation Beyond’s aviation resources include a Virtual Field Tripand Operation STEM Challengelesson bundles. The Virtual Field Trip takes students on a virtual journey to Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works® facility where they’ll hear from top experts in Aerospace. The Operation STEM Challenge lesson bundles challenge students to evaluate and solve real-world problems. The lessons include everything you need for easy implementation: an introduction video, PowerPoint, student mission brief, and educator guide. The newest lesson, Designed for Service, challenges students to design an innovative aircraft that can help in a humanitarian crisis. 

As an educator, these resources have a profound effect on my methodology. It is easy to relate the challenges to current events that are perfect for blending classroom content and real-world events. Two of my favorite resources to utilize are the Educator Guides and Student Mission Briefs. The Educator Guide provides descriptive ideas in which educators can easily apply to content standards. The Student Mission Briefs offer students an eye-opening perspective into careers and problem-solving skills needed to find effective and efficient solutions. And don’t miss the lesson intro videos! These videos are the perfect way to pique students’ curiosity about how we can solve a real-world problem. Currently my students are digging the Wildfire Response lesson. The students are interested since we’ve had so many recently, and it helps them forget about the bitter cold we have had in Wisconsin!

Additionally, the virtual field trip was an incredible resource to introduce students to careers in aviation. Working with students with disabilities often presents challenges in showcasing the dynamics of in person field trips. The virtual reality provides exposure to the process and physical labor involved in constructing aircrafts and how energy is a game changer in its evolution. Students hear first-hand from professionals at Lockheed Martin and hear how they got to where they are today. This resource will spark curiosity in students and is a phenomenal way to offer students a closer look at an invigorating potential career choice.  

This year celebrate Engineers Week with Generation Beyond’s aviation resources! Who knows, you may even have a future engineer in your classroom! 

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