The USA Science & Engineering Festival is the country’s largest organized celebration of science and engineering. This year, the festival is expected to be twice as large as the first one held in the fall of 2010.
“So why have a Science Festival? Society gets what it celebrates! As a culture, we celebrate movie stars, rock stars and athletes and we generate a lot of them…but we don’t celebrate science and engineering,” said Larry Bock, the Executive Director of the Festival, in a March email to supporters.
“If our country does not turn around the interest of young people in science, we will have outsourced innovation,” he said.
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Rain or shine, the grand finale of the festival will go on with a two-day expo on April 28-29 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Lockheed Martin is the founding host sponsor of the festival.
The festival is free and opened to the public.
The expo will include a wide range of various 3,000 hands-on, interactive activities and 150 stage shows for all ages. Many of these activities and shows are designed to spark curiosity and energize young people, the future of this country, to take an interest in further exploring science and engineering beyond the festival.
Lisa Randall, recognized as among the most cited and influential theoretical physicists, will speak at the High School Book Fair Stage at the expo starting on Sunday, 10 a.m., followed by an hour of book signing.
Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, hosts of the MythBusters, will appear at the Curie Stage on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m., to apply science and engineering to test the validity of various myths.
NAO, the robot, will perform and demonstrate its human-like abilities at the Curie Stage on Saturday at 10:30 a.m..
Laugh about science with comedian Brian Malow at the Curie Stage on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and at the Carver Stage on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
The expo will have information available on how students can pursue education and future jobs in science and engineering. For example, Celeste Baine, director of the Engineering Education Service Center and author of “Is There an Engineer Inside You: A Comprehensive Guide to Career Decisions in Engineering,” will speak at the Teen Book Fair Stage on Saturday, 3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
These are just a handful of numerous events that are scheduled for the expo.
The expo will include thousands of exhibits. Two days won’t be enough to experience all that the expo has to offer. Use the festival’s website to plan ahead. For example, under “Browse Exhibits” from the main page, you can select “Tracks,” which are categorized under interests and recommended age.
Visit usasciencefestival.org for details.
The festival is organized by Science Spark, a 501(c)3 non-profit science outreach organization, and is funded through corporate sponsorships, government grants, and private donations, according to the Festival’s website.
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