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Middle School 'Mathletes'® Vie for Top Spot at the Raytheon MATHCOUNTS® competition

Actress, best-selling author and math education advocate Danica McKellar to serve as host of competition

WALTHAM, Mass., May 1, 2009 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon Company will host the nation's top 228 middle school math whizzes as the title sponsor of the 2009 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition May 7-10 2009 at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The finalists are middle school students from across the U.S. who will compete to earn the titles of Top Mathlete and Top Mathlete Team in the country for 2009.

Danica McKellar will serve as host of the competition and will award the top titles to the MATHCOUNTS national champions via live webcast May 8. McKellar, best known as Winnie Cooper on "The Wonder Years" and Elsie Snuffin on "The West Wing", is the author of the New York Times best-selling books, "Kiss My Math" and "Math Doesn't Suck." As part of the award ceremonies, McKellar will award the new MATHCOUNTS National Champion with a Donald G. Weinert Scholarship to the college of his or her choice, among other prizes.

This year's finalists advanced beyond more than 100,000 middle schoolers from all 50 states and U.S. territories who competed in local and regional MATHCOUNTS competitions. The national competition is the culmination of the MATHCOUNTS enrichment and coaching program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement throughout the U.S. Raytheon is the title sponsor of the MATHCOUNTS National Competition through 2011.

Sponsorship of the MATHCOUNTS National Competition is a core component of Raytheon's MathMovesU program, an initiative designed to engage middle school students in math and science and help inspire the next generation of technologists and innovators.

"Raytheon is working to foster young students' interest and success in math and science, both of which are essential for the United States to be a source of innovation and to preserve our ability to compete globally," said William H. Swanson, Chairman and CEO of Raytheon Company and 2009 MATHCOUNTS honorary chairman. "Raytheon's MathMovesU program shares MATHCOUNTS' commitment to coaching and enriching young students to prepare them for future success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers."

"Math literacy has deteriorated at an alarming rate among American youth," said McKellar, who graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a degree in mathematics and has co-authored a published math theorem. "Kids would be ashamed to admit they can't read but are more than willing to volunteer that they can't do math.

"It's a social stigma that has little to do with the actual subject. Ironically, as an actress writing these math books, kids are more willing to listen to me when I show them that math is not only accessible but can be truly empowering."

MATHCOUNTS will present the 2009 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition live via webcast Friday, May 8th, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time at www.mathcounts.org. Students will have the opportunity to watch and play along with the nation's top middle school Mathletes.

"Middle school is the perfect time to teach kids about creative problem solving and to encourage and help guide critical thinking," according to Lou DiGioia, executive director of the MATHCOUNTS Foundation. "Raytheon's MathMovesU program and the MATHCOUNTS competition are perfect partners in making learning math as fun and as challenging as a school sport. It's a winning experience for these students who represent our future in a changing world and global economy."

About MathMovesU

Since its inception in 2005 to help spur interest in math and science, Raytheon's MathMovesU program has touched the lives of more than 700,000 students, teachers and parents. Through interactive learning programs, contests, live events, scholarships, tutoring programs and more, MathMovesU engages and inspires students. Core components of the program include:

  • An innovative approach to engaging students in math and science through a partnership with the Kraft family and The New England Patriots at The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon
  • www.mathmovesu.com, a virtual space to educate and entertain middle school students through games and activities that showcase the math behind students' favorite pastimes
  • A scholarship and grants program that awards $1 million annually to students, teachers and schools.

More information may be found at www.raytheon.com/stewardship/mmu/

Raytheon Company, with 2008 sales of $23.2 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 87 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 a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.


MATHCOUNTS® is a non-profit national math enrichment, coaching and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement in every U.S. state and territory, and is one of the most successful education partnerships involving volunteers, educators, industry sponsors and students in America. MATHCOUNTS offers teachers, kids and parents free materials to aid them in math enrichment and prepare for a high-tech future that will require mathematics related skills to achieve success. Materials and information are available at the newly redesigned website www.mathcounts.org.

Note to Editors:

A list of finalists (name, age, location, school) is available by request.

    Jennifer K. Chan                             Donna M. Murno
    Raytheon                                     InkHouse (for Raytheon)
    781.879.2030                                 781.916.9090 ext. 804
    jennifer_k_chan@raytheon.com                 donna@inkhousepr.com

    Barbara Pflughaupt

SOURCE: Raytheon Company

Web site: www.raytheon.com/

Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/149999.html

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