We, as a nation, are facing an education crisis. Year after year, the United States slips further behind our international competitors in science, technology and innovation. Globally, U.S. students rank only 25th in math and 17th in science[i]. It’s clear that the future of this country as a leader in technology and innovation is at risk. Waltham-based Raytheon is among a group of Massachusetts companies who believe tomorrow’s engineers and technologists need to be excited by and interested in math today. With science and technology a vital driver of our local and global economies, Raytheon focuses the majority of its community involvement on bringing math and science education to life — both to encourage and support students, and to protect our nation’s position as an economic leader.
Inspiring children’s interest in math and science at a young age is critical to nurturing a lifelong interest. “Children are born engineers,” according to Sharlene Yang, Engineering is Elementary (EIE)’s Boston-based professional development director. “They are fascinated with building, with taking things apart, and with how things work. We need to build on that innate curiosity in those critical early years when students are still receptive to different types of careers.”
Often, it takes just one moment to inspire a career in math and science. We can all play a role in inspiring those ‘eureka’ moments: parents, educators, our communities and companies like Raytheon — who rely on our engineers’ science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) capabilities to fuel innovation. As such, Raytheon is passionate about connecting with students from elementary school through college — to engage and inspire them with STEM activities, then empower them to succeed throughout their academic lives.
Inspiring tomorrow’s innovators is an opportunity Raytheon proudly embraces. The future success of Massachusetts and the United States depends on encouraging and inspiring our young people today. Right now is a critical time for action — to regain lost ground, to spur technology and innovation, and to protect and bolster America’s competitiveness, prosperity and national security.
Raytheon understands that it is critical for business leaders to play a role in developing the next generation of scientists and technologists. The company’s STEM education initiatives taking place around Massachusetts and the United States include:
MathMovesU.com: Raytheon’s free MathMovesU website engages students with hands-on, interactive activities designed to increase students’ interest in math and science. Students learn the fundamentals of STEM best when concepts are brought to life in and outside the classroom.
MATHCOUNTS: Every year, more than 6,000 schools and 17,000 volunteers participate in the nationwide competition program sponsored by Raytheon that promotes middle school mathematics achievement. This year, Massachusetts captured the title of National Team Champion.
MathAlive!: This traveling set of interactive exhibits gives students hands-on experience with mathematical concepts — and a chance to explore their real-life relevance. Sponsored by Raytheon, MathAlive! is anticipated to stop in Boston by 2014.
Museum of Science, Boston and Engineering is Elementary (EiE): As teachers are the key to creating a brighter future for America’s STEM workforce, Raytheon’s $1 million partnership expands the impact of the EiE curriculum, which helps elementary school educators enhance their understanding of engineering concepts through professional development workshops and curriculum resources. Another $1 million investment funds a teacher scholarship program.
Raytheon takes a strategic approach to community outreach, focusing on:
Math and science education: A key priority is to ensure a pipeline of diverse talent needed for our future workforce. We connect with students from elementary school through college engaging and inspiring them in STEM and empowering them to succeed.
Armed services: Behind the many global security and defense products we manufacture are the dedicated men and women in the U.S. military. Whether they are active or veterans, we wholly embrace our commitment and responsibility to support the warfighters protecting our country.
Local communities: We embrace the responsibility of unifying our employees toward common goals and that includes our collective commitment to the communities in which we operate. Our charitable giving, contributions and volunteer efforts help create healthier communities for everyone to live and work.
[i] Source: OEDC, Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2009 Database