ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has funded a $37,000 grant to help teach engineering concepts and practices to elementary school students in Florida's Orange County. The grant is part of a $2 million Raytheon initiative to help improve STEM education nationwide by expanding the use of Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®), an award-winning curriculum developed at the Museum of Science, Boston through its National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®).
The Raytheon-Engineering is Elementary grant funds professional development for 25 teachers, who will attend workshops to prepare them to use EiE with their students. Each teacher also receives a curriculum guide and a materials kit with everything needed to implement engineering activities in the classroom. A teacher educator from the district also receives professional development, qualifying to prepare more teachers at the schools to use the curriculum.
Research shows EiE helps elementary students become more interested in engineering as a career, and also improves their learning of science concepts.
"Raytheon's generous support greatly expands our mission to bring engineering to elementary-aged children," said Museum of Science president and director Ioannis Miaoulis, who launched the NCTL to introduce engineering in schools and museums nationwide.
"With the release of the Next Generation Science Standards in 2013, there's a new expectation that engineering will be integrated with existing elementary science curricula – and schools and districts need an effective way to do that," said Dr. Christine Cunningham, a vice president at the Museum and EiE founder and director. "We're really pleased to be able to offer support through the Raytheon scholarship program."
To date, EiE has reached nearly six million children, engaging students as young as six with hands-on, inquiry-based activities. The curriculum explores a variety of engineering fields – from electrical to mechanical to biomedical and more – and each activity is tied to a science concept commonly taught in elementary schools.
"The generosity of Raytheon which funded both training and materials for Orange County Public School teachers will help the district meet the goal of access to quality Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education," says Nancy Lewis, the district's senior administrator for elementary science and math. The district is working to build high-quality STEM education for Pre-k to 12th-grade students with STEM learning activities that are research-based, standards-driven, and classroom-tested. Lewis notes the scholarship will provide high-quality training first through fourth grade at two different K-8 schools.
"Focusing on two schools will help guide the impact of the scholarship and build capacity in the teachers at the two school sites as teachers come together as a Professional Learning Community to implement "Engineering is Elementary" in their schools," Lewis says. Two district-level science coaches will also participate in the Raytheon-supported training so that they can support teachers during implementation and increase their effectiveness as STEM leaders in the district.
About Engineering is Elementary
- EiE is a project of the Museum of Science, Boston, developed with support from the National Science Foundation.
- The EiE curriculum includes 20 units that integrate science topics with a specific field of engineering.
- Through the use of storybooks, EiE introduces students to children from different cultures and backgrounds who are trying to solve engineering problems.
- EiE students as young as six years old conduct their own experiments to collect the data needed to solve a similar problem using a five-step engineering design process.
About the Museum of Science, Boston
The Museum of Science, Boston is the nation's first science museum with a comprehensive strategy and infrastructure to foster technological literacy in science museums and schools across the United States. NCTL curricula have reached an estimated 6.2 million students and 77,700 teachers. One of the world's largest science centers and New England's most attended cultural institution, the Museum of Science introduces about 1.5 million visitors a year to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) via dynamic programs and hundreds of interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830, the Museum was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. Highlights include the Hall of Human Life, Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 4-D Theater, and Butterfly Garden. The Museum also leads a 10-year, $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums. Visit: http://www.mos.org.
Raytheon's MathMovesU® program is an initiative committed to increasing middle and elementary school students' interest in math and science education by engaging them in hands-on, interactive activities. The innovative programs of MathMovesU include the traveling interactive experience MathAlive!®; Raytheon's Sum of all Thrills™ experience at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®, which showcases math in action as students design and experience their own thrill ride using math fundamentals; the "In the Numbers" game, a partnership with the New England Patriots on display at The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon; the company's ongoing sponsorship of the MATHCOUNTS® National Competition; and the MathMovesU scholarship and grant program. Follow MathMovesU and other Raytheon community outreach programs on Facebook and on Twitter @MathMovesU.
Raytheon Company, with 2013 sales of $24 billion and 63,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 92 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as cyber security and a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @Raytheon.
SOURCE Raytheon Company