Through the lens

Raytheon goes international to inspire interest in STEM fields

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Students built and tested Galileoscopes during Raytheon's first international MathMovesU Day in Midland, Ontario, on April 11. The event was designed to spur student interest in science, technology, engineering or math, collectively known as STEM.

It takes a village. Sometimes, a global village.

When Raytheon volunteer Kristy Dalzell visited her first school as a STEM ambassador, she was swarmed with intuitive questions from nine-year-olds. One girl asked why, when she saw an image of herself in a spoon, she appeared upside down.

Dalzell explained that the spoon's shape reflects the image back at an angle, making it appear upside down.

“She may not have fully understood, but at least she’s asking questions,” said Dalzell, who works as a senior optical designer at Raytheon ELCAN Optical Technologies.

Raytheon took MathMovesU Day, its signature STEM-for-students event, international. It was in Canada in April to continue its mission: to inspire the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.

Fifty students from St. Theresa’s Catholic High School and Georgian Bay District High School in Midland, Ontario, assembled and tested small telescopes called Galileoscopes, which they were able to keep.

“The science of astronomy is vastly underappreciated and misunderstood,” said Dean Verner, a calibration technologist at Raytheon and another volunteer. “Apart from television, kids don’t have a full appreciation of our position in the grand scheme of things.”

Verner shared his passion for astronomy and photography during the event, and taught students how to use their Galileoscopes to explore the galaxy and beyond.

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Time lapse of the setting sun (Video: Dean Verner)

Verner, who named astronomer Carl Sagan as an early influence, showed students pictures he'd taken to demonstrate where Earth fits into the galaxy and explain why stars change year-over-year.

While these students may have once struggled to get a sense of where they fit into the world, galaxy and universe, the event was designed to show them how hard work, dedication and a STEM degree can change their world and the world around them.

“STEM is the foundation of our business,” Dalzell said. “It’s important to develop passionate people because they’re the innovators of the future.”


Published On: 04/10/2018
Last Updated: 04/17/2018