WRAL Tech Wire STEM News

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Our modern society has engineers to thank.

The 60th anniversary of National Engineers Week is this week and highlights the achievements of our nation’s outstanding engineers as well as the 10th anniversary of the program Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.

National Engineers Week 2011 is chaired by Lynn Bellenger, president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Raytheon Chairman and CEO William Swanson also serves as honorary chairman.

“To remain at the forefront of innovation, the United States needs to inspire a new generation toward rewarding engineering careers,” Swanson said. “National Engineers Week is the perfect platform to engage, excite and encourage today’s students – this week and every week.”

At Raytheon (NYSE: RTN), hundreds of employee volunteers help students explore the world of engineering through hands-on activities and other events across the nation. This outreach is part of Raytheon’s commitment to spur interest among middle-school students in math and science through its MathMovesU program.

Since its inception in 2005, MathMovesU has touched the lives of more than one million students, teachers, and parents through interactive learning programs, contests, live events, scholarships and tutoring programs. To celebrate National Engineers Week, Raytheon plans to hold more than 25 events to engage students in math and science across the country this week.

In recognition of National Engineers Week, which first began in 1951 by President Harry Truman, President Barack Obama also recognized the 60th anniversary of the initiative.

“Since today’s students will fuel tomorrow’s ingenuity and economic prosperity, it is essential they receive a high-quality education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM),” the president said in a prepared statement. “Initiatives like National Engineers Week can spark a sense of wonder and excitement in these fields for our country’s young people.”

The week also marks the 10-year anniversary of Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day on Thursday.

The goal this year is to serve 10,000 ten-year-old girls with a positive engineering experience during a 10-week period with the help of 10 national partners. For the past 10 years, women engineers have introduced more than one million girls and young women to engineering.

More than just one day, Introduce a Girl to Engineering is a national movement that shows girls how engineers are changing our world. The program runs this year through May 8, Mother’s Day.

National Engineers Week began Sunday and runs through Saturday.

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