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Igniting the spark: Raytheon brings engineering to life for students during National Engineers Week

Brothers Akert, age 5, and Josiah, age 6, have some fun at Raytheon’s MathMovesU booth at Family Science Days with a Raytheon engineering volunteer.

Hovercrafts made from bottle caps zoomed across tables, scientists created colorful eruptions and drinking straws flew like rockets as Raytheon helped children�celebrate National Engineers Week on Feb. 17-23.

The week of festivities sponsored by Raytheon's MathMovesU program brought science, technology, engineering and math to life for students nationwide in hopes of inspiring them to become the next generation of innovators.

Surfing on Air

In Boston, math and science took center stage during Family Science Days at the Hynes Convention Center. At Raytheon's MathMovesU exhibit, children discovered how to make�tiny hovercrafts from�water bottle caps, balloons and�compact discs, then�set them gliding across�tables.

Raytheon engineers hosted an on-stage experiment titled "Science is Fun: A Beautiful Burst of Color through Chemistry," which�created colorful�eruptions of oxygen-filled foam for the 3,600 children, parents and teachers in attendance.�

Coaster Crafters

Also during the week, students of all ages came together to build human roller coasters at�INNOVENTIONS at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Buena Vista, Fla.

Character Doc Norman Norman and his assistant Speed helped�guests�build coasters with tubing and their own bodies, demonstrating that math and science are a foundation for exciting innovation.

Engineering is Awesome

After a short overview of basic image processing sequence and algorithms, the high school students worked with actual missile hardware to perform real-time image processing and observed the results.

In Tucson, Raytheon hosted local students from 12 Southern Arizona high schools for the "Engineering is Awesome" tour. The all-day event provided five activities showcasing different types of engineering, designed to inspire the students to pursue and excel in careers related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

One activity featured real time embedded image processing for missiles, answering the question, 'What do missiles think about as they're flying through the air?' "I got a better grip of what being an engineer entails and what they really do," said high school senior Camden Buechler. "It helped me make my decision." Buechler plans to pursue a degree in environmental engineering.

"Science from Scientists"

Dr. Faith demonstrates how air pressure can make simple tasks more difficult than they appear as she helps a volunteer attempt to crush an empty tin barrel during the Engineering Day events at The Hall at Patriot Place.

Innovation was also the theme of the week in Foxboro, Mass., where 350 Girl Scouts and Boys & Girls Club members�participated�in�science demonstrations�conducted by Dr. Erika Able and the crew of "Science from Scientists.'

"More science, less sleep!" shouted an enthusiastic student during one of the experiments.

Part of "Introduce a Girl to Engineering' initiatives held nationwide, the event taught students about air pressure, displacement and chemiluminescence � the emission of light as a result of a chemical reaction -- during a jam-packed day of activities.

Straw Rocket Challenge


Middle school students from Los Angeles and Orange County compete in a mock MATHCOUNTS competition during MathMovesU Day at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, in El Segundo, Calif.

On the West Coast, meanwhile, students discovered straws aren't just for drinking at MathMovesU Day in El Segundo, Calif.�

More than 200 middle school students worked with Raytheon engineers to participate in the straw rocket launch challenge at Raytheon's Space and Airborne Systems' headquarters. The students from�Los Angeles and Orange Counties also heard from Shayla Rivera, "The Funny Rocket Scientist," and competed in a mock MATHCOUNTS competition during the day.

The National Engineer Week events were part of Raytheon's MathMovesU program, which aims to spark new interest in various engineering fields and related career paths by helping students make the connection between math and science and the world around them.

Last Updated: 11/18/2014

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