USGIF Educates at Spy Fest

Families learn about imagery and analysis from YPG volunteers

By Lindsay Tilton Mitchell

Feb. 7, 2017

More than 480 attendees participated in the International Spy Museum’s Spy Fest event Jan. 27. Families were introduced to the Intelligence Community and the world of espionage through fun and educational activities. USGIF contributed in this annual event along with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, FBI, CIA, and other organizations.

At the USGIF booth, volunteers from the Foundation’s Young Professionals Group (YPG) taught families about satellites. A DigitalGlobe GeoEye-2 satellite model was on display and Vricon 3D satellite imagery was available on tablets for attendees to view. Using the imagery, participants got a spaced-based look at locations around the world and learned the power imagery can have in interpreting events related to national security, humanitarian relief, and more.

After a quick introduction to geospatial intelligence, children were invited to build their own satellite models using everyday household items such as paper towel rolls, aluminum foil, and paper plates.

"I had a blast explaining the basic components of satellites and how we use them to gather information about the earth,” said YPG volunteer Charlie Devine. “Both the satellite model and tablets served as excellent visual aids in helping to explain fundamental concepts of GEOINT. I believe we had a positive influence on a number of future engineers, scientists, and analysts." 

This is the seventh year USGIF has supported Spy Fest.

“USGIF takes the topic of geospatial intelligence—one that can be difficult to understand and largely intangible for the layperson—and creates a fun way for our public to learn about it and understand its importance,” said Jackie Eyl, youth education director at the International Spy Museum. “We just love seeing children making their satellites and working with their family members to examine the satellite images.”