Lockheed Martin Employees Teach Students about Space Just Before the Upcoming SBIRS Launch
Tuesday’s launch of the second Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO-2) spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station will bolster the nation’s ballistic missile launch detection and defense capabilities.
For about 150 sixth graders at Suntree Elementary School in Melbourne, Fla., it also provided an opportunity to learn not only about SBIRS, but also about a possible future space career.
Lockheed Martin employees, including Mark Valerio, vice president and general manager of Military Space for Lockheed Martin Space Systems, visited the school Monday to teach students about satellite technology, discuss the SBIRS program, show space videos and hopefully inspire some future engineers and scientists.
“Opportunities like this are key to reaching young students and inspiring them to consider a career in science, engineering and technology,” said Valerio. “Going into the classroom and teaching students about the exciting space technology we’re developing like SBIRS, why it’s important to the nation and how they might be able to work on such technology themselves one day is absolutely critical to cultivating our future aerospace workforce.”
“The aerospace community is made up of great engineers doing inspiring work, but we’re not always the best marketeers,” Valerio continued. “We need to take advantage of every opportunity to showcase the work we do and explain how it impacts lives. It’s time we get people excited about science, discovery and innovation once again.”
In addition to videos and presentations, six student essays were selected from a group of sixth graders who wrote about why they should be given the opportunity to experience the SBIRS launch. On Monday, the winners were announced in front of their peers, and each offered the chance to watch the SBIRS launch live in person on Tuesday.
Paul Metz, a Lockheed Martin project lead in the Facility Engineering and Design organization supporting the Fleet Ballistic Missile program and a father of three students attending Suntree Elementary, initiated a science and engineering program in 2010 to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) interest among the students and to provide the school with additional resources.
Since the program’s inception, Lockheed Martin employees have visited the school on numerous occasions to conduct classroom science experiments, judge science fairs, hold STEM night, facilitate robotics demonstrations and teach air rocket assembly and launch.
“STEM education is so very important to the future of our country and world,” said Suntree Elementary School Principal Mecheall Giombetti. “The partnership activities that Lockheed Martin and Suntree Elementary have implemented over the past three years, and the SBIRS Launch Presentation, represents the powerful ways in which businesses and schools can come together to inspire our young citizens.”
Posted March 18, 2013
The 40-minute SBIRS launch window begins at 5:21 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 19. The launch broadcast will begin at 5:01p.m. EDT. To watch the launch online, please tune in to the United Launch Alliance webcast, available here.
- 150 sixth graders at Suntree Elementary School in Melbourne, Fla., had an opportunity to learn about SBIRS, and a possible future space career.
- Lockheed Martin employees visited the school Monday to teach students about satellite technology, discuss the SBIRS program, show space videos and hopefully inspire some future engineers and scientists.