Raytheon

Menu Dropdown

"No Fake Math" Raytheon Math Heroes Make Numbers Real for Students

Math teachers wielding�lollipops and PlayDoh props, configuring 60,000 pennies in a parking lot and channeling Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ are among those being honored as “Math Heroes” by Raytheon.

Nominated by their students, classroom parents, and school administrators, the 32 middle and high school math teachers from 18 states use creative lessons to make math real for their students.

Middle school teacher Michelle Sigle sings her way through difficult algebraic concepts to the delight of her students at Lowery Freshman Center in Allen, Texas. Ms. Sigle works with her daughter to produce music videos under the YouTube alias “MathJamz.”

“My first big song, “Same, Same Base” explores exponent rules and was inspired by the Black Eyed Peas,” Sigle said. “My second song, “Radio Heart,” was inspired by Gym Class Heroes and Adam Levine and covers the concept of slope, and two forms of linear equations.”

Laura McConnaughey�of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va. said she, too, works hard�to make numbers relatable to youngsters.

"Make it real -- no fake math," she said.

Diana Liberto, a high school teacher in Aberdeen, Md., uses unusual props to help her students remember information:�lollipops to�explain the chain�rule, a key formula in calculus; PlayDoh for explaining volume and M&Ms for a lesson on exponential growth and decay.

Scott Keltner relies on visual, artistic representations of math concepts to share his passion for math with his students at Eudora High School in Eudora, Kan.

To hammer home how to calculate the compounded growth rate of $300 over five years in a savings account yielding 3.5 percent, Mr. Keltner employed the Sierpinski Triangle to make the point � arranging 60,000 pennies in the pattern in the school’s parking lot.

Student nominations, like one for�middle school teacher Sean Ashburner of Niantic, Conn.,�highlight the impact Raytheon Math Heroes have in the classroom.

"We think Mr. Ashburner is the best teacher we’ve ever had, and he makes math fun,” his students wrote. “Most teachers just hand out worksheets but Mr. Ashburner has us playing Math Jeopardy, measuring shadows and making Geo Domes � he connects with the students and makes learning a blast �”

The 32 Math Heroes will each receive a $2,500 grant from Raytheon, along with a matching grant for their school. The Heroes plan to use the grant funds to expand their use of technology and resources in the classroom, including purchasing iPads, SmartBoards, new software and graphing calculators.

The Math Hero Award is part of Raytheon’s broader MathMovesU? initiative, which aims to inspire the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. The program includes museum exhibits like MathAlive!, the national MATHCOUNTS� competition, robotics clubs and model rocketry tournaments.

The 2013 Math Hero Award recipients are:

  • Natalie Angelis,
    Lake Nona High School,
    Orlando, Fla.
  • Sean Ashburner,
    East Lyme Middle School,
    Niantic, Conn.
  • Elizabeth Batten,
    Greenbrier Middle School,
    Chesapeake, Va.
  • Ian Brown,
    GATE Academy,
    San Rafael, Calif.
  • Jarrod Brown,
    Central Catholic High School,
    Lawrence, Mass.
  • Sara Cooley,
    Allen High School,
    Allen, Texas
  • Ana De Mello,
    Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School,
    Fayetteville, Ga.
  • Jeffrey Fronius,
    Horizon Christian School,
    Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Eric Hendrickson,
    Ridgecrest Intermediate School,
    Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
  • Kimberly Kehr,
    Cimarron Middle School,
    Parker, Colo.
  • Scott Keltner,
    Eudora High School,
    Eudora, Kan.
  • Benjamin Lei,
    Arlington High School,
    Lagrangeville, N.Y.
  • Rochelle Leininger,
    Whitko Middle School,
    Larwill, Ind.
  • Diana Liberto,
    Aberdeen High School,
    Aberdeen, Md.
  • Elise Maggiacomo,
    LaSalle Academy,
    Providence, R.I.
  • Laura McConnaughey,
    Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology,
    Alexandria, Va.
  • Kelly Hagan,
    Wayland Middle School,
    Wayland, Mass.
  • Magda Mixon,
    Martinez Middle School,
    Lutz, Fla.
  • Kelly Muscolino,
    Hawkins Middle School,
    Forest, Miss.
  • TJ Peacher,
    BASIS Scottsdale,
    Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Azat Penjiyev,
    Sonoran Science Academy Davis-Montham,
    Tucson, Ariz.
  • Dana Rubin,
    Montclair High School,
    Montclair, N.J.
  • Patricia Sanders,
    Randall Middle School,
    Lithia, Fla.
  • Andrew Senka,
    Fairfield Middle School,
    Richmond, Va.
  • Michelle Sigle,
    Lowery Freshman Center,
    Allen, Texas
  • Kelley Straight,
    Focus North High School,
    Columbus, Ohio
  • Donna Tchir-Spence,
    Oak Street School
    Lakewood, NJ
  • Sean Tillman,
    Southern Boone County Middle School,
    Ashland, Mo.
  • Lynn Tytka,
    St. Mary's High School,
    Lancaster, N.Y.
  • Stacey Webb,
    Paradise Junior High School,
    Paradise, Texas
  • Christopher Yetman,
    Canyon del Oro High School,
    Tucson, Ariz.
  • Julie Young,
    Prairie View Middle School,
    Henderson, Colo.

Nominations for the 2014 Math Heroes Awards program will open in March 2014. For more information about MathMovesU� scholarships, please visit www.MathMovesU.com or www.facebook.com/MathMovesU.

Last Updated: 10/28/2014

Back to Top