WALTHAM, Mass., April 17, 2009 /PRNewswire/ -- Seven Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN)-sponsored teams totaling nearly 150 high school students will compete in the FIRST Robotics Championship Event April 16-18, 2009, in Atlanta, Ga.
In August 2009, Raytheon will also award 40 FIRST Robotics team members who plan to pursue a college degree in math, science, engineering or technology with a $1,000 scholarship.
The FIRST Robotics Championship is an international event in which teams of high school students build a robot during a six-week period using the core principles of engineering and mathematics. The final teams -- 8,600 students from 11 countries -- have been selected from more than 42,000 contestants who already competed at regional levels around the world.
In preparation for the championship, almost 70 Raytheon employees have dedicated approximately 14,000 hours to mentor students from more than 40 high schools across the country during the last year. The Raytheon volunteers have met with their teams each week and have guided them in the development of their robots, each consisting of a standard kit of 604 components and other purchased parts based on a common set of rules provided by FIRST.
"As a former FIRST Robotics student, I can attest to FIRST's ability to get kids excited about math. My experience with FIRST is what made me decide to be an engineer, and I'm proud that Raytheon is committed to supporting the program," said Christopher Matcek, an engineer with Raytheon Company and one of the volunteer mentors for the FIRST competition.
For more than 11 years, Raytheon engineers have mentored teams of high school students for FIRST Robotics. This past year, Raytheon supported nearly 700 students who competed at FIRST regional competitions, including those that comprise the seven teams heading to the Atlanta championship. Alongside the FIRST Robotics Competition, Raytheon sponsors teams involved with the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) and FIRST LEGO(R) League (FLL), aiming to reach more young people to ignite and sustain the enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and math.
"Raytheon is committed to inspiring students to do better in math in school and go on to pursue math- and engineering-related careers -- something that fewer students have an interest in, but something the U.S. cannot do without to stay innovative and globally competitive," said Kristin Hilf, vice president of public affairs for Raytheon Company. "We are happy to support FIRST Robotics for helping young people discover how interesting and rewarding the life of an engineer or mathematician can be."
Raytheon's support of FIRST is a component of its MathMovesU program, an initiative designed to engage middle school students in math and science and help create the next generation of innovators for the U.S. Since the program was launched in 2005, MathMovesU has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships and has touched the lives of more than 700,000 students, teachers and parents nationwide. To learn more about the program, visit www.MathMovesU.com.
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.
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