USA Science and Engineering Festival

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USA Science and Engineering Festival
Usa science and engineering festival (14062086311).jpg
Status Active
Genre Science festival
Frequency Bi-annually
Location(s) Washington, D.C.
Country United States
Inaugurated October 10, 2010
Founder Larry Bock and Ray O. Johnson
Previous event 2016
Next event 2018
Attendance 365,000+
Sponsor Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Foundation, MedImmune
Website
USAScienceFestival.org

The biennial USA Science & Engineering Festival is a free science festival held in Washington, D.C.. The festival 2010 is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in the United States. Larry Bock and Ray O. Johnson of the Lockheed Martin Corporation founded the festival.

The inaugural event was held from October 10, 2010, through October 24, 2010, the second festival was April 27–29, 2012 (attended by a quarter million visitors) and the third festival (attended by over 325,000 visitors) was April 24–27, 2014. The third festival featured the first X-STEM Symposium on April 24, 2014, with interactive presentations and workshops. The fourth festival will be held on April 16-17, 2016. The second X-STEM Symposium will be held as a stand-alone event on April 14, 2016.

Mission[edit]

The stated mission of the USA Science & Engineering Festival is: "Our mission is to stimulate and sustain the interest of our nation’s youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by producing and presenting the most compelling, exciting, and educational Festival in the world. The USA Science & Engineering Festival serves as an open forum to showcase all facets of STEM."[1]

Festivals by year[edit]

2010 Festival[edit]

The 2010 festival lasted for two weeks and culminated with an October 23-24 Expo on the National Mall. The Expo featured interactive hands-on science activities presented by over 550 U.S. science and engineering organizations.[2] 125 universities/research institutes, 125 professional science societies, 50 government agencies, 30 high tech and life science companies and 150 informal science outreach organizations participated in the festival. Participants (partners) included the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Association for Women in Science, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Georgetown University, University of California, San Diego, University of California, Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University, United States Naval Academy, Duke University, University of Maryland, J. Craig Venter Institute, Carnegie Institution for Science, National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Office of Naval Research, U.S. Department of Energy, Air Force Research Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Lockheed Martin, Agilent Technologies, Google, Baxter International, ResMed, Hitachi, Smithsonian Institution, American Museum of Natural History, United States Botanic Garden, Marian Koshland Science Museum, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), Girls, Inc., Girl Scouts of the United States of America and Boy Scouts of America.[3]

Nifty Fifty[edit]

The Nifty Fifty program was a group of fifty nominated professionals in various areas of science and engineering who interacted and spoke about their work and careers to middle and high school students across Washington, D.C., in the fall of 2010. Speakers' backgrounds were varied and spanned chemistry, biotechnology, engineering, math, computer science, medicine, green technology, nanotechnology, business, physics, astronomy, and energy.[4]

Lunch With a Laureate[edit]

The "Lunch with a Laureate" program was focused on a small group of middle and high school students across the greater Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland areas. The purpose of the program was to engage students in informal conversations with a Nobel Prize–winning scientist over a brown-bag lunch. The twelve laureates that participated in this program were Leon M. Lederman, John C. Mather, William Daniel Phillips, Robert H. Grubbs, Alan J. Heeger, Dudley R. Herschbach, Phillip A. Sharp, Kary B. Mullis, Kurt Wuthrich, Douglas D. Osheroff, Baruch Samuel Blumberg and Sir Harry Kroto.[5]

Expo[edit]

The two-week festival ended with a two-day expo on the National Mall that featured over 500 U.S. science organizations. The list of exhibitors included universities, colleges, high school science clubs, student organizations, research institutes, informal science outreach organizations, community organizations, professional science & engineering societies, life science and high tech companies, and other types of science organizations.[6][7] About 500,000 people reportedly attended the event.[8]

The second expo took place in Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on April 27–29, 2012.[2] The third expo took place in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on April 26–27, 2014.[9]

Satellite festivals[edit]

Satellite festivals were being planned in 2010 at a number of locations throughout the United States, including: Arizona: Tucson; California: Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Ana; Florida: Gainesville, Jacksonville, Ruskin, West Palm Beach; Idaho: Pocatello; Illinois: Chicago, DeKalb; Maryland: Middle River, Rockville; New Jersey: Clifton; New York: New York City, Rochester; North Carolina: Chapel Hill (North Carolina Science Festival); Ohio: Cleveland, Columbus; Texas: Austin, Dallas, San Antonio; Virginia: Fairfax, Falls Church, Hampton, Reston; Washington: Vancouver (Pacific Northwest Science & Engineering Festival).[10] Michigan Tech's Mind Trekkers is also a traveling component of the USA Science & Engineering Festival.[11]

Government support[edit]

The festival had a bipartisan Honorary Congressional Host Committee of over 100 members.[12] House Resolution 1660[13] and Senate Resolution 656[14] were unanimously approved in support of the goals of the USA Science & Engineering Festival.

