SAN ANTONIO, Nov. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has funded a $37,000 grant to help teach engineering concepts and practices to elementary school students in San Antonio, Texas. The grant to the San Antonio Independent School District is part of a larger $2 million Raytheon initiative, launched in 2011, 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®).
"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 created the NCTL to introduce engineering in schools and museums nationwide.
The Raytheon-Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) grant funds professional development for a group of 25 teachers from the district, who will attend a workshop that prepares them to use EiE with their students. San Antonio is one of four districts this year and among a total of 17 schools and districts since 2013 to receive one of these Raytheon awards.
The workshop for San Antonio teachers will take place Nov. 17, 2015; in addition to the training, each teacher will also receive an EiE curriculum guide and a materials kit with everything needed to implement engineering activities in the classroom. Finally, as part of the grant's "train the trainer" model, a district educator will attend an EiE Teacher Educator Institute, acquiring the skills and knowledge to facilitate more workshops for district teachers.
"The professional development opportunity afforded to our district by Raytheon and the Museum of Science, Boston will ensure that teachers are well prepared to develop our students' ability to collaborate, create, innovate and problem-solve as they begin to discover engineering design and biomedical engineering," says Becky Landa, the director of science and curriculum management departments for SAISD. "As a large urban school district, we understand the importance of providing our teachers with challenging instructional resources to engage and inspire our students to pursue and achieve success in STEM career fields. An early pathway to increase STEM literacy is critical and involves not only our schools, but our communities and business partners working together with a shared commitment to make STEM education accessible to all students."
"Our nation's competitiveness and economic growth depend on development of technical talent, and teachers are vital to this effort," said Jack Harrington, vice president of Cybersecurity and Special Missions at Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. "As part of the San Antonio community, Raytheon is personally invested in inspiring the area's next generation of innovators, and this grant helps strengthen teachers' ability to encourage students to pursue careers in math and science."
To date, EiE has reached more than 9 million children across the country, 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. Research shows EiE helps elementary students become more interested in engineering as a career, and also improves their learning of science concepts.
"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."
Headquartered in Massachusetts, Raytheon also has offices in the San Antonio area. In addition to San Antonio, two other Texas School Districts, McKinney Public Schools and Garland Independent School District, have received Raytheon grants. "Garland already promotes student-centered active inquiry to enhance critical thinking and problem solving skills," says Tina Garrett, an elementary science coordinator for the district. "Raytheon's generosity has enabled us the opportunity to embed engineering practices at all levels of elementary science."
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. Having reached an estimated 9.4 million students and 99,700 teachers, its National Center for Technological Literacy® also received the National Science Board's Public Service Award in May 2015. One of the world's largest science centers and Boston's most attended cultural institution, the Museum of Science introduces about 1.4 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 2014 sales of $23 billion and 61,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 93 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 cybersecurity 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.
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SOURCE Raytheon Company