Students take field trip to The Boeing Company

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Students take field trip to The Boeing Company

Journee Bond and Reporter

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Mr. Jeremiah Simmons and Ms. Sue Mathis took a group of students that want to study engineering or computer science in college to The Boeing Company on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

The morning started with a tour of the James S. McDonnell Prologue Room. This room shows the history of aerospace starting with biplanes from the early 1900s going through today’s airplanes and spacecrafts. Students viewed an actual size model of the Gemini and Mercury capsules, large-scale models of today’s military aircraft, rockets and missiles, and commercial aircraft. They also saw a timeline of the companies that make up the Boeing Company that include McDonnell Aircraft from St. Louis, Douglas Aircraft, and several others.

The next tour was of F/A-18 Super Hornets that are going through service life modification. These are planes that were used in war and have surpassed their life expectancy of flight hours. Parts are being removed, tested, modified and replaced in order to increase the amount of time the plane can be flown.

Senior Chad Jones said the field trip was a unique opportunity.

“I got to see some of my favorite planes like the F/A-18 and F-15 and I got to see them being taken apart,” he said.

After that, the group toured the 3-D printing additive lab. The 3-D parts they make are being used as models and mockups. They are also creating parts to use as tools to help mechanics practice installations on plastic parts instead of the more expensive actual part.

The teachers and students were provided lunch in the cafeteria and afterward, students participated in a career panel question and answer session. Five employees with various engineering, math, and physics degrees, and career backgrounds spoke to the students about their experiences and emphasized the importance of STEM classes, degrees, and jobs.

Senior Alex Duello said it was a great experience to meet real engineers that work for Boeing.

“They have been there for many years and we got to see what they really do in the facility,” Duello said. “If I got a degree in engineering, this trip gave me an idea of what I would get to do every day for a living.”

Jones said listening to the professionals helped enforce a career decision for him.

“We got to do a panel with a lot of engineers and it made me realize how I can’t do a lot of that right now, and it helped me make my ultimate decision of flying planes and going into the Navy.”