The White House scheduled its inaugural science fair to coincide with the inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival. President Obama referenced the importance of this Festival in his keynote address at the White House Science Fair.[15]

President Obama created a dedicated public service announcement inviting the general public to the USA Science & Engineering Festival.[16]

Over 50 major government officials attended or participated directly in the USA Science and Engineering Festival including: Chief Science Advisor John Holdren,[17] Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood,[18] Head of R&D for Department of Defense Zachary Lemnios,[19] Head of R&D for Office of Naval Research Michael Kassner talks about ONR's involvement with the USA Science and Engineering Festival,[20] Head of R&D for the National Park Service Gary Machlis was involved with the festival's Nifty Fifty program,[21] Head of R&D for EPA Paul Anastas was involved with both the Nifty Fifty program and the kick off of the festival,[22] William Brinkman of the Department of Energy[23] and NIH Director Francis Collins was a Nifty Fifty speaker as well as he performed his own songs at the festival's expo.[24]

Science celebrities' support for the festival[edit]

Many science celebrities participated in the inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival, including Bill Nye the Science Guy;[25] Jamie Hyneman, Adam Savage,[26] and Kari Byron[27] from the television show Mythbusters; Sid the Science Kid;[28] cast members of NCIS;[29] and Ernő Rubik.[30]

2012 Festival[edit]

The 2012 USA Science & Engineering Festival was at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on April 28–29, 2012, and Sneak Peek Friday was April 27, 2012. The 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival hosted programs leading up to the festival, including Nifty Fifty, Lunch with a Laureate, Satellite Events, Sneak Peek Friday and more.[31]

Attendees of the 2012 Festival[edit]

Including attendees, exhibitors, volunteers and staff over 200,000 people actively participating in this momentous Festival celebration over the three-day period. The DC Convention Center has reported that the 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival is the second most attended event in the history of the Center! Sneak Peek Friday more than doubled in size based on the number of students who had pre-registered, and included nearly 28,000 students, teachers, military families, government officials and press.

Another 300,000 individuals celebrated science and engineering at 90+ Satellite Events and Affiliate Festivals across the country and beyond. The festival spirit reached as far as Wroclaw, Poland, where 13 universities and high schools created the Lower Silesian Science Festival, anchored to the USA Science & Engineering Festival. In addition, over 50,000 people participated in the Nifty Fifty and other pre-Expo events. And another 5,000 participated in events surrounding the Expo such as the Stargazing Party, Science Comedy Night and the Featured Author Evening.

The festival was attended by key White House officials such as Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement; President Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, attended a Nifty Fifty presentation; senior leaders from other countries attended, including Prince Mohammed from Saudi Arabia.

Festival highlights[edit]

The festival hosted approximately 3,000 hands on activities from over 550 participating organizations. Over 800 schools participated in the festival and transportation grants were issued to under deserved schools in the Greater DC is to bring students to the festival. Attendees enjoyed 150 live performances by science celebrities, explorers, best-selling authors, entrepreneurs and world-renowned experts. The Nifty Fifty Program doubled and over 100 of the top scientists and engineers in the country were selected to speak at schools in the Greater DC area in the month leading up to the festival.

Science celebrities[edit]

Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, of Discovery Channel's MythBusters performed at the 2012 Festival. Science celebrities included Bill Nye the Science Guy, Mayim Bialik, Apollo Robbins, Sid the Science Kid, cast members of NCIS Los Angeles, U.S. Olympic Speed Skaters and more. Elon Musk, Richard Garriott and George T. Whitesides were on hand to host a panel discussion.[32] Other celebrities included NASA astronauts, world-renowned authors, top scientists and engineers.

2014 Festival[edit]

The 3rd USA Science & Engineering Festival,the largest science festival in the United States, featured nationwide contests and school programs during the 2013/2014 school year, including the popular "Nifty Fifty" science speaker program. The festival culminated in a two-day Grand Finale Expo on April 26–27, 2014, with Sneak Peek Friday on April 25, and the U.S. News STEM Solutions Conference on April 23–25.[33] The new X-STEM Symposium- presented by Northrop Grumman Foundation - an Extreme STEM Symposium was conducted for middle and high school students on April 24.

Attendees of the 2014 Festival[edit]

Usa science and engineering festival (14042194296)

The festival took over the entire Walter E. Washington Convention Center, utilizing over 2.3 million square feet of space. Based on estimated numbers from the Convention Center, more than 325,000 people attended over the 4 days (X-STEM and Sneak Peek Friday included). Exhibitors stated that roughly 11,000 visitors stopped by their booth over the course of the three-day Expo. Attendees from all 50 states in the U.S. and international attendees from over 20 different countries visited the festival. Sneak Peek Friday included 40,000+ students, teachers, military families, government officials and press – a 30% increase from 2012. Sneak Peek Friday attendees included students from 38 states – and three countries. More than 4,000 students and teachers from area and underserved schools, homeschoolers, and military families attended the inaugural X-STEM Symposium.

