LOS ANGELES, Feb. 15, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- As a part of ongoing efforts to support math and engineering education, Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) will co-sponsor the Sally Ride Science(tm) TOYchallenge(tm). TOYchallenge is an innovative national toy design competition that encourages 5th - 8th grade students, especially girls, to compete in the world of engineering and design.

For TOYchallenge, students create and build original toys and games fueled by their imagination. Teams, comprised of at least 50 percent girls, submit written descriptions and visual presentations of their original toy or game concepts based on themed categories including Games for the Family, Get Out and Play, and Toys that Teach.

"TOYchallenge offers an opportunity to inspire young people to develop through learning and see the value in teamwork," said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. "This is one way we are connecting with middle-school students to get them excited about math, science and engineering."

Three company employees -- Barbara Dreon, Alan Ladwig and Perry Luzwick -- will participate as judges for a preliminary TOYchallenge competition to be held in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 18. The event will coincide with the Discover Engineering Family Day, part of National Engineers Week (E-Week) 2006.

Northrop Grumman is co-sponsor of E-Week, which will be held Feb. 19-25. E-Week is a coalition of engineering, education and cultural societies, corporations and government agencies dedicated to raising public awareness of engineers' positive contributions to our quality of life. Ronald D. Sugar, Northrop Grumman's chairman, CEO and president is honorary chair of E-Week 2006.

In addition, Northrop Grumman has worked with Sally Ride Science since 2003. Sally Ride was the first American woman to travel in space and her company empowers girls to explore the world of science. The company will also partner with Sally Ride Science Festivals on April 1 at the California Institute of Technology and May 7 on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With more than 125,000 employees, and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.