What is Soar into STEM?

Soar into STEM is a four-week, hands-on learning experience that provides middle and high school students project-based learning, connections to STEM curriculum, and a front-row seat into the workings of a global aviation nonprofit using airplanes to change and save lives.

Who can participate?

The program is open to young women and students of color, primarily from underserved communities. While STEM education is important for all youth, this population stands to benefit most from exposure to STEM learning and careers.

Who are the teachers?

Led by an experienced educator with a STEM background, we also source working and retired professionals representing a wide range of aviation and STEM-related experience to provide onsite guidance and mentorship. We bring in experts – and tap into the deep talent resources we have in our Wings of Hope volunteers, many of whom are trained pilots and mechanics.

Where is it held?

Sessions are held at Wings of Hope’s world headquarters and other locations on the Spirit of St. Louis Airport grounds – including the Alpha Flight Simulator Hangar and Elite Aviation, which provides students a flight lesson in a small-engine aircraft.

What do the students do?

We’ve designed the four sessions to be full of high energy and engaging STEM and aviation project-based activities and stimulating presentations by aviation and STEM experts. Highlights include:

  • Hands-on maintenance, repair, and modification of an airplane
  • Experiencing a flight simulator
  • Piloting a small-engine aircraft (closely supervised by an experienced flight instructor)
  • Guest speakers from Boeing, Wings of Hope, Women in Aviation and others who share career-path information and “stories from the field”

Why is Wings of Hope doing STEM?

The connection between an aviation nonprofit and a STEM program for students may not seem obvious – but it makes perfect sense to us. Here’s why:

  1. We rely on highly skilled volunteer pilots and mechanics to fly our missions and keep our planes safe. This makes the predicted pilot and mechanic shortage especially troubling to us. The 2018 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook projects demand for 790,000 new pilots and 754,000 new maintenance technicians over the next 20 years. By turning students on to careers in aviation, we are doing our part to start filling the pipeline with future pilots and mechanics.
  2. Students work on airplanes destined for use in the Wings of Hope mission field. That’s where we connect STEM learning to service learning – and show students how what they’re learning in the classroom can make a difference in the world.

“Service for the good of others or just thinking about helping others gives me an overwhelming feeling of gratitude… Thinking about the things Wings of Hope is doing makes me want to cry from how powerful it is and how it has helped so many people. If I ever get my pilot’s license, I would like to do something like this.”

-Ashleigh, 17

How can I get involved?

To grow our impact and reach more youth, Wings of Hope will host two Soar into STEM program sessions in 2020 – in April and October.

We are currently seeking new partners for our 2020 programs:

  • If you are a teacher or administrator from a St. Louis area public school or school district, please visit our:
    Partnership Form
  • If you are a parent or student, please share this simple link below with a school teacher or administrator:


  • For those interested in being a mentor or speaker for Soar into STEM, please see the contact information below


Contact Brooke Bennett, Wings of Hope Education and Outreach Manager,
at brooke.bennett@wingsofhope.ngo or 636-537-1302

If you are interested in other educational STEM opportunities, including field trips, classroom visits, STEM Night participation, or Summer Internships, please contact Brooke Bennett, Wings of Hope Education and Outreach Manager.

Many Thanks to our program sponsors: Boeing, Maritz,
& The International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Foundation!