Future Imagery Analysts

USGIF’s YPG participates in Spy Fest

By Lindsay Tilton Mitchell

Feb. 11, 2016

From analyzing fingerprints to building a satellite, the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., had much to offer children Jan. 29 at its annual Spy Fest, which attracted more than 350 attendees. Spy Fest is an educational family event offering kids and parents a rare glimpse into the secret world of espionage through interactive activities.

USGIF’s Young Professionals Group (YPG) participated in the event with an “Eyes in the Sky” exhibit, at which YPG volunteers educated the public on satellites and imagery. Volunteers showed families a model of DigitalGlobe’s GeoEye-2 satellite, explained how a satellite works, and demonstrated imagery analysis by having participants identify locations in satellite images.

“It was amazing to see how sharp these young minds were at Spy Fest,” said YPG volunteer and USGIF Board Member Manh Pham. “It was a great experience to witness these students analyze the images, leverage their knowledge from school/parents, and make incredible deductions to determine the objects and locations. I look forward to next year’s event and YPG’s continued partnership [with the Spy Museum].”

After practicing imagery analysis, kids were invited to build their own satellite models with the assistance of YPG volunteers. Kids used everyday household items such as toilet paper rolls, aluminum foil, paper plates, pipe cleaners, stickers, and markers to build and decorate their own satellite models.

Other activities at Spy Fest included a martial arts demonstration, the opportunity to meet a K-9 police dog, fingerprint analysis by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, lock picking, identifying false documents, an unmanned aerial vehicle demonstration, and more.