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Boeing gives $2.3 million for STEM education, buys Port San Antonio venue naming rights

The outside of the newly named Boeing Center at Tech Port, with the new logo and name on electronic billboards on the facility's facade.
Josh Peck
/
TPR
The newly renamed Boeing Center at Tech Port in Port San Antonio.

Boeing Global Services CEO Stephanie Pope announced on Tuesday that the company was investing $2.3 million in a Port San Antonio-affiliated nonprofit for student STEM education and purchasing the naming rights of the major events venue at Port San Antonio.

The donation to the Kelly Heritage Foundation will help develop exhibits and curriculum over the next several years for the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology (SAMSAT), located inside the newly named Boeing Center at Tech Port, which was formerly known as the Tech Port Center + Arena.

Pope and other Boeing executives were joined by Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Bexar County Judge Peter Sakai, District 4 Councilwoman Adriana Rocha-Garcia, and Gov. Greg Abbott.

Boeing is a longtime resident of Port San Antonio, and it has operated a military aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility there for 25 years.

Pope said she hoped the investment would lead San Antonio youth into STEM careers, like the ones offered at Boeing and other companies in Port San Antonio.

“For young Texans dreaming of careers in software development, advanced robotics, cybersecurity, they will discover that they don’t have to set their sights on Silicon Valley,” she said. “They can live out their dreams here, at home.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaking at the Boeing Center at Tech Port.
Josh Peck
/
Texas Public Radio
Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaking at the newly renamed Boeing Center at Tech Port.

SAMSAT strives to offer K-12 students the opportunity to interact with cutting-edge technologies like virtual reality, machine learning and NASA-like control centers to inspire them to get involved in STEM education and career paths.

As part of the announcement, students from Harlandale ISD, South San ISD, Edgewood ISD, and San Antonio ISD were invited to try out a brand new SAMSAT exhibit sponsored by Boeing, the Boeing Aerospace Adventure.

Rocha-Garcia spoke to those students during her remarks.

“So to all of you students out there, today, this is all about you,” she said. “Today is about building a place right here, in the heart of your community, in your backyard, where you can come and you can dream big.”

Nirenberg stressed the importance of Port San Antonio and SAMSAT to the city.

“[SAMSAT] is at the core mission of this building and of the Port San Antonio mission to keep growing and connecting our community as a longstanding home of global innovation, ready to lead in the century ahead,” he said.

Following the announcement of Boeing’s investment, Abbott thanked Boeing for its presence across Texas.

“I’m proud of the work Boeing is doing in Texas,” he said. “Boeing helps Texas be the number one economy in the United States of America.”

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Technology and Entrepreneurship News Fund including The 80/20 Foundation, Digital Defense, Rackspace, The Elmendorf Family Fund, UTSA Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship, SecureLogix, USAA and Giles Design Bureau.

Josh Peck is the Technology & Entrepreneurship Reporter for Texas Public Radio.