From April 16-17, the 4th Annual USA Science and Engineering Festival took place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The event, founded and hosted by Lockheed Martin was designed to inspire the next generation of scientists, inventors and innovators, and was a free of admission. The family-friendly expo allowed kids and adults to participate in more than 3,000 hands on exhibits, and incredible live performances by: science celebrities, explorers, astronauts, athletes, physicists, musicians, musicians, authors, and inventors. There were also experts in fields like: cryogenics, robotics, genomics, paleontology, space exploration, 3D printing and more. The festival also featured a Career Pavilion hosted by Booz Allen Hamilton. The event kicked off on April 14, with the X-Stem Symposium, featuring “TED-style” talks for kids by science visionaries presented by MedImmune.
The festival completely filled halls A-E of the convention center with: small and large science-related demonstrations, displays and models of all kinds. Each bustling hall had its own unique theme:
• Hall A- Engineering & High Technology
• Hall B- Math & Computer Science
• Hall C- Earth Sciences
• Hall D- Energy
• Hall E- STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) & Social Sciences
Each hall housed displays by well-known science groups and organizations including: the National Science Foundation, Lockheed Martin, National Security, NASA, and Chevron. The festival also featured three stages: the Kids Stage (Hall A), the Curie Stage (Hall C), and the Einstein Stage (Hall E). Each stage had unique talks and musical shows with titles including: “It’s Just Rocket Science” by Dr. Kaboom, White Sharks & Other Giants of the Ocean by Chris Fischer of OCEARCH, and finally “Science is Cool” by actor Wil Wheaton of Star Trek and the Big Bang Theory, just to name a few.
Lastly on both days, the festival hosted “Meet the Scientists & Engineers” sessions where students conducted in-person interviews with scientists and engineers from organizations including: Lockheed Martin, the National Institutes of Health, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, MedImmune, the State Department, NASA, Booz Allen Hamilton, the American Society of Microbiology, and the Society of Toxicology.
The USA Science & Engineering Festival is a national grassroots effort to advance Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. Its exhibitors, performers, speakers, partners, sponsors and advisors are a who’s who of science and engineering in United States with representation from: major academic centers, leading research institutes, government agencies, cutting edge high tech companies, museums and community organizations.