Crowd Long
Newsletter No. 14 - April 19, 2010     Forward to a Friend
       Festival Dates:                              Expo Dates:
10/10/10 - 10/24/10          10/23 & 10/24

Teachers, Choir Directors and Parents:
Come and meet science song composer David Haines at the National Academy of Sciences this Wednesday afternoon 4.30-6pm! If you are a teacher at any level of the education system, a choral director, a member of any kind of chorus - religious, community, classical, ethnic - a scientist wishing to explore new ways of engaging our communities with the wonders of science, or if you're simply curious to know what songs about science sound like, come along and meet David and find out
how you can get your choir or school to sing at the Festival opening ceremony on 10/10/10. Read more...


We will be providing a template for your signage and detailed instructions by early May. Please hold off on signage production until then. Thank you for your patience!

Enter Now for the Kavli Science Video Contest. Find out more...

Show your Enthusiasm for Science - Buy a Festival T-shirt!
"Future Scientist" shirts available for kids. Find out more...
Dr. Erno Rubik, Inventor of the Rubik's Cube, to attend Festival!

Erno RubikRubik's Cube creator Professor Erno Rubik will receive a Lifetime Science and Math Education Achievement Award from the Festival for creating a tool that teaches students perseverance as well as fractions, ratios, algebra and geometry. Dr. Rubik, a Hungarian professor, is coming to the USA Science & Engineering Festival for his first public appearance at a student competition in more than two decades. You CAN Do the Rubik's Cube winners will receive their awards from Dr. Rubik!

The You CAN Do the Rubik's Cube competitionwill be held as part of the Expo on October 23, 2010. The deadline to sign-up your team is May 31, 2010. A free teacher workshop will be held May 8.Teams from Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia can enter the tournament. There are two competition age brackets: Elementary and middle school students and high school students. Find out more...

SDB image 2

Society for Developmental Biology

Gains 'Perfect Partner' Status

Going the "extra mile" to participate in all four key areas of the USA Science & Engineering Festival has earned the Society for Developmental Biology "Perfect Partner" status in the Festival.

Ida Chow, Ph.D., Executive Officer of the Society for Developmental Biology (SDB), announces that the SDB will sponsor a workshop for teachers, a lecture event for the general public featuring two Nobel Laureates, a Nifty Fifty speaker for a middle or high school, and an engaging exhibit at the Festival's Expo.  

The SDB activities, scheduled for October, are intended to increase awareness and understanding of the field of developmental biology.

An evolSDB_logoving field, developmental biology is on the cutting-edge of such areas as genetics, embryology, stem cell research, regenerative medicine and pharmaceutical development.

 "Developmental biologists ask questions about how an organism is built from a single cell," says Ida. "Understanding the process through which living organisms, including humans, develop provides key insights into our evolution as a species and contributes to knowledge leading to important medical advances."

Ida has taken steps to put together an enticing, jam-packed schedule featuring developmental biology scientists. "We feel fortunate to have Nobel laureates Dr. Eric Wieschaus and Dr. Martin Chalfie for the public lecture event," she says, "as well as extremely engaging professionals to lead the teachers' workshop." Students are also in for a treat with Nifty Fifty speaker Dr. Marnie Halpern, whom Ida nominated not only for her groundbreaking research in brain and nervous system development, but also for her outreach work in motivating young girls in science.

In addition, just in time for Halloween, SDB's Expo exhibit will feature a treasure hunt and Halloween mask-making activity for youngsters to enhance their learning experience in developmental biology and evolution.

Here's further info on these SDB-sponsored events:

Workshop for Teachers:
"Using BioEYES to Find Out Where the Wild Things Come From!"

ZebrafishHands-on workshop, led by developmental biologist Dr. Steven Farber of Carnegie Institution for Science and science outreach educator Dr. Jamie Shuda of the University of Pennsylvania, willl use zebrafish to teach K-12 teachers about development, genetics and scientific discovery.

Public Lecture with Laureates:
"Hox Genes, Glowing Embryos and Birth Defects: What Nobel Laureates and Friends Can Tell You"
Open to general public and features short lectures by Nobel Laureates
Drs. Wieschaus and Chalfie on how their seminal discoveries in developmental biology led to Nobel Prizes, and how such discoveries continue to contribute to understanding of birth defects such as spinal cord and limb malformations, and other disorders.

Expo Exhibit:
"Where the Wild Things Come From" 

Geared toward youngsters and the general public, this presentation uses live zebrafish and frogs to demonstrate various stages of embryonic and larval development. Video clips of other developing organisms will also be shown for comparison.

Marnie HalpernNifty Fifty Speaker: 
Dr. Marnie Halpern, developmental biologist at Carnegie Institution for Science, Baltimore.

She also established and directs the Women Serious About Science (WSAS) program in Baltimore that encourages female students, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, to pursue science as a career.

Are you a "model" Festival Partner? C'mon and let us showcase your organization's participation! Contact Larry Bockat

Festival partners with Science for Citizens

ScifCitLogoWe are very pleased to announce our partnership with Science for Citizens, a brand new website co-founded by Darlene Cavalier (who blogs as the Science Cheerleader) and Michael Gold (a science editor and writer). This site aggregates citizen science projects (also known as amateur science projects or participatory research) and enlists volunteers to get their hands dirty with science. Discover Magazine calls it the of citizen science, Innocentive gave it two big thumbs up on Monday, and this week, the NSF Science and Media site
said "Sci4Cits may be the solution to fragmentation, a serious issue for the informal science education community and its followers."  