Another 300,000 individuals celebrated science & engineering at 200+ Satellite Events and Affiliate Festivals across the country and beyond. In addition, over 180,000 people participated in the Nifty Fifty and other pre-Expo events.

To bring a new STEM decision maker audience to the festival, the festival hosted over 20 other major STEM Professional Events at the Convention Center at the same time as this event, including the U.S. News STEM Solutions Conference and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) P3 college student competition. More than 400 new organizations that had never participated before with big increases in the areas of Advanced Manufacturing, Robotics, Skilled Trades Professionals, STEAM (i.e., Design) and DIYers/Makers, and overall doubled the number of participating exhibitors from 2012.

Highlights[edit]

  • More than 3,000 hands-on activities
  • Over 150 live performances by science celebrities, explorers, best-selling authors, entrepreneurs and world-renowned experts
  • More than 1,000 participating organizations
  • 2,000 participating schools
  • Over 1,400 volunteers
  • Celebrities including They Might Be Giants, Mike Rowe, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Danica McKellar, Apollo Robbins, Michio Kaku, Dr. Donna J. Nelson, and many others.
  • The festival was attended by key White House officials such as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (State Department Reception) and Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment; Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education; John Holdren, Senior Advisor to the President for Science and Technology Policy; Todd Park, U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President.

2016 Festival[edit]

The 4th USA Science & Engineering Festival will culminate in a two–day Grand Finale Expo on April 16–17, 2016 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Over 1,000 leading STEM organizations will present hands-on science and engineering activities. Sneak Peek Friday will take place on April 15, 2016.[34] The X-STEM Symposium will be held as a stand-alone event on April 14, 2016, and will feature presentations and workshops by leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.[35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mission". USA Science & Engineering Festival. Archived from the original on 2016-03-10. Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  2. ^ a b "USA Science & Engineering Festival". Archived from the original on 2010-10-16. Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  3. ^ "Partners". About. USA Science & Engineering Festival. Archived from the original on 2010-12-30. Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  4. ^ "The Nifty Fifty". USA Science & Engineering Festival. Archived from the original on 2010-06-19. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  5. ^ "Lunch with a Laureate". USA Science & Engineering Festival. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  6. ^ "Grand Finale Expo- October 23 & 24, 2010, 10am-5:30pm, Washington DC". Science & Engineering Festival. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  7. ^ "Apply Now to Host an Exhibit or Perform: Expo Dates: October 23 & 24, 2010". USA Science & Engineering Festival. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  8. ^ Tamura, Leslie (2010-10-25). "Festival on the Mall challenges young and old to think scientifically". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post Company. Archived from the original on 2016-03-29. Retrieved 2016-03-23. More than 1,500 free, interactive exhibits drew about 500,000 people to downtown Washington this weekend to learn about science, technology, engineering and math. 
  9. ^ "USA Science and Engineering Festival: About". Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2013-01-28. 
  10. ^ "Satellite Events Directory". US Science & Engineering Festival. Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  11. ^ "USA Science & Engineering Festival - Powered by Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers". www.usasciencefestival.org. USA Science & Engineering Festival. 
  12. ^ "USA Science & Engineering Festival". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  13. ^ "CSPAN coverage of HR 1660". Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  14. ^ "Largest US Science and Engineering Festival Begins". Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  15. ^ "White House Science Fair". Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  16. ^ "President Obama's invitation to the USA Science and Engineering Fair". Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  17. ^ "White House Website". Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  18. ^ "The University of Iowa FYI". Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  19. ^ "www.Army.Mil". Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  20. ^ "Tech Talk on ONR". Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  21. ^ Bock, Larry (2010-09-21). "Learning 2 Think Like a Child Again". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  22. ^ "EPA.gov". Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  23. ^ "Energy Blog". Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  24. ^ "NIH makes a splash at USA Science and Engineering Festival". Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  25. ^ "USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C". Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  26. ^ "Supporting Science with the First National U.S. Science Festival". Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  27. ^ "Kari Byron at the USA Science & Engineering Festival". Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  28. ^ "Sid the Science Kid at the USA Science & Engineering Festival". Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  29. ^ Tamura, Leslie (2010-10-25). "Festival on the Mall challenges young and old to think scientifically". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  30. ^ "USA Science & Engineering Festival Announces Rubik's Cube Tournament - Winners Meet Professor Erno Rubik". Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  31. ^ "Celebrate Science at the 2nd USA Science and Engineering Festival". USA Science & Engineering Festival. Archived from the original on 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  32. ^ "Nifty Fifty – Bring a Top Scientist to your Middle or High School". Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  33. ^ "2014 Festival". USA Science & Engineering Festival: Expo: April 26 & 27, 2014. U.S. Science & Engineering Festival. Archived from the original on 2016-03-10. Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  34. ^ "2016 Festival". USA Science & Engineering Festival: Expo: April 16 & 17m 2016. U.S. Science & Engineering Festival. Archived from the original on 2016-03-12. Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  35. ^ "X-STEM: April 14, 2016 / Walter Washington Convention Center". USA Science & Engineering Festival. Archived from the original on 2016-03-10. Retrieved 2016-03-23. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]