Washington, D.C., January 22, 2012
- As part of the Foundation’s educational initiatives, USGIF participated in Spy Fest at the International Spy Museum to educate and generate interest in the geospatial intelligence field among kids ages 7 and up. This year, Spy Fest attracted 468 attendees and provided both kids and parents an inside look into the Intelligence Community.
“Our partnership with the International Spy Museum continues to grow, and the opportunity to once again participate in Spy Fest was fantastic,” said USGIF President Keith Masback. “It was a unique opportunity to engage with children and speak with them about the power of GEOINT in the context of other intelligence disciplines. This is a great fit for USGIF as we pursue one of our goals, building the community, by sparking the imagination of the next generation of GEOINTers.”
The Foundation presented “Eyes in the Sky: Using Satellites for National Security,” an interactive demonstration utilizing video and various satellite and aerial images — some of which were provided by USGIF members DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, AGI and others — to illustrate the impact of the GEOINT tradecraft. USGIF President Keith Masback; Academic Director R. Maxwell Baber, Ph.D.; intern Julie Ivers of Gettysburg University; and USGIF Young Professionals Group member Gabriela Maldonado gave the demonstration.
“Participating in Spy Fest 2012 not only gave me the experience to work with children of all ages, but also gave me unique insight into the influence of geospatial visualization tools, such as Google Earth, on children at an early age,” said Maldonado. “I was surprised by the insightful questions the children had. Furthermore, Spy Fest was a great opportunity to intrigue children beyond Google Earth by providing them with interactive activities that allowed them to answer questions by simply analyzing the imagery.”
USGIF’s presentation began with an overview of some satellites and other spy platforms and concluded with examples of how GEOINT has played a pivotal role in recent disaster management and national security. During the presentation, children had the chance to search and discover what the images or video revealed and were able to see first-hand how to gain information from the spies in the sky.
Spy Fest aims to expose kids to skills and tools used by members of the Intelligence Community in an engaging, hands-on, demonstration-based environment. The event was covered in various publications’ calendars such as Washington Family Magazine, The Georgetowner, Catholic Online, the Girl Scouts National Capital Area Blog, The Savvy Source, Washingtonian, BethesdaPatch.com, About.com-DC, WUSA.com, Washington Parent and Washington Flyer. Spy Fest was selected as an Editor’s Pick in the Washington Post’s Going Out Guide and was a featured exposé in Time for Kids.
Lindsey C. Dunn
United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation
703-793-0109, ext. 106