2012 final Masthead

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 Vol. 2 - No. 5 - April 25, 2011

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Help Us Spread the Word:  

From Grants and 'Sneak Peek' Day to Exploration Excitement, the Expo Has Much to Offer Teachers and Students!  

Spread the word! Do you know a K-12 teacher who would be interested in attending or even exhibiting at this fun-filled weekend of exploration and discovery with his or her students?  If so, let them know about these two great opportunities!


bus graphicTransportation Grants  

For the special "Sneak Peek" Friday, we have a limited number of grants available to help provide transportation for field trip groups, so teachers should not delay in signing up! To access a registration form, teachers can Click here or visit



School Exhibitor Grants 
We are highly encouraging K-12 math, science and engineering teachers and their students and science clubs in the Greater Washington DC region to be exhibitors in the Expo -- the largest celebration of science and engineering in the US! To help in the creation of their interactive, hands-on exhibits, the Festival is providing K-12 schools a limited number of $250 grants (plus free exhibit space) to offset the cost of materials.

To learn more and to apply for an exhibitor grant, teachers can
Click Here! or visit http://www.usasciencefestival.org/2012festival/finale-expo/apply-for-school-grant  


So help us pass the word to K-12 schools: We're looking to make this an Expo they won't soon forget!  


announcement clip art

Festival Reminders:  

Webinars for Exhibitors 

Exhibitors and potential Exhibitors - if you haven't done so already, join us for an informational Webinar that will outline the plans for the upcoming 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival Finale Expo. SIGN UP now for one of the scheduled Webinar dates below by filling out a short online registration form here:https://scholarnexus.wufoo.com/forms/


You will receive a confirmation and dial-in information/instructions after you have registered.  

Webinar Dates for Exhibitors:

Thursday, April 28

Friday, May 20

Thursday, June 16

Thursday, July 21

* All calls will be held from 1:30 - 2:30 PM ET


Volunteer Info and Training Sessions - Sign up Now!

volunteers with signs



Sign up now for one of the two sessions we have planned:

May 1, 3:00 - 5:00 PM ET  

K&L Gates, 1601 K St NW # 1, Washington, DC 20006-1692

May 2, 6:00-8:00 PM ET

Crystal City, VA - Lockheed Martin, 2121 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202 


For more information and to SIGN UP online go to: https://scholarnexus.wufoo.com/forms/


Learn about the festival plans and come home with literature to share! Everyone is welcome!  Come by even if you only want to see what we are planning.   


Calling all Volunteers in the DC, Virginia and Maryland areas...if you have an interest in volunteering or have signed up to volunteer, we invite you to participate in our Volunteer Outreach Information and Training Session.  

It Wowed Audiences Last Year, Now Michigan Tech Returns with Another Exciting Expo Agenda for 2012!

michigan tech with ben franklin

From regaling students with the unforgettable Mind Trekkers® traveling science road show to demonstrating how geologists monitor volcanic eruptions, Michigan Technological University's exhibits at the Festival Expo last year were a resounding hit.  And now, with an equally exciting array of scientific presentations planned, Michigan Tech is returning for a command performance at the 2012 Expo!


"Our participation at the 2010 Expo was truly an experience," says Steve Patchin, Director, Center for Pre-College Outreach at Michigan Technological University, "and next year we hope to build upon the excitement and energy that was generated in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)."

Boy wowed Michigan Tech Returns photo 1

Cody Kangas, Assistant Director, Center for Pre-College Outreach at Michigan Tech, adds: "Looking back, the public was so engaged in our hands-on exhibits-they wanted to touch, see, feel, hear, and taste science! Michigan Tech is thrilled to return, and it's incredible seeing the number of university students line up to join our crew and engage in STEM outreach. They want to make a difference and do their part in influencing the next generation."


What's on tap from Michigan Tech at next year's Expo in Washington, DC?  Well, for one thing, Mind Trekkers®, the university's excitin g STEM road show housed in the Center for Pre-College Outr each, will be returning with its panoply of hands-on demonstrations that give visitors a chance to experience everything from the mysteries of physics to making and tasting liquid nitrogen ice cream and walking on oobleck (a weird substance that looks like a liquid but acts like a solid).


exhibit - michigan tech april 25th article

Another demonstration next year, in conjunction with Dow Corning and the Centre for Vision in the Developing World, will feature "Self-adjustable Eyeglasses"-eye glasses designed to help correct the vision of children in the developing world utilizing silicon-based technology. Other exhibits will include technological collaborations with the 3M Company, and a mobile lab partnered with GM featuring some of the latest advances in hybrid energy technology.


