WASHINGTON – If you were under the impression that science, math and engineering aren’t cool, you weren’t at the USA Science and Engineering Festival here this past weekend (April 27-29).
Ten of thousands of K-12 students from around the nation showed up for the second annual celebration of American ingenuity, love of tinkering and figuring out what makes things tick. EE Times and our Innovation Generation Web site promoting science, technology engineering and math education again sponsored an iStuff teardown at our jam-packed booth.
We also again worked with “cub” reporters from Earle B. Wood Middle School (Rockville, Md.) to hone their reporting, writing, video and social media skills. These and dozens of similar efforts sponsored by schools and education organizations here all aimed at encouraging the next generation of scientists and engineers.
What’s holding these kids back? Only one thing, according to author and former NASA shuttle engineer Homer Hickam, whose life story was described in his book, Rocket Boys, and the film, "October Sky." “They’re just waiting for us to get out of the way!” Hickam said in an interview. Hickham’s latest book, Crater, is about mining the moon and how we might do it. While Hickam’s book is aimed at young readers, he continually challenges them with technical concepts and realistic situations that take readers to the surface of the moon.
Hickam said the many students clamoring for a picture with the author or an autograph made him feel like a “rock star.”
A slideshow follows with scenes from the first two days of the USA Science and Engineering Festival.
The "rock star" author and former shuttle engineer Homer Hickam signs autographs for his adoring fans. Hickham's latest is called Crater.