Loudoun County, VA (July 29, 2015) – Raytheon Company has funded a $37,000 grant to help teach engineering concepts and practices to elementary school students in Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS).
The Raytheon-Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) grant funds professional development for 25 teachers. These teachers attended a workshop to prepare them to use EiE with their students on Wednesday, July 15th. Loudoun County 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.
As part of the award, each teacher also will receive an EiE curriculum guide and a materials kit with everything needed to implement engineering activities in the classroom.
The grant is part of a larger $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 Boston’s Museum of Science through its National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®).
- 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 6 years old conduct their own experiments to collect the data needed to solve a similar problem using a five-step engineering design process.
To date, EiE has reached more than 8 million children. 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.
“Loudoun County Public Schools is very excited about incorporating Engineering is Elementary into our STEM curriculum, and Raytheon’s scholarship will greatly support our efforts to infuse the engineering process at all levels of the elementary science curriculum,” said LCPS Science Supervisor Odette Scovel. “The EIE curriculum will support our Project Based Learning (PBL) county-wide initiative; our students will be actively engaged in solving real world problems using critical thinking skills; and the professional development workshop will give our teachers a rich curriculum, extensive classroom resources, and a deeper understanding of engineering processes.”
“Our nation’s competitiveness and economic growth depend on development of technical talent, and teachers are vital to this effort,” said John Balaguer, vice president of Engineering and Technology at Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services. “Raytheon is committed to inspiring the next generation of innovators, and this grant helps strengthen teachers’ ability to encourage students to pursue careers in math and science.”
Headquartered in Massachusetts, Raytheon has more than 2,000 employees working throughout Northern Virginia.