These presentations demonstrate Michigan Technological University's success and commitment to using fun, hands-on approaches with young learners to illustrate the amazing things science and engineering can do, and in the process, capturing students' imagination to become innovators of tomorrow!

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

Here's a "sneak peek" at some of the exciting NF that have been selected in the last couple of weeks:


ali car chellman - nifty fifty

Ali Carr-Chellman, Ph.D. - Discover from this innovative educator and instructional designer why boys are falling behind academically in our nation's schools today, and what can be done to turn this disturbing trend around.  



lori garver - nifty fifty

Lori Beth Garver - She became interested in space while working for former Senator John Glenn and served as the lead civil space policy advisor for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign before being appointed to her current post of Deputy Administrator of NASA. Learn from this leading space policy expert about the future direction of NASA as it charts a new course in both the governmental and commercial sectors!


john gedmark - nifty fifty

John Gedmark - Learn from this aerospace engineer and executive director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation how private companies are destined to assume NASA's role of building, launching and operating future space exploration craft.



Stan maloy - nifty fiftyStan Maloy, Ph.D. - Get the latest insights into the world of microbiologists and their tools of science with Dr. Maloy, and learn why these scientists are known as front-line defenders in the expanding battle against germs and bacteria.




Kam Ng - Nifty FiftyKam Ng, Ph.D. - Learn first-hand of his plans and challenges in carrying out the Navy's ambitious initiatives in STEM to help attract the next generation of young innovators.




Ainissa Ramirez - Nifty FiftyAinissa Ramirez, Ph.D. - Learn how this noted materials scientist, through her groundbreaking research in 'smart' metals and solders, is helping to revolutionize the way alloys are used in everything from cell phones to life-saving medical devices.


Beth Shapiro - Nifty FiftyBeth Shapiro, Ph.D. - Delve into the past with this distinguished evolutionary biologist as she takes you inside the emerging field of ancient DNA where scientists are discovering fascinating information about our past from the genes of extinct animals.


Hayat Sindi - Nifty FiftyHayat Sindi, Ph.D. - Striving to overcome cultural and gender barriers in her native country, discover how this prominent researcher and entrepreneur came to co-found a biotech company that is changing the face of how developing countries diagnose disease.


To learn more about the Nifty Fifty program and to see all speakers, visit: http://www.usasciencefestival.org/



Physics at the Speed of NASCAR!  

racecarEver wonder about the science and engineering involved behind building and racing a high-powered vehicle for NASCAR? Well, physicist Diandra Leslie Pelecky became interested in the science of car racing by luck one day and has since become a nationally-known expert on its intricacies, including authoring the highly-acclaimed book The Physics of NASCAR. In this video clip from last year's Expo, hear some of the science-related secrets she has learned about speed and machine!

Watch the video here! 



Contests, Contests...and More Contests! Show Us Your Science and Engineering Talents Today!

thinking cipart

You may be asking yourself, "How can I get involved with Festival right now?"  You don't have to wait until the Finale Expo because there are lots of ways to join in the fun today! Read on to find out how you can participate in one of our many contests that we have recently launched...


The Grand Challenges Contest - Sponsored by ENGINEERING.com


What do you think is the world's biggest challenge? How would you solve it?


Many of the world's greatest challenges can be seen as engineering problems. The National Academy of Engineering has identified 14 such challenges, from harnessing solar energy power to providing access to clean water.


Are you ready to compete for cash and prizes? If so, you've got to get in on the Grand Challenges Pitch contest.


For more information on entering this contest visit:


Kavli "Save the World Through Science &

Engineering" Video Contest


person with videocamera

Do you think we can save the world through science and engineering? Join hundreds of the world's leading scientists, engineers, thinkers, and innovators as we tackle mankind's greatest challenges and help to build our future.


Students worldwide are invited to submit entries to the 2012 video contest, with cash awards and prizes for the top entries. The best videos will be shown at the Festival Expo during April 27-29, 2012, where hundreds of thousands of science fans are expected to gather in Washington, D.C.  The first place winner will also receive a travel stipend to attend the Expo.


Start brainstorming now for this contest which will launch soon!


Who Wants to Be a Mathematician


In the American Mathematical Society contest "Who Wants to Be a Mathematician," eight area high school students will compete at the 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo by answering multiple choice mathematics questions in a competitive quiz show format. The highest ranking 8 students will be pre-selected for the final round from written pre-qualification tests administered at area schools. The top prize is $3000 in cash for the winning contestant. 


