On March 10th, the Raytheon Company, in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution, is launching a new exhibit called MathAlive! The interactive exhibit, which will be located at the Smithsonian International Gallery, is aimed mainly at students and will contain many hands-on activities based on the subjects like science, mathematics, technology and engineering. The activities will be presented in both English and Spanish to make them accessible to the widest possible number of visitors.
MathAlive! enables students and teachers to explore exciting STEM-powered activities such as designing video games, engineering cities of the future and riding snowboards. Interactive stations allow students of various grade levels and capabilities to enjoy fresh subject matter to complement the math they experience at school and at home.
After three months at the Smithsonian, the organizers plan to tour the exhibit around the United States and abroad for the next several years. Raytheon explained its participation in the project by pointing out that it has an interest in increasing students' engagement with the STEM subjects:
"MathAlive! is designed to excite students by making real-world connections between math and the activities students already love to do," said Raytheon Chairman and CEO William H. Swanson. "Our goal is to engage and inspire today's students to remain interested in math and science so that they have the opportunity to become the engineers and technology leaders of tomorrow."
To coincide with the exhibition's opening, Raytheon is also releasing the findings of a survey it conducted last year. The survey was designed to gauge the interest of American middle-school students in mathematics. Raytheon found that half of the students surveyed had an interest in continuing math education outside the school hours, and preferred interactive and hands-on learning tools the most fun way of being introduced to new subject material.
To bring MathAlive! alive, Raytheon collaborated with highly respected science institutions like NASA, National Society of Professional Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
The exhibit, and the accompanying survey are a part of a multi-year Raytheon project called MathMovesU which is designed to increase student interest in STEM and increase the number of high school graduates seeking to pursue math, science, technology and engineering majors in college.