2012 final Masthead

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 Vol. 2 - No. 9 - July 25, 2011

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The Festival is Proud to Have More Than 250 Festival Partners to date! See Our Growing List of 2nd Festival Partner Organizations Here.

Festival Reminders:

Informational Festival Webinar  

If you haven't done so already, join us for an informational Webinar! We will outline the plans for the upcoming 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival Finale Expo. SIGN UP now for the next scheduled Webinar by filling out a short online registration form. You will receive a confirmation and dial-in information/instructions after you have registered.

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Upcoming Webinar Date:

Thursday, August 4 

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


Can't make it to the next Webinar? You can watch the last Webinar by Clicking Here!   


Volunteers - Back to School Blast Off Scheduled for August 28th!


Volunteer ImageThe Volunteer Outreach Team is planning a special Back to School Blast Off Meeting August 28th from 3-5pm as a launching pad to spread the word about the Festival for the 2011/2012 school year.  We are looking for volunteer Festival Volunteer representatives for all local schools and organizations.


From 2-3pm, we will have a special Youth Volunteer Public Speaking