2012 final Masthead

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 Vol. 2 - No. 3 - March 14, 2011

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Save the Date -

April 27 - 29, 2012

2nd Festival Finale Expo in Washington, DC!  

Mark your calendars now for the nation's largest celebration of science and engineering! The 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival Finale Expo will kick off with a special "Sneak Peak" school field trip day on Friday, April 27th (stay tuned for our announcement about bus grants) and continue with exciting activities and events through Sunday, April 29th in the Nation's capital. We invite you to visit our website and learn how YOU can get involved now! Please stay tuned for the location to be announced shortly!


Help us get the word out by 'Liking' our Facebook Page!


Presenters from Israel, England and Canada Latest to be Added to Festival's Growing Global List

The Festival's plans to go international - to seek and add renowned scientists, engineers and other representatives in technology from around the world as presenters - is quickly gaining momentum!


Here's just a brief sampling of the presenters from around the globe you can expect to find at the 2012 Festival Expo:

Beau LottoBeau Lotto, Ph.D., is the internationally-known neuroscientist who founded and directs Lottolab, a hybrid art studio and science laboratory based at University College London's Institute of Ophthalmology in Great Britain.  His groundbreaking work illustrates how the brain's visual system functions is changing our perspectives on vision - from how we perceive color illusions to how we interact visually with technology, art, music and learning.

orei weylOri Weyl, or "Dr. Molecule," is a professional actor and director. Based in Jerusalem, Israel, Dr. Molecule is widely known for his exciting, theatrical performances in science that combine humor, audience interaction, theatrical tension and games with scientific accuracy in wowing young audiences on a wide range of science topics. His show last year won him the first prize at the "Wonders" science festival in Finland.


joe schwarczJoseph  Schwarcz, Ph.D., or "Dr. Joe," is director of the Office for Science & Society at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  Known throughout Canada for his passion for demystifying science and students and the rest of the public, especially through magic tricks, he is a staple on the Canadian Discovery Channel and other media outlets in the country.


Do you have an idea for a great international exhibitor or performer the Festival should invite?  Please email Larry Bock at biobock@mac.com.


"Lunch with a Laureate" Sessions Return; Number of Nobel Prize-Winning Scientists Expected to Double!


Nobel Laureates from the inaugural Festival - Returning for the 2nd Festival "Lunch with a Laureate" Program 

(From Left to Right: Peter Agre, William Phillips, John Mather, Robert Grubbs, Harold Kroto and Harold Varmus)  


The chance to meet, converse with, and learn from a Nobel Prize-winning scientist is an experience that students will likely remember the rest of their lives.


In keeping with the Festival's goal of giving young learners "up close and personal" interaction with renowned researchers, we are proud to announce the return of the wildly successful "Lunch With a Laureate" program for the 2nd Festival. More than 15 "Lunch With a Laureate" presentations were held during last year's Festival, and we hope to double that number! 


If you know of a Nobel Laureate in your institute, organization, professional network or community, please let us know! Laureates will be invited to participate in a "Lunch with a Laureate" session in their locale during the weeks leading up to the Festival Expo - giving students a chance to learn first-hand about these scientists' prize-winning discoveries, as well as their early student years and the trials and rewards of cutting-edge research.

Please forward the names and contact info of the Laureates you would like to recommend to: Larry Bock at biobock@mac.com. Details about how individual schools can be involved will be announced soon. 

Here's just a quick preview of some of the esteemed Laureates who are participating in the 2nd USASEF - ranging from the co-discoverer of "buckyballs" to the discoverer of the Hepatitis B virus, and pioneer of the Big Bang theory:

 Robert GrubbsRobert Grubbs received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2005 for work in the field of olefin metathesis, an organic reaction which has gained widespread use in research and industry for making products ranging from medicines and polymers to enhanced fuels.

John MatherJohn Mather
was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006 for his work in helping to cement the Big Bang theory of the universe using the Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite.

 Baruch BlumbergBaruch Samuel Blumberg, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Medicine  "for discoveries concerning new mechanisms for the origin and dissemination of infectious diseases." Blumberg identified the Hepatitis B virus, and later developed its diagnostic test and vaccine.   

 Harold KrotoHarold Kroto was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the co-discovery of buckminsterfullerene ("buckyballs"), an unusual carbon molecule consisting of 60 carbon atoms arranged as a spheroid that form superconductive compounds.

Leading Physics Author Joins
Festival Book Fair   


Walter Lewin

Professor Walter Lewin

Youtube sensation & MIT Physics Professor Walter Lewin is selected as a featured speaker for 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival Book Fair! Internationally known for over 100 free physics lectures and demonstrations available on the web, Mr. Lewin will discuss his new book "For the Love of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge Of Time - A Journey Through the Wonders of Physics" and demonstrate physics experiments at the Book Fair.