For more information about the competition:

Click Here 

Songwriting Contest


five kids playing instruments

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


To learn more and submit a song, visit: 


New Authors and Performers
Join 2nd Festival

Featured Author:

Sean Connolly

Sean Connolly - Featured Author


International award winning author, Sean Connolly has been selected as a Book Fair Featured Author. His most recent Sean Connolly - Featured Author - Bookbook, The Book Of Potential Catastrophic Science offers 50 fun and highly unusual experiments for young scientists including background material on the 'science' behind the experiment. A father of three, Connolly knows all about how to get kids interested in the nuts and bolts of science with exciting hands-on experiments!  

To learn more about this esteemed Author, visit: http://www.workman.com/authors/sean_connolly/



Featured Performer:

Joe McDermott

 Joe McDermott

Parents choice award winning singer and songwriter Joe McDermott brings his lyrical music to the USA Science & Engineering Festival. Often called the maestro of imagination, Joe writes insightful songs which express a youthful view of the world with musical whimsy embraced by young and old. Lyrics such as "Don't drop a brick on your foot, it wilJoe McDermott - cdl hurt" capture beginning scientific discovery in a fun, toe-tapping way!  Spider Detective, Don't Get to Close to an Alligator, What's Not to Love About a Skunk - don't think his music is just for kids! http://www.joemcdermottmusic.com/



The 2nd USASEF - At A Glance


Forbes Wolfe

The Forbes/Wolfe Emerging Tech Report, which gives readers access to some of the greatest minds in scientific and technological innovation, returns to support the Festival as a Media Partner at the Krypton level.  

Academy of Model Aeronautics

The world's largest model aviation association, representing a membership of more than 150,000 from every walk of life, joins the Festival as a Palladium level sponsor and will join ranks with National Free Flight Society ("NFFS") and the Flying Aces Club ("FAC") as exhibitors at the Finale Expo.

American Mathematical Society

An organization founded in 1888 to further the interests of mathematical research and scholarship, AMS has become a Palladium level sponsor. The Festival has partnered with AMS to host their Who Wants to be a Mathematician competition.

Draper Laboratory  

An independent, not-for-profit R&D organization serving the national interest in applied research, engineering development, technology transfer, and advanced technical education, returns as a Palladium Level Sponsor and Exhibitor.


UMass Lowell 

Exhibitor at the Inaugural Festival and leading University with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, has become a Palladium Level Sponsor.   


Georgetown University   

Exhibitor at the Inaugural Festival and one of the world's leading academic and research institutions, has become a Titanium Level Sponsor.    


George Mason University  

Exhibitor at the Inaugural Festival and a leading innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields, has become a Titanium Level Sponsor.  


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

The Laboratory of choice for science and technology solutions to the most pressing national and global security problems, has become a Titanium Level Sponsor. 


Big Kid Science   

An online source for fun and scientifically accurate educational products, has become a Titanium Level Sponsor and has committed to donating their award winning books to the Finale Expo for kids to take away. The Festival will be hosting walking tours with Big Kid Science founder Jeffrey Bennett and Jeff Goldstein, Center Director of National Center for Earth and Space Science Education of the model national solar system on the Nat'l Mall as part of the incredibly successful and returning Celestron Star Gazing Party on Saturday, Sept. 28th, 2011.


Wolfram Research   

One of the world's most respected software companies - as well as a powerhouse of scientific and technical innovation,

has become an In-Kind Sponsor of the Festival.  





Mr. Charles H. Britt, Jr., Chairman & CEO of the Center for Minority Achievement in Science & Technology, joins the Festival Advisory Board.


Dr. Youseph Yazdi, Director of Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design at Johns Hopkins University, joins the Festival Advisory Board.
Learn more about the Festival's hard-working advisors here.      



Exhibitors Signing up For Festival!


Here are some of the exciting organizations who have signed up to exhibit at the 2nd USA Science & Engineering Finale Expo!

Alice Ferguson Found AAAS  AMP
  ESA    FABBS     NCA Logo
 Invent for Life Logo     USC
Natl Aquarium logo   Robeson Logo   SIAM
Franklin Institute  TJHS IASL logo






trophyThe Inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival team wins International Special Event Society (ISES) Conference Award for best "Trade Show Planning." Thank you to our fabulous Event Planning Team at CSI! They titled it "IT'S COOL TO BE A GEEK!" and we won!

You can read all about this prestigious award by clicking here.  

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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.