South Jersey High School Teams Review Designs For Robots With Lockheed Martin Engineers

MOORESTOWN, NJ, 02/04/2009 --

Students from Rancocas Valley Regional High School, as well as four Lenape Regional High School District schools, recently presented and defended their design plans to build a robot before a panel of Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] engineers.

The students, part of three Lockheed Martin-sponsored FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics teams, presented to the panel as part of a "Critical Design Review" (CDR) to prepare the teams for the upcoming Philadelphia Regional FIRST Robotics competition scheduled for March 19-21 at Temple University. The CDR process is the same rigorous review Lockheed Martin uses with the complex, advanced technology programs it delivers to key customers, such as the U.S. Navy.

For the students, the tailored CDR emphasized the importance of public speaking, presentation skills, and the ability to "think on their feet" and answer questions.

The feedback and review from Lockheed Martin senior engineering leadership is part of Lockheed Martin's ongoing commitment to serve as mentors in the FIRST Robotics program and to help prepare students for future career challenges. The CDR marked the half-way milestone of a six week design/build process in which the teams were challenged to solve a common problem using a standard kit of parts and a common set of rules.

"The students were very excited to participate in a design review of this caliber," said Leila Sykes, a senior Lockheed Martin engineer based in Moorestown, and lead mentor for the Rancocas Valley team. "They learned not only what it takes to see an idea come to fruition, but were exposed to an evaluatation of their design's strengths and weakness by professional engineers. That's not something the average high school student gets the chance to experience everyday."

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.