The session was funded by a $37,000 grant from the company and each teacher got a curriculum guide and a materials kit to implement engineering activities in the classroom. It's part of a $2 million effort by Raytheon to improve STEM education around the country.
The curriculum, known as Engineering is Elementary, is widely-recongized as an innovative method to teach and enhance STEM-related instruction and learning.
“With the release of the Next Generation Science Standards in 2013, there’s a new expectation that engineering will be integrated with existing elementary science curricula – and schools and districts need an effective way to do that,” said Dr. Christine Cunningham, a vice president at the Museum of Science, Boston and EiE founder and director. “We’re really pleased to be able to offer support through the Raytheon scholarship program.”
“The Portsmouth School Department is in the midst of creating a K-12 STEAM program and being a recipient of Raytheon’s Engineering is Elementary grant serves as a critical step along this path,” said Jeff Schoonover, Assistant Superintendent of Portsmouth School Department. “At the heart of STEAM is engineering; it is where science, math, technology, and the arts come together. The professional development and incredible materials from the Boston Museum of Science associated with Engineering is Elementary will serve as the foundation of our STEAM initiative and will help Portsmouth to create a generation of innovators and bring excitement to students about the world of engineering. This is yet another example of Raytheon partnering with the Portsmouth School Department to further enhance the education of our students.”
The EiE project was developed by the Museum of Science in Boston with support from the National Science Foundation. It consists of 20 units that integrate science topics with specific engineering fields.
The program uses story books and introduces students to children from different cultures and backgrounds who have engineering problems.
Students as young as 6-years-old conduct their own experiments to collect data needed to solve a similar problem using a five-step engineering process.
Teachers from Howard Hathaway Elementary School, Melville Elementary School and Portsmouth Middle School are took part in the training.