By Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
The 2nd Space Operations Squadron provided a glimpse of how GPS works to 39 Colorado Springs students during an outreach event Feb. 17 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.
The outreach event was part of the GPS Week celebration Feb. 15-20, which was designed to honor the program’s heritage while interacting directly with the Colorado Springs community.
“We want to raise awareness about GPS with the next generation and show them what we do and how we fly GPS satellites,” said 2nd Lt. Joshua Thogode, 2 SOPS.
As part of the outreach, the students and teachers received a briefing about GPS, played games and toured the GPS Operations Center as well as other operations floors.
Hayley Fourzan, a Doherty High School senior, has been waiting since she was 4 years old to visit Schriever AFB and the GPS Operations Center.
“I love the space program; it’s very interesting,” Fourzan said. “I was interested in learning more about the different components of the GPS.”
During the outreach, she was surprised to learn about how the system works.
“I learned that GPS contributes more than what we think,” Fourzan said. “It’s fascinating how something that seems too simple can have other applications that are necessary in the society.”
Margaret Jurek, Vista Ridge High School physics teacher, was thrilled when she received an email from 2 SOPS asking for outreach participants from her school. When she was in the military, she used to be a navigation payload specialist at Schriever, her first duty assignment as a second lieutenant.
“It was exciting for me and my students,” she said. “I was excited to be able to bring them out here and show them what I used to do. I can talk about it in class but to actually have them come out here and see it was pretty cool. I think this event is awesome. I was disappointed I can only bring three, but I didn’t realize it was going to be as big of an event as it was.”
According to Thogode, the outreach event was incredibly successful and the students appeared to learn a lot.
“We were quite impressed with the level of knowledge and professionalism exhibited by the students as a whole,” he said. “This was a great opportunity to be a part of, and I cannot wait to be involved with it for many years to come.”