Engineering our future, inspiring young minds
Hundreds of Raytheon employees shared their passion for engineering with students nationwide in hopes of inspiring them to become the next generation of innovators.
It was all part of the Feb. 16-22 National Engineers Week, a celebration of the engineering profession and an opportunity to interest young students in the field.
"When students are playing sports, video games or music – doing the things they love – they're having fun with math and science, they just don't know it," said Pamela Erickson, vice president of corporate affairs for Raytheon. "Our goal is to keep students interested in educational tracks that will one day lead to careers in science and engineering."
Science and Math Education in the US
According to the United States Department of Commerce, growth in jobs related to science, technology, engineering and math was three times as fast as growth in other jobs in the past 10 years, and those occupations are expected to continue to grow.
But many of today's students aren't making the grade. The U.S. ranks 26th out of 34 countries in mathematics proficiency, and more than a quarter of 15-year-olds do not reach the baseline of mathematics proficiency, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Program for International Student Assessment.
Making an Impact Nationwide
To spark students' interest in science, technology, engineering and math, Raytheon hosted events designed to show students that engineers are professionals who dream up creative and practical solutions – they invent, design and create things that matter. (View the top 10 reasons to love engineering.)
- Raytheon hosted interactive Science Thrills Live shows for park guests at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort. The company celebrated the week with scientists demonstrating spectacular concepts, and also encouraged guests to design and experience their own thrill ride at The Sum of all Thrills™ presented by Raytheon at the INNOVENTIONS attraction. In addition, Raytheon employees led guests in hands-on experiments, sharing their passion for engineering with all.
- In Foxboro, Mass., Raytheon hosted 300 Girl Scouts at The Hall at Patriot Place for a look at the fascinating world of math and science, part of the National Engineers Week Girl Day celebration.
- In El Segundo, Calif., middle and high school students visited Raytheon's labs and factories to meet engineers and participate in the annual "Engineering Games."
- Students in Tucson, Ariz. participated in MathMovesU Day at the University of Arizona, building their very own "Galileoscope."
- In Washington, D.C., Raytheon workers helped visitors build mini-hovercrafts at the Discover Engineering Family Day at the National Building Museum.
- In San Diego, Raytheon hosted middle school girls from local schools for lab tours and experiments as part of their National Engineers Week Girl Day celebration.
- In Huntsville, Ala., Raytheon hosted more than 100 fifth graders at the University of Alabama Huntsville for hands-on engineering activities led by Raytheon engineers.
- In McKinney, Texas, local high school students met engineering fellows and assembled electronics.
"Our National Engineers Week events give us the opportunity to connect our engineers with thousands of students to get them thinking about a career path they may not have considered before," Erickson said. "We want them to understand that math and science can open up many doors for an exciting future."
Engaging Parents and Teachers
Raytheon also assembled a toolkit of great resources to help parents, teachers and school guidance counselors drive home this message. The toolkit, along with math worksheets and online learning games, can be found at the newly redesigned www.MathMovesU.com.
And Raytheon announced an initiative with WGBH, the Boston-based public broadcaster, to support classroom adoption of Next Generation Science Standards, or NGSS.
The initiative – Teaching NGSS Engineering Design Through Media – provides teachers with the resources they need to bring engineering to life for K-12 students. The resources, featuring content from the award-winning Engineering is Elementary curriculum, FETCH, and NOVA Science Now, are available through PBS LearningMedia, a free, on-demand digital media service for educators and students.
Recognizing our Engineers
As much as it is a week to spark the interest of future engineers, National Engineers Week is also a time to recognize and celebrate the passionate individuals who create and innovate to make a difference in the world today.
Raytheon recognized its engineers for their outstanding contributions to the company's legacy of innovation through a variety of activities, including the Excellence in Engineering and Technology (EiET) Awards, Raytheon's highest technical honor.
Last Updated: 10/21/2014