Science For Citizens, in collaboration with the USA Science and Engineering Festival, the Coalition for the Public Understanding of Science(COPUS), and Science House, will have a major presence at the Festival playing host to numerous hands-on, citizen science activities.

Visitors at the Sci4Cits exhibit will have the opportunity to sort galaxies, test water quality, identify birds and fireflies, and participate in lots of other honest-to-goodness scientific research activities. Sci4Cits is now accepting applications from interested citizen science project leaders who wish to participate in this first-of-its-kind expo by demonstrating activities with thousands of festival goers-turned-scientists. If you lead a citizen science project and would like to participate in the Sci4Cits exhibit, please complete this brief surveybefore April 30 so we can better accommodate your goals and requirements. If you do not run a citizen science project, but would like to volunteer to help demonstrate one or more, that's great, too! Just complete the contact information and make a note of your interest to be a volunteer in the final comments section (last question). Feel free to email Sci4Cits at with any questions or comments.

From Astrophysics to Science Journalism and Storytelling - More Exciting Nifty Fifty Speakers Added!

These Nifty Fifty presenters have been confirmed since the last issue of the newsletter, adding to the impressive array of speakers the USA Science & Engineering Festival has assembled:

Anthony Fauci, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, tells what it's like to serve as a key advisor to the White House and to other arms of the government on issues pertaining to infectious disease threats.


Herman White
, physicist, Fermi National Laboratory, tells what it's like to smash atoms for a living.

Anne Spence, assistant professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland- Baltimore County, tells what it takes to succeed in the fast-paced world of aerospace engineering.

Dan Vergano, science reporter, USA TODAY, regales his audience with the challenges he faces while reporting on some of the most fascinating science stories of today - from stem cell research to Space Shuttle launches.

Steve Smalley, project engineer, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, has one central message for his young audience: In a world increasingly driven by technology, we need more engineers!

Larry Gladney, professor, Physics and Astronomy, Pennsylvania State University, motivates students through his story of how he overcame steep obstacles as a youngster to become a leading astrophysicist.

Susan Bontems, professor of Chemistry, Montgomery College, uses her award-winning teaching techniques in science to bring home the excitement of chemistry in a special way.

Paul Guye, physicist, Hampton University, tells how his upbringing in his native Senegal (West Africa) formed a strong foundation for him to tackle the challenging profession of physics.

Kirk Dreier, naturalist, and director of Marshy Point Nature Center (Maryland), encourages kids to put away their cell phones and iPods and take time to explore nature, ecology and conservation.

Seth Borenstein, science writer, The Associated Press, explains what a day in the life of a busy science journalist is really like.

Sylvester James Gates, theoretical physicist, University of Maryland, makes his research in supergravity and the superstring theory come alive for youngsters in a very special way.

Click here for more information on all the Nifty Fifty Speakers.

PowersSing Powers of Ten on 10/10/10:
Meet science composer David Haines April 21

We are seeking choirs and schools (possibly whole schools - not just their choirs!) to open the inaugural USA Science and Engineering Festival with a performance of David Haines' secular science oratorio Powers of Ten on the unique 'Powers of Ten Day' - 10.10.10.


No one choir, group or school will need to learn more than three to four songs to take part, since the performance of around 21 numbers will be 'shared out' with only a few songs being performed by the whole ensemble. Teaching and practice materials will be easily available online and participation is free. There are no auditions or other criteria to take part - just your commitment to learn the songs and turn up to rehearse and perform on the day.

Powers of Ten has been performed by children and adults of all ages from 5 to 85 in both the UK and USA. All you need is a willingness to discover a new way of expressing your enthusiasm for science through wonderful, accessible music that touches both hearts and minds.

You can hear recordings of Powers of Ten and take a look at pdfs of the music and script at

Date and Time:Wednesday April 21st any time from 4.30 to 6pm
Location:Koshlan Science Museum, National Academy of Sciences, corner of 6th and E NW, across from the Verizon Centre.

If you plan to meet David on Wednesday, simply email him at Or just turn up on the day. If you can't come, but are interested in the project, email David ASAP or call him at 617-308-9150.

David HainesThere's more about David's work at

These are just a few of the numerous plaudits for David's work:

"The work we did with David exceeded all our expectations. Our children have been inspired beyond belief. We now a have a school full of budding scientists."
Paul Brown, Headteacher of St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Buckfastleigh, Devon, UK

"David Haines' ability to bring together rigorously correct scientific concepts, lovely poetry and outstanding music makes him unique in the growing field of melding art with science education."
David Bass, Doctor of Chemical Engineering, Composer and President of North Cambridge Family Opera, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

K-12 students: Tell us why Science is Cool!

Enter now for the USA Science & Engineering Festival Kavli Science Video Contest! Have your video screened on the National Mall, win prize money and possibly even a trip to the Expo! The contest closes on July 15, 2010.

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In This Issue
Erno Rubik to attend Expo
The Perfect Partner
Science for Citizens
Festival Update
Meet Science Composer David Haines
Kavli Science Video Contest
Festival T-shirts for Sale

Register your team for our

You Can Do the Rubik's
Cube Tournament
Click here for more info

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Science is Cool and
The Kavli Foundation
is challenging K-12 students
to explain why
Submit your video now
for a chance to win
cash and electronics prizes!

Click here for more info

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