Danforth Center and Boeing Team Up to Cultivate the Next Generation of Scientists Through Hands-On STEM Education

St. Louis, MO (January 2, 2019) - Boeing, the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, defense, space and security systems, and service provider of aftermarket support, has provided the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center with a $80,000 grant in support of Green Means Grow, a centerpiece of the Danforth Center’s STEM education and outreach. Boeing provided its first $85,000 grant to support Green Means Grow in 2017 and was one of the Danforth Center’s earliest partners to support its education and outreach programs in plant science, agriculture and technology through Tech Trunks.

In 2017 alone, the Green Means Grow program doubled its reach and served 900 students in St. Louis Public Schools, the Hazelwood School District and Ritenour School District. In 2018, 980 students were engaged in Green Means Grow activities. The grant from Boeing additionally enabled a new pilot partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, focusing on schools in the Ferguson/Florissant School District. The Danforth Center’s partnership with Boeing helped to expand STEM Splash Day, a one-day immersive STEM experience based in schools whereby classrooms are transformed into laboratories for hands-on/minds-on STEM activities and demonstrations facilitated by scientist volunteers from the Danforth Center.

Recently, 100 percent of participating instructors indicated that program activities and lessons were age-level appropriate for their students. Further, 94 percent of teachers indicated that they learned new information with more than 90 percent indicating that Center programming provided them with their first opportunity for formal STEM professional development.

Green Means Grow curriculum is designed to help students understand the origin of their food, appreciate food choices and farming practices throughout the world and grasp the importance of global food security. This program provides equipment and instructional materials for students to plant and grow tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, potatoes and other food crops in their classrooms. Students learn a range of science and math concepts through a variety of activities including planting, cultivating and harvesting crops.

“Boeing has been a supportive sponsor of the Danforth Center’s science education and outreach efforts for more than a decade. Their generous investment will help us reach our long-term goals of enabling students to develop 21st century skills in life sciences. Ultimately many of them will choose to continue their studies and go on to obtain sustainable employment in science and technology fields. In addition, these young scientists and technicians will provide the St. Louis region with a more diverse talent pool necessary to fuel the rapidly growing ag-innovation economy,” said Terry Woodford-Thomas, Ph.D., the Derick and Sally Driemeyer Director of Science Education and Outreach.

In 2018 more than 3,500 students in 95 schools throughout the region, many of which were located in the City of St. Louis, participated in the Danforth Center’s Education and Outreach Programs. By “sharing our science," through hands-on, inquiry-based learning experiences, the Danforth Center strives to inspire a scientifically informed citizenry and importantly, a new generation of scientists. The curriculum packages are designed to teach important skills such as critical thinking, developing and testing hypotheses, observing outcomes, communicating results, lab etiquette and teamwork.


Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research, education and outreach aim to have impact at the nexus of food security and the environment, and position the St. Louis region as a world center for plant science. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Follow us on Twitter at @DanforthCenter.

Through purposeful investments, employee engagement and thoughtful advocacy efforts, Boeing and its employees support innovative partnerships and programs that align with the company's strategic objectives, create value and help build better communities worldwide. Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems. A top U.S. exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in more than 150 countries. See how Boeing is making a difference for Our Future, Our Heroes and Our Homes by visiting the 2018 Boeing Global Engagement Portfolio at Boeing.com/community.