To engineer a career

Across the U.S., Raytheon engineers look to inspire new generation

Raytheon’s Girl Day event

Members of the Boys & Girls Club in Lawrence, Massachusetts, work to build a shock-absorbing container at Raytheon’s Girl Day event.

Venus Slag wanted to be a veterinarian. At least she thought she did.

But that all changed the summer before college, when she volunteered at the same math-and-science camp she’d attended back in middle school. Something about being there – maybe it was the robotic LEGO car they created, or the solar-powered oven they fashioned from foil and a pizza box – made her realize that building things was her calling.

“I could make a career of doing this,” she remembers thinking to herself. “I could really enjoy doing this.”

Today, Slag is a systems-engineering major at the University of Arizona. She is also among many young women who attended Raytheon-sponsored math-and-science programs as girls and are now pursuing careers in engineering and technology.

This year, Raytheon and the nonprofit DiscoverE are working together to lead even more students, particularly young women, into those fields. In celebration of National Engineers Week, they will host special events around the country, leading experiments and showing students up close the power of science, technology, engineering and math.

Raytheon mentor

A Raytheon mentor shows members of a Boys & Girls Club in Largo, Florida, how to use a 9-volt battery to power a string of lights.

Those events include:

Girl Day

Raytheon volunteers will go to Boys & Girls Clubs locations in California, Colorado, Texas, Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts and Virginia, where they will lead hands-on engineering activities and speak about STEM careers.

Raytheon has a $5 million, multi-year partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to build high-tech workshops called Centers of Innovation at locations on or near military installations. That effort is part of Raytheon’s broader commitments to math-and-science education, as well as educational initiatives for military families.

The Colorado Springs event will feature a guest appearance by former boxing world champion Evander Holyfield, a longtime Boys & Girls Clubs supporter.

Engineering Games

In El Segundo, California, Raytheon will lead local high school students on a tour of its laboratories and even build a tool called an ultrasonic range finder – a distance-tracking mechanism similar to the technology used in popular video games such as Pokémon Go.

shadow an engineer

Also in El Segundo, Raytheon also invited college students from eight California universities to witness a day in the life of a Raytheon engineer.

High School Student Challenge

At Raytheon’s McKinney facility in north Texas, students will use raw spaghetti to build towers, with honors going to the tallest tower that can support the weight of a marshmallow at its highest point.


In St. Louis, students will visit Raytheon’s touring math-and-science exhibit, which includes interactive activities such as programming video games, controlling robots and designing custom skateboards.

“Dream Big” screening

Raytheon is hosting two screenings of “Dream Big.” The film, narrated by Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges, uses dramatic aerial cinematography to showcase the work of engineers around the world. The screenings will take place at the St. Louis Science Center and U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where Raytheon will host students from the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama.

Math Nights

Throughout Februrary, Raytheon is hosting its monthly Math Nights program at Sunnyside High School in Tucson, Arizona, bringing in volunteers to tutor more than 200 students in math disciplines.

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Published On: 02/21/2017
Last Updated: 01/26/2018