Former space program engineer honored for volunteering at Discovery Center
For his efforts, Lou Ramon recently received the $1,000 Community Care Award from the Tennessee-based Jacobs company, a technical firm where he had worked for his last eight years before retirement.
The award was presented at a special ceremony in January by Ward Johnson, Jacobs senior vice president and general manager of aerospace & technology. Ramon in turn donated half of the stipend to the Space Foundation, with the other half going to the Space Foundation to help fund student field trips to its Discovery Center.
Jacobs' Community Care Award is related to the company's support of the nationwide STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) focus in education, a press release states.
At the Discovery Center, Ramon serves as a docent and was recently named to its Milky Way Club “in recognition of his extensive volunteer work at the Center,” the release adds.
His duties include guiding activities for the Science on a Sphere video orb and the remote-control Mars rover interactive area. But “I do a little bit of everything,” the Woodland Park resident elaborated with a grin. “Sometimes I clean the glass cases.”
Drawing on his engineering background, Ramon also gives free time to youth robotics programs. This has involved being a judge in the FIRST and Front Range BEST robotics competitions and helping establish the Pikes Peak BEST Robotics hub in Colorado Springs “which will allow local middle and high school robotics students to compete without having to travel to Denver,” the press release notes.
Ramon's engineering career included, at age 27, working with astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. But he prefers to look ahead to the future of humans in space. When his docent activities put him around 8-year-olds, he said he thinks to himself, “They'll be the ones that go to Mars.”
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