Youth STEM Initiative

Building STEM Leaders

The Museum’s successful Young Women’s STEM Leadership Initiative (YWSLI), launched in 2015, expanded in the 2018-2019 school year to become the Youth STEM Initiative (YSI). The extended initiative now targets both girls and boys, grades 3rd – 12th, in Title I schools in Dallas County. The development of the Museum’s STEM Initiatives to include elementary students is particularly significant as studies have emphasized the importance of capturing elementary-aged students’ interest in STEM. Research has shown that by the time students reach the fourth grade, a third of students have lost interest in STEM-related subjects[1](Anthony Murphy, STEM Education–It’s Elementary, U.S. News, 2011). YSI will continue to provide top-quality educational opportunities that stimulate interest in STEM studies and lead to careers in STEM fields. 

What YSI Does

  • Broadens awareness of STEM through the introduction to aviation and space
  • Provides STEM education through field trips to the Museum, onsite and outreach programming, SPOC planetarium programming, spring break camp, field trips during Engineers week, summer camp, and special presentations by industry professionals and leaders
  • Strengthens leadership skills and builds confidence through spring break and summer internships as well as museum volunteer opportunities for high school students
  • Exposure to career pathways through FOFM Engineers week, spring break camp, STEM Career Day, and presentations by industry professionals
  • Develops long-term school and community partnerships

K.B. Polk Students During Fluor Engineering Challenge

YWSTEAM Students at STEM Career Day participating in the UPS Challenge

YSI Impact on Young Women

“The Frontiers of Flight Museum has impacted my life by expanding my knowledge and curiosity about aerospace and aviation. I have attended the spring break camps sponsored by the Frontiers of Flight Museum since 6th grade. This year, I had the opportunity to intern for them during the spring break camp, and I will also be interning this summer.

The camp was all about STEM and aviation. We learned the four forces of flight, and we used the airplane simulators. In 6th grade, I was asked what my plans were for the future, and I said I was interested in becoming a flight attendant.

Throughout the years by attending the camps and researching, I found that I could do much more than just being a flight attendant. Personally, I wanted to become a flight attendant because I was not introduced to the idea that women could also be pilots in a male-dominated field. In the Museum, there is an Amelia Earhart exhibit that impacted me greatly.

This exhibit helped me realize that I could become a pilot as well, just like Amelia. Overall, the Frontiers of Flight Museum has given me a great experience by introducing me to the different opportunities I can have. It has taught me that no goal cannot be achieved, which gives me the drive to keep learning more.”

-Erica Rivera, Youth STEM Initiative Student from Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Bill Arnold

Youth Volunteer/Paid Internship Program

Launched in fall 2015, the Museum’s Youth Volunteer Program enables young women to develop their leadership and mentoring skills while building confidence and self-esteem. Students may begin the four-tier program in the 9th grade and upon reaching the fourth tier become eligible for paid internships during spring break and summer.

MWM-TX Award

Partner Schools & Organizations

  • Grand Prairie Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Bill Arnold
  • Young Women’s STEAM Academy at Balch Springs Middle School
  • K. B. Polk Center for Academically Talented and Gifted
  • Larry G. Smith Elementary School

Partner Corporations & Foundations

  • Kozmetsky Family Foundation
  • Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation
  • The Summerfield G. Roberts Foundation
  • Gulfstream Aerospace Foundation
  • Fannie and Stephen Kahn Charitable Foundation
  • The Boeing Company
  • Prichard Family Foundation
  • The Lightner Sams Foundation
  • PPG Industries Foundation
  • The Rosewood Foundation
  • Love Field Pilots Association
  • The UPS Foundation
  • Beal Bank
  • Collins Aerospace
  • The Fluor Foundation
  • Exxon Mobil Corporation
  • Raytheon Company


  • Dr. Kathryn Hughes, Martin-Baker Aircraft Company
  • Alicia Calef, Raytheon GM
  • Libby Cotner, first female pilot for the Dallas Police Department
  • Walt Cunningham, Apollo VII astronaut
  • Brian Duffy, STS astronaut
  • Marianne Dyson, NASA Flight Controller
  • Fred Haise, Apollo 13 astronaut
  • Dr. Janet Kavandi, STS astronaut
  • Jerry Woodfill, Apollo 11 & 13 Engineer
  • Dr. Christine Darden, Aerospace Engineer, former NASA senior executive and featured in the book “Hidden Figures”

Special Events

  • STEM Nights
  • Moon Day
  • Santa Day
  • Girls in Aviation Day
  • Spring Break Camp
  • Women in STEM Luncheon
  • Engineer’s Week Student Day
  • STEM Career Day

To learn more about the Youth STEM Initiative contact Rosalie Wade, Manager of School Programs, Frontiers of Flight Museum at (214)-699-4619 or email.

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