WASHINGTON – From Albert Einstein in tennis shoes to smoke cannons, future spacecraft to human Rubix Cubes, the USA Science & Engineering Festival celebrated innovation and included something for every future engineer or scientist.
The two-day festival on the National Mall over the Oct. 22 weekend drew tens of thousands of participants, many of them students who were able to get hands-on experience with technologies ranging from alternative energy to aerospace. Elementary, middle and high school students asked and answered questions, participated in applied physics lessons, tore apart gadgets, raced to solve the Rubix Cube in record time and listened to interactive lectures by legendary scientists like Albert Einstein (portrayed by some very convincing impersonators).
The tech festival was organized by national science and engineering groups, U.S. technology and aerospace companies like festival host Lockheed Martin Corp. and media organizations, including EE Times. This publication sponsored a training effort called “Innovation Generation,” in which groups of student reporters fanned out during the festival to cover a broad range of technology subjects.
What follows is a sampling of the many educational demonstrations and exhibits during this year’s USA Science and Engineering Festival.
Human Rubix Cubes were among the attractions at the USA Science & Engineering Festival. One event featured contestants racing to solve the cube.
Hundreds of booths lined the National Mall during the first day of the festival. NASA’s booth is in the foreground.
Kids of all ages crowd around the NASA booth. Students were asked how astronauts carried water to the International Space Station. Answer: Sweat generated during exercise sessions in space is recycled and used as drinking water. Also pictured at the booth (in “PRESS” t-shirts) are members of our “Innovation Generation” reporting team.
Thanks for this article. This sounds like a wonderful event. It is sad that an event like this doesn’t occur annually in all parts of the Country (if so, I am not aware). This is a movement that the engineering community should get in involve with. If we can reach young people once they are entering high school, we may be able to attractive a good pool of future engineers. I hope there will be more articles about events like this in the future. Very interesting.
Thanks for the nice presentation of the highlights of the USA tech fest. Good to see participation from all around & especially good response from the young group of science and engineering students. Was there any specific work recognized? Which one attracted the participants and visitors the most?
Outstanding! is my first reaction. I would like to see this type of public awareness events ripple through out the whole USA.
Science and technology needs to be promoted and compete in its own strength with other stimulating sources of entertainment that targets our youth, as passive observers.
It is in the best interest of this nation to engage every individual, to lift our communities and individual’s well being.
It would be interesting to know how many students actually participated and how many came from out of the area, say over 50 or 75 miles away. Often, these are attended by local people, but in Washington DC you do get the advantage of a lot of tourists, although I'm not sure how that plays out for elementary through high school students in mid-October.
The tech festivals are a good exposure to the people around the place.Many things go into the minds and the knowledge base multiplies in a short span of time. Can we see a full video coverage of all the exhibits it is quite interesting
While these fairs are good, I feel it would be more successful if they showcase engineering as a problem solving discipline rather than as an esoteric field where only the geeks can flourish. They would do well to bring an awareness of the new problems which are being addressed by innovative engineering.