OWINGS MILLS, Md., Jan. 7, 2009 -- Thanks to the volunteer efforts of a team of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) engineers in partnership with Junior Achievement of Central Maryland (JA), a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) lab is the newest business at JA BizTown. The lab is designed to familiarize elementary and middle school students in Central Maryland with the benefits of a STEM-focused education.
Located in Owings Mills, BizTown is a 10,000-square-foot miniature town designed to reflect the growing importance of "real world" technology and communications. Through the authentic learning experience, students learn first-hand what it takes to create a business, produce a newspaper, supervise employees, and hold elected offices, as well as personally earn and manage money. The opening of the Northrop Grumman-sponsored STEM lab was celebrated recently with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at JA BizTown.
The newest addition to BizTown features various hands-on experiments including a flashlight radar that illustrates the application of radar technology and a pop rocket project that challenges students to invent a way to send a velcro ping-pong ball flying high/far enough to hit a target on the wall. The lab is set up to enable students to experience critical and logical thinking, problem solving skills, and hands-on, innovative learning.
"Through hands-on engineering projects and other activities, the STEM lab is designed to show students the variety of exciting and rewarding careers available to those individuals who pursue a science, technology, engineering or math-related education," said Rick Schmaley, vice president of human resources and administration at Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. "With the demand for technical professionals currently a critical need for our country, we need to encourage more young people to consider science, technology, engineering and math courses of study. JA BizTown provides a platform for our engineers at Northrop Grumman to reach and engage students in the fields of engineering and science."
The JA BizTown program begins with a four-week, in-class curriculum that encompasses financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship while providing a strong focus on social studies, reading, writing and mathematics skills in an effort to prepare students for their experience. After the in-class preparation, students come to BizTown to test out their knowledge with hands-on learning.
"We are so proud to have Northrop Grumman bring the STEM component to our JA BizTown curriculum," said Jennifer Mykytyn, acting president of Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. "This is the first time in our 50-year history that we can offer a more intensive science, technology, engineering and math component to our young students."
Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to educating students about work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. Its programs help prepare young people for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs that make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Students put these lessons into action, and help strengthen their communities.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Bonnie Blueford Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (410) 765-3141 firstname.lastname@example.org