Raytheon Launches Virtual Summer Math Camp for Kids

MathMovesU math camp builds math literacy with fun and games

WALTHAM, Mass., July 26, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- What do wakeboarding, horseback riding, archery, rock climbing, whitewater rafting and mountain biking have to do with middle school math?

These six pastimes are the basis of Camp MMU, a new program on Raytheon's MathMovesU Web site ( www.mathmovesu.com) that uses popular "tween" activities to help take the monotony out of studying math during the summer break. Participants log on and choose from up to six themed "cabins" each week. A student who answers the questions in any two cabins is entered in a random drawing to win that week's featured prize. Prizes include Nintendo Wii, a karaoke machine, and a portable DVD player. Camp MMU runs through August 24.

The idea for a virtual summer math camp grew out of a recent survey(1) for Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN). In the survey parents and middle school aged children were polled about student study habits. One of the main findings highlighted a significant disconnect between how often parents and students felt math should be studied over the summer and how often students actually plan to study it during their break.

While a majority of both parents and "tweens" felt that studying math at least once a week was something students should do, two-thirds (68 percent) of middle schoolers expected to study math once a month or less. In addition, just eight percent of 11-13 year olds surveyed are required to study math during the summer - well shy of the 39 percent who are required to study English/reading during the same timeframe. Although 76 percent of students told researchers that math is important to them, when they were given a choice of ways to keep their skills sharp over the summer, the vast majority (83 percent) not surprisingly opted for Internet-based or educational math games over textbooks, tutoring or summer school.

"We know kids would rather spend their holidays at the beach or the amusement park," said Kristin Hilf, Raytheon vice president of community relations. "Camp MMU pairs that love of outdoor activities with the attraction of the Internet. By appealing to students' imaginations and by taking the monotony out of studying math, the goal is to offset the loss of math skills that occurs during the summer."

Raytheon, a defense technology company with 2006 sales of $20.3 billion and 73,000 employees worldwide, believes that tomorrow's engineers and technologists need to be excited by and interested in math and science today. The MathMovesU initiative ( www.mathmovesu.com) is a virtual space that helps stimulate interest in math by providing rich content tied to middle schoolers' passions, contests, prizes and events to inspire them to pursue educational tracks that will ideally lead to careers in science and engineering.

Note to editors:

(1) The 2007 KRC Research survey for Raytheon Company was conducted with a sample of 354 parents and 356 middle school age respondents. (None of the parents and middle schoolers were recruited from the same household.) The survey was conducted June 5-10, 2007. Respondents were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in an online poll. Parental permission was obtained prior to surveying middle schoolers. Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation in the panel, no estimate of sampling error can be calculated.

The contest is located at www.mathmovesu.com. It runs through August 24, 2007.

For a high resolution screen grab of the Camp MMU graphic, please contact Steve Collins at Text 100 on 617-399-4911 or via e-mail: Email Contact

    Steve Collins
Email Contact

Web site: http://www.mathmovesu.com/

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