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Raytheon Celebrates Math And Science Education On MARS Day

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by Staff Writers
Waltham, MA (SPX) Jul 21, 2007
Did the Mars Exploration Rovers find evidence of life on the Red planet? How long is a Martian year? Today, nearly 100 Washington area YMCA summer campers, ages 11-13 years, learned the answers to these questions when they teamed with Raytheon for a celebration of the planet Mars. Raytheon, as part of its MathMovesU middle school initiative, is showing young people how engaging math and science can be with a series of Mars-related activities, including hosting the YMCA campers at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's annual MARS Day and recognizing the winner of the national MathMovesU Mission to MARS online math challenge.

In anticipation of MARS Day, summer campers from the Calomiris, National Capital and Capital View branches of the Metropolitan Washington YMCA worked to construct models of the solar system earlier this week. The campers showcased them on the steps of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum today before entering the museum to view the exhibits.

In addition to festivities at the museum, Raytheon announced the winner of its MathMovesU Mission to Mars challenge. Nicholas Grazio, a 7th grader from Wake Forest, N.C., won the grand prize - a Raytheon sponsored VIP trip for four to Washington, D.C., and a VIP guided tour through the MARS Day exhibits.

Aimed at encouraging kids to sharpen their math skills in an entertaining, interactive format, the MathMovesU challenge saw more than 700 sixth to eighth grade students nationwide participate in the space-themed, online math competition.

"It's heartening to see the national response for our MARS Day festivities, which tells us if we appeal to students' imaginations, they are more receptive to math and science," said Kristin Hilf, Raytheon's vice president of community relations.

"MathMovesU helps middle schoolers build their math skills virtually, through activities and contests that can help them realize that math is relevant to their interests and can actually be a lot of fun."

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NASA Robots Practice Moon Survey In The Arctic Circle
Moffett Field CA (SPX) Jul 21, 2007
Two NASA robots are surveying a rocky, isolated polar desert within a crater in the Arctic Circle. The study will help scientists learn how robots could evaluate potential outposts on the moon or Mars. The robots, K10 Black and K10 Red, carry 3-D laser scanners and ground-penetrating radar. The team arrived at Haughton Crater at Devon Island, Canada, on July 12 and will operate the machines until July 31.

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