For a sampling of his innovative video lectures click here


Do you have a favorite science, math, engineering, technology or innovation author you would like to see at the Book Fair? Email suggestions to Laura at bluebonnetpath@gmail.com


Science and Engineering Authors, Submit your books and become a featured speaker like Professor Lewin!



"Nifty Fifty (times 2)" Quickly Building Momentum for the 2nd Festival

Our goal for the 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival is to double the number of participating Nifty Fifty speakers to 100 so that more classrooms can experience these renowned experts...and we are more than halfway there! Festival Partners: Please help us reach 100 Nifty Fifty speakers and nominate a scientist, engineer or related professionals to be considered for this elite cadre of professionals. 


Here's a "sneak peek" at some of the exciting NF that have been selected thus far:


Edith Widder

Edith Widder, Ph.D.

Hold on to your seats as this noted marine scientist takes you deep below the ocean to experience the spectacular lights of bioluminescence emanating from sea life!


David BOlinsky


David Bolinsky  

Take a journey inside the mind of this noted medical animator and the making of his highly-acclaimed science film, "The Inner Life of the Cell."



Hod Lipson


Hod Lipson, Ph.D.

Find out from this noted engineer what his biologically-inspired robots can tell us about our own evolution as humans.



 Michael Kassner

Michael Kassner, Ph.D.

Learn about the ambitious outreach plans in STEM that the Office of Naval Research is employing to meet the challenge of attracting tomorrow's innovators in science and engineering.



DrAndrew Zwicker. Andrew Zwicker, Ph.D.

Hear why this physicist feels that the study of plasmas get "no respect" in science education, and what he's doing to change that.     





Andrea Belcher

Angela Belcher, Ph.D. 

Learn why developing powerful biodegradable electric car batteries and computers that won't crash due to spilled liquids on the keyboard are more than just pipe dreams in the lab of this scientist!



BenjamiBenjaminn Gulakn Gulak

He designed his revolutionary Uno III electric vehicle as a senior in high school (a creation that was namedamong the top 10 inventions by Popular Science), but discover what exactly drives the imagination of this 21 year-old  inventor and entrepreneur!


Future Engineers: Are You Ready for the Challenge?  

Engineering really matters. Did you know that all the major challenges facing the U.S. and the rest of the world - from medicine and homeland security to energy, food and water supply and communications - cannot be solved without engineering? In this revealing video clip, hear what  Dr. Chuck Vest, president of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and former president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has to say about  what it will take for America to train enough engineers to meet the challenges of tomorrow.


screen shot of CHuck Vest2
Chuck Vest's interview on the state of education and engineering


The 2nd USASEF - At A Glance

Biogen Idec, a world-leading biotechnology company specializing in drugs for neurological disorders, autoimmune disorders and cancer, returns as a Palladium Level Sponsor.


The American Society For Microbiology (ASM), the oldest and largest single life science membership organization in the world, and Partner of the Inaugural Festival, has become a Titanium Level Sponsor.


Laurie Naismith1 Ms. Laurie Naismith, Director of Government Relations & Public Affairs of Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority & Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), joins the Festival Advisory Board.



Learn more about the Festival's hard-working advisors here.     


music notes 

Songwriting Contest Open for Submissions!


Our Songwriting Contest has begun and we're challenging musicians around the world to submit your original song to the Festival!  Depending on your musical style, you can choose to enter your song into one of the two categories below:


1.Create a song that gets kids (ages 2-10) interested in science or engineering


2.Create a song that shows middle and high-school age students how cool a career in the sciences can be



All genres are welcome: Rock, Pop, Country, Rap, Adult Contemporary, Modern Rock, Jazz, New Age, Opera, etc. You can sing it solo or with your friends, with your choir or band, in unison or harmony, with accompaniment or a cappella, as long as the words and music are your idea and the entire Song is your original idea.


Song Entry Period: March 1 - July 31, 2011


Prize for the 2 winning Songs: $500 each (and knowing that your Song will be heard and sung by hundreds of thousands of science enthusiasts across the country)!


To learn more and submit a song, Click Here!



Call for Volunteers   

Volunteers will be an essential part in making the 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo a huge success.Volunteers

We need volunteer help in areas like recruiting new exhibitors, sponsors and media partners, working on various Festival outreach channels and staffing Festival events.  See a full list of opportunities and sign up here now!

Visit us online at




Science Spark is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization responsible for creating the USA Science & Engineering Festival and several regional Festivals including the San Diego Science & Engineering Festival, Bay Area Science & Engineering Festival, Boston Science & Engineering Festival, Los Angeles Science & Engineering Festival, Chicago Science & Engineering Festival, Houston Science & Engineering Festival, Miami Science & Engineering Festival and the Philadelphia Science & Engineering Festival.