Raytheon grant helps Houston County, GA elementary schools raise the next generation of engineers

K -5 curriculum inspires future engineers by spurring science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Warner Robins, Ga. (Feb. 17, 2015) — Today in Houston County, Georgia, 25 teachers have gathered in a classroom not to teach, but to learn--about engineering.They're trying their hand at creating a package that will protect a living plant when it's sent through the mail--and learning how to engage elementary school students in the same engineering design challenge.  

This teacher professional development workshop is one component of a $37,000 grant funded by Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) to help teach engineering concepts and practices to elementary school students in Georgia’s Houston County. The grant supports implementation of the innovative Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) curriculum, developed at the Museum of Science, Boston through its National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®), by providing materials and professional development for teachers.

EiE was developed to help elementary-school educators and students better understand engineering and technology concepts. The award-winning curriculum has reached an estimated 74,500 teachers and more than 7 million students. Research shows EiE helps elementary students become more interested in engineering as a career.

“Raytheon’s generous support further expands our mission to bring engineering to elementary-aged children by accelerating adoption of EiE in underserved school districts,” said Museum of Science president and director Ioannis Miaoulis, who launched the NCTL to introduce engineering in schools and museums nationwide through advocacy, educational products, and educator professional development.

“Many elementary teachers don’t have a background in science or engineering,” said Christine Cunningham, director of EiE and vice president at the Museum. “We’re really pleased to offer support through Raytheon scholarships; workshop graduates tell us EiE professional development helps them feel confident about teaching these subjects.”

The grant funds professional development for 25 teachers who attend a workshop to prepare them to use EiE with their students. Each teacher receives a curriculum guide and a materials kit with everything needed to implement engineering activities in the classroom. A teacher educator from the district also receives professional development to become qualified to prepare more teachers to use the curriculum.

“Our nation’s competitiveness and economic growth depend on development of technical talent. Teachers are vital to our nation’s future strength and success,” said Todd Probert, vice president for Mission Support and Modernization at Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. “Raytheon’s grant continues our commitment to the Houston County community and will strengthen teachers’ ability to encourage students to pursue careers in math and science.”

Raytheon has previously provided grants to local organizations to support STEM related activities. Over the past two years, Raytheon has contributed a total of $40,000 to the Museum of Aviation (MOA) to sponsor special activities at the museum’s STEM Academy. In 2014, Raytheon announced a $20,000 donation to the Houston County Schools to enable two elementary schools to pursue the Georgia Department of Education STEM certification.

“The generous support from Raytheon is providing additional opportunities for quality academic programs in STEM subjects,” says Houston County Schools assistant superintendent Eric Payne, “and the professional learning opportunities provided for our teachers have strengthened the implementation of Engineering is Elementary in our schools.”

EiE engages students as young as six with hands-on, inquiry-based activities. The curriculum explores a variety of engineering fields – from electrical to mechanical to biomedical and more – and each activity is tied to a science concept commonly taught in elementary schools. Research shows EiE helps elementary students become more interested in engineering as a career, and also improves their learning of science concepts.

The grant to the Houston County Schools is part of a $1 million grant by Raytheon to the Museum to help improve STEM education nationwide by expanding the use of EiE. The grant is awarded through Raytheon’s MathMovesU® program, an initiative designed to engage middle and elementary school student and build their interest in math and science education.

About Engineering is Elementary

  • EiE is a project of the Museum of Science, Boston, developed with support from the National Science Foundation.
  • The EiE curriculum includes 20 units that integrate science topics with a specific field of engineering.
  • Through the use of storybooks, EiE introduces students to children from different cultures and backgrounds who are trying to solve engineering problems.
  • EiE students as young as six years old conduct their own experiments to collect the data needed to solve a similar problem using a five-step engineering design process.

    About the Museum of Science, Boston

    The Museum of Science, Boston is the nation's first science museum with a comprehensive strategy and infrastructure to foster technological literacy in science museums and schools across the United States. NCTL curricula have reached an estimated 7.3 million students and 81,300 teachers. One of the world's largest science centers and New England's most attended cultural institution, the Museum of Science introduces more than 1.4 million visitors a year to STEM via dynamic programs and hundreds of interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830, the Museum was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. Highlights include the Hall of Human Life, Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 4-D Theater, and Butterfly Garden. The Museum also leads a 10-year, $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums. Visit: http://www.mos.org.


    About MathMovesU

    Raytheon’s MathMovesU® program is an initiative committed to increasing middle and elementary school students’ interest in math and science education by engaging them in hands-on, interactive activities. The innovative programs of MathMovesU include the traveling interactive experience MathAlive!®; Raytheon’s Sum of all Thrills™ experience at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®, which showcases math in action as students design and experience their own thrill ride using math fundamentals; the “In the Numbers” game, a partnership with the New England Patriots on display at The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon; the company’s ongoing sponsorship of the MATHCOUNTS® National Competition; and the MathMovesU scholarship and grant program. Follow MathMovesU and other Raytheon community outreach programs on Facebook and on Twitter @MathMovesU.


    About Raytheon

    Raytheon Company, with 2014 sales of $23 billion and 61,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 93 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as cyber security and a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @raytheon.

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