RAYTHEON TEAM HELPS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS Build Telescopes
MathMovesU® (MMU) is an initiative founded by Raytheon in 2005. The program’s main goal is to support and promote interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). MMU reaches out to children of all ages around the world through interactive museum exhibits, sponsorships, a virtual thrill ride at Walt Disney World® , scholarships, and through special events where Raytheon employees have a chance to reach out to their community and get involved on a personal level.
As part of National Engineers Week™, Raytheon teamed up with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) and the University of Arizona for a one day MMU event teaching local high school students about astronomy and helping them build their own Galileoscopes. Members of Raytheon’s Engineering Leadership Development Program (ELDP) took part in the event to help teach and promote STEM interest among local Tucson high school students.
The ELDP is comprised of early career engineers from all across Raytheon. The program participants are chosen through nomination, performance evaluation, level of education and college grade point average. The ELDP is a two-year program consisting of several week-long leadership training sessions that focus on building skills important to Raytheon success such as effective communication, business acumen and development, and innovation and creativity. ELDP participants have the chance to network with leadership across Raytheon, take part in both sides of mentorship, rotate positions across different sites, and have an active involvement in community service and STEM activities.
The Tucson MMU day community service event was held at the University of Arizona where local high school students were separated into groups each led by a member of the ELDP with guidance from several members of the NOAO. The students filed into the auditorium where there was an ELDP member at each table waiting to greet them with a smile and their own Galileoscope kit. The NOAO developed Galileoscopes to provide an easy and cost effective way for students to have their own personal telescope to learn about astronomy and science, like Galileo himself. The students were able to experience a real life engineering design process by making their own Galileoscopes through step-by-step instructions and help from their ELDP mentor. During each step, the NOAO facilitator briefed the group on a different fact about the history of Galileo, physics, astronomy and optics.
For many of the early career Raytheon volunteers, it was an exciting opportunity to share their interest of math and science to help foster interest among local high school students. As ELDP volunteer Lester McCoy described the experience, “It was a lot of fun getting to build telescopes with the students and share our passion for math and science with them.”
The day concluded with a panel discussion of Raytheon employees and University of Arizona students and faculty. The high school students asked the panel great questions on pursuing STEM careers, and then finished the day by packing up their new Galileoscopes and saying goodbye to their event mentors.
Nina Phanthanousy and
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