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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2008 > May > May 10

Skunkworks Uses 'UFO' To Recruit

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Sat, 10 May 2008 07:26:47 -0400
Archived: Sat, 10 May 2008 07:26:47 -0400
Subject: Skunkworks Uses 'UFO' To Recruit

Source: The Press-Enterprise - Riverside, California, USA


Friday, May 9, 2008

[Photo of 'UFO' at site]

Lockheed Martin, Fears Shortage, Seeks Future Scientists In
Riverside Schools

By Imran Vittachi
The Press-Enterprise

RIVERSIDE - Ex-astronaut Rick Heib flew in from Houston to
deliver a Space Day message to almost 1,200 students from
Longfellow, Emerson and Jefferson elementary schools in

Heib told throngs of students from the three schools, assembled
in the auditorium at Longfellow Elementary at different times
Friday that they are a part of the nation's future.

"We need you," said Heib, who flew as a mission specialist aboard
three space shuttle flights. "We need you to make a difference. .
. . We know you can do it."

Trying to inspire his young audience with the can-do spirit that
characterized the U.S. space program in the 1960s and '70s, Heib
warned of a diminishing supply in the nation's ranks of
engineers, scientists and mathematicians.

Experts say that the demand for aerospace, electrical, mechanical
and computer engineers is growing exponentially but those
specializing in those disciplines in college and graduate schools
isn't keeping pace.

"We really do believe that science literacy is the key to the
21st century," Rita Karl, director of education at the Challenger
Center for Space Science Education in Alexandria, Va., said in a
phone interview.

Heib, an engineer who now works for defense and aerospace
contractor Lockheed Martin Corp., said two of the nation's
growing foreign rivals, China and India, have 10 times as many
people studying to become engineers.

The students he spoke to were taking part in the Riverside
Unified School District's 10th annual Space Day, organized by
Lockheed Martin.

Among other activities, students rode a space shuttle simulator,
a "UFO" capsule, and a lunar terrain vehicle.

They also got to see their own faces lit up in a rainbow of
colors, as a thermal-imaging camera took pictures of them. The
camera was on exhibit from the Naval Surface Warfare Center
Corona Division in Norco.

The camera showed the variations of temperatures on each child's
face, with the nose being the coldest spot. With ice cubes they
drew mustaches and smiley faces on their thermal reflections, as
the cubes sent cold streaks across their faces.

"It's fun because we get to see all the cool stuff," said Itzel
Crusoe, 9, a fourth-grade student at Longfellow.

But Space Day wasn't all about fun and games, as far as the
event's main organizer was concerned.

The idea behind it is to encourage children to learn math and
science so that they can start thinking about future careers in
the sciences, math, engineering and technology, said Gail Rymer,
a spokeswoman for Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin.

In a 2006 ranking of science literacy among 15-year-olds by the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United
States placed 21st out of the organization's 30 countries.

Space Day is part of a long-term strategy by Lockheed Martin's to
recruit technically or scientifically skilled workers in the

The company has won a contract to build the Orion rockets and
vehicles, which will return humans to the moon and possibly take
them to Mars.

However, Lockheed Martin faces a new challenge through the
imminent retirement of tens of thousands of baby boomers on its
payroll. The bulk of the 90,000 employees who will retire soon
are engineers, scientists and other highly skilled workers, Rymer

"There are not enough students today preparing for those kinds of
jobs," Rymer said. "We've got to do something to inspire kids to
excel at math and science."

Reach Imran Vittachi at 951-368-9283 or ivittachi.nul

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