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Surprise apple pies from Raytheon? It’s a National Pi Day ‘tradition’

Raytheon Co., the Waltham-based defense contractor that is big advocate of so-called STEM education, marked Pi Day earlier this week by delivering hundreds of apple pies to math and science teachers at middle and high schools located within a 3.14-mile radius of several Raytheon facilities across the country.

The purpose of this exercise was to highlight the importance of pi calculations in science, technology, engineering, and math --- the so-called STEM subjects – and to thank teachers for encouraging their students to get inspired by STEM. Pi, as most arithmetic whizzes know, is the mathematical constant roughly equal to 3.14, and in certain circles, it is celebrated on March 14 --- a.k.a. 3/14.

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On National Pi Day 2013, Raytheon surprised science and math teachers at schools in Lincoln, Hanscom Air Force Base, and Waltham – schools within a pi throw of Raytheon’s headquarters, a company spokesman suggested.

For Raytheon, celebrating pi isn’t a one-day affair. It is an ongoing program called MathMovesU that seeks to increase interest in math and science studies among middle and elementary school students.

Part of this initiative includes a “traveling interactive experience” called MathAlive! Then there’s Raytheon’s Sum of all Thrillsexperience at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot, which “showcases math in action as students design and experience their own thrill ride using math fundamentals,” the company said.

There is also a scholarship and grant component to this initiative.

In addition to the nationwide pie deliveries, Facebook users via Raytheon’s MathMovesU Facebook page shared virtual Happy Pi Day badges across their social networks, a company spokesman said.

By Raytheon’s count, this is its third celebration of Pi Day. Festivities kicked off with Waltham-area pie deliveries in 2011, before extending coast to coast in 2012 and again this year.

With a worldwide employee headcount of 68,000, Raytheon had 2012 sales of $24 billion.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.
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