Nearly 60 students from several Newport County high schools were given an inside look at what an engineering career looks like as they toured our headquarters last week. Bob Balog, KVH Senior VP, Engineering, explained that many types of engineers – including software, mechanical, electrical, radio-frequency, and applications engineers – are vital to KVH’s products and services.
Teams of engineers collaborate to develop KVH’s satellite television antenna systems and satellite communications antenna systems, which are used by yachts, commercial vessels, and military ships around the world. KVH engineers also develop guidance and navigation products used in such applications as drones, unmanned platforms, and driverless cars.
The students, who have expressed an interest in engineering or technology, attend the public high schools in Newport, Middletown, Portsmouth, and Tiverton, as well as The East Bay Met School, a public charter school in Newport. The science and technology teachers accompanying their students included Emily Zilly, who is teaching a new pre-engineering class called “Design and Innovation” at Rogers High School, in Newport; the class is open to grades 9-12 and is a new initiative at the school this year. “This visit shows them real applications of engineering beyond their studies in high school and college,” says Zilly.
For years, KVH has actively engaged in nurturing an engineering mindset in young students, by sponsoring middle school robotics teams and hosting mentoring tours for high school students. In addition, the company offers an annual scholarship to a local high school senior pursuing a science, technology, engineering, or math program in college. “KVH has a longstanding belief in the value of engineering education and working with local students,” says Bob Balog.
The Newport County Mentor/Co-Op Group organized the tour, and the Newport County Chamber of Commerce provided support for student transportation. The Newport County Mentor/Co-Op Group is a diverse organization of public officials, educators, business professionals, and other volunteers trying to increase opportunities for high school and middle school students. The students also recently toured the Newport Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS) and Naval War College museum.