Matt Bixby, a math teacher at the Challenge School, is one of 25 U.S. teachers to be recognized as a Math Hero by the Raytheon Company.
Math Heroes are teachers who use classroom creativity and innovative techniques to demonstrate the wonders of math and science. They get students excited about studying those subjects and pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM fields. As a Raytheon Math Hero, Bixby received a $2,500 award and the Challenge School received a $2,500 matching grant to support STEM education.
Challenge School parent and Raytheon employee J.D. Boye nominated Bixby for the Math Hero award because of Bixby’s passion and dedication.
“Mr. Bixby makes an effort to make math entertaining for his students,” Boye wrote in his nomination. “Each week they have a math moment/memory where they talk about an interesting fact from the history of math, or how animals have been shown to use math or something else that shows how math unites all other aspects of our lives. My daughter enjoys the fact that they read and talk about math in addition to lectures and math problems.”
Bixby also works with students outside of class, sponsoring the Challenge School Math Club, the school’s MathCounts team and even a summer math camp.
“Matt’s passion for mathematics ignites a similar passion in students,” said Challenge School Principal Linda Maccagnan. “They are inspired to do well in class and also to go on to successfully compete in math competitions at the district and state level.”
Raytheon Math Heroes are nominated by students, parents and school administrators. Winners are selected based on the effective and creative ways nominated teachers work with students in math and science, as well as how they draw on new and advanced approaches. Raytheon is an international technology and innovation company with 61,000 employees worldwide. The Math Heroes program is one of the ways Raytheon invests in STEM education. It also sponsors the MathMovesU program, the Sum of All Thrills ride at the Epcot theme park in Florida and the Team Rocketry Challenge.