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Raytheon Takes on New Assignment: Helping Kids Make the Grade in Math and Science
Company Enlists Tony Hawk, Dave Mirra, Mia Hamm and Lisa Leslie to Show Teens How Math = Success; Announces $1 Million Grant Program
WALTHAM, Mass., Nov. 10, 2005 /PRNewswire/ -- American students are performing poorly in math. According to the most recent data (2003) collected by the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), U.S. 8th graders ranked 15th of 45 countries surveyed. Today, the Raytheon Company is announcing a new program - MathMovesU - aimed at improving math and science education among middle school-aged students in America. Raytheon, a leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft, joins the ranks of companies as varied as General Electric, IBM, Toyota and Kellogg's, which have all introduced math and science education initiatives since the 2005 school year began.
"A Raytheon survey of American middle schoolers found that most of them would rather clean their rooms, eat their vegetables, take out the garbage, or go to the dentist than sit down with their math homework," said William H. Swanson, Raytheon Chairman and CEO.
"These are intelligent young students. As adults, we have a responsibility to make math more interesting. As business leaders we need to be concerned about our future competitiveness in the global marketplace."
Raytheon's national survey of students grades 6 - 8 also found that these same sixth to eighth graders say they want to do better in math (67%) and that doing well in math is important to them (94%). The vast majority of middle school students surveyed report that they would be more interested in math if they learned about celebrities (79%) or were shown how people in music, sports and video games use math in their jobs (81%).
"If we can help young students to understand that math can be their gateway to interesting careers by showing them that their heroes think math is important, then we're a step closer to averting a potential future shortage of people qualified for jobs requiring science, engineering and technical training," said Raytheon's Swanson.
With 80,000 employees -- many of whom rely on strong math skills -- Raytheon is addressing the math and science issue by introducing an innovative new national initiative to help change young students' attitudes and negative perceptions of math. MathMovesU is a program designed specifically to reach students at a time where studies(1) show performance declines in math and science -- middle school, grades six through eight. The MathMovesU program combines student interest in celebrities with grant money and awards to generate new interest and excitement in math.
Raytheon has partnered with skateboard legend Tony Hawk, soccer star Mia Hamm, basketball greats Bill Russell and Lisa Leslie, and BMX champ Dave Mirra to promote the MathMovesU program and demonstrate how math plays a role in "cool" careers. On mathmovesu.com, students can work on real-world applications of math, such as calculating the degrees of turn Tony Hawk needs to complete a signature trick, or the average points per game scored by Lisa Leslie.
Tony Hawk said, "Kids are surprised to see the role math plays in what I do, both in the physics of skateboarding maneuvers and in running my skateboard business."
MathMovesU also highlights other "kid-cool" careers that rely on math, like concert tour manager, fashion designer, video game creator, roller coaster innovator, and ER doctor.
While MathMovesU is most certainly an education program, it's not based in the classroom but on the Internet, where students get their entertainment and information. At mathmovesu.com, middle school students can win awards by answering math questions related to the MathMovesU celebrities' careers.
$1 Million Grant Program Launched
Raytheon is also providing help inside the classroom. The company announced an annual $1 million MathMovesU grant program that will fund classroom help for teachers; provide grants to teachers and schools to support math education; and offer scholarships to students who write in on the Web to tell how they would make math "cool." The company has partnered with MATHCOUNTS, a nonprofit organization that has expertise in teaching math in a cool way. Through mathmovesu.com, teachers can access curriculum resources from MATHCOUNTS which has been promoting excellence in math among U.S. middle school students through math competitions and coaching since 1984. Based on national standards, the MATHCOUNTS curriculum is designed by educators from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Sponsored by the Raytheon Company, MathMovesU is a unique project designed to "elevate math to cool" by combining middle school students' interest in celebrities with grant money, awards and a robust MATHCOUNTS curriculum to encourage excitement about math. The company supports MATHCOUNTS, a national math enrichment, coaching and competition program. You can learn more about MathMovesU and its sponsors by visiting http://www.mathmovesu.com/, http://www.mathcounts.com/, http://www.raytheon.com/, and http://www.bhef.com/.
1. "A Commitment to America's Future: Responding to the Crisis in Mathematics & Science Education," Business Higher Education Forum. January 2005. Page 6.
Contact: Theresa Renaldi 312-988-2367 email@example.com James Fetig 781-522-5111 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE: Raytheon Company
CONTACT: Theresa Renaldi of Weber Shandwick, +1-312-988-2367,
email@example.com; or James Fetig of Raytheon Company,
Web site: http://www.raytheon.com/