Raytheon Company seeks to show students, at an age when they begin to give up on math, that it can lead to rewarding, fun careers. Through its MathMovesU initiative, the company has awarded $500,000 in scholarships and grants to students and teachers nationwide. Launched in November 2005, the program combines interactive online contests and activities, grants, prizes and community outreach.
For 150 middle and high school students from Arizona to Wisconsin, elevating math to “cool” has earned them more than a gold star or an A+. Their award winning ideas, to help rehabilitate math in the eyes of their fellow students, earned them a $1,000 scholarship for themselves and a matching grant for their school. “By helping young people connect the dots between learning math now and having an exciting career later, we can help turn interest into achievement,” said Pam Wickham, vice president of corporate affairs & communications for Raytheon Company.
Raytheon believes that for students to excel in math, they need passionate instruction and encouragement, so the company has also recognized 33 educators across the nation as “math heroes” for their ability to instill a love of math in their students. Winners were nominated by students, parents, and other teachers. Recipients received a $2500 grant with a further matching grant either going to their school or to their local MATHCOUNTS chapter.
Arizona recipients are:
- Austin Doll, Kyrene Pueblo Middle School, Chandler, $1,000 (MathMovesU)
- Glenda DeMoss, Esperero Canyon Middle School, Tucson, $2,500 (Math Hero)
- Brent Edwards, Corona Foothills Middle School, Tucson, $2,500 (Math Hero)
- David Kukla, Sabino Middle School, Tucson, $2,500 (Math Hero)
- Matthew Kinnaman, University of Arizona, Tucson, $2,500 (undergraduate stipend)
In a Raytheon-sponsored survey, an overwhelming majority of students (93%) said they knew they would need to use math later on in life, but couldn’t directly link it to their dream jobs. In fact, many students couldn’t name a compelling career that uses math. MathMovesU takes a unique approach by reaching out to students on their own terms. The web-based program features weekly prizes for solving math problems linked to today’s teen-favorite celebrities, including soccer star Mia Hamm, BMX biker Dave Mirra and gold medalist Apolo Ohno. Messages focus on how these celebrities use math to stay at the top of their game. MathMovesU also highlights other appealing careers that rely on math, including concert tour promotion and fashion and video game design. MathMovesU is also proud to partner with MATHCOUNTS, a nonprofit organization that has promoted excellence in math among U.S. middle school students through competitions and coaching since 1984.
The Student Scholarship Awards are part of Raytheon’s $1 million MathMovesU grant program to provide grants to teachers, schools and students to support math education. Students receive individual grants of $1000. In addition, a grant of $1000 is awarded to their school or the local MATHCOUNTS(R) program. Click here to learn more about MathMovesU and its sponsors. The next deadline for applications is October 15, 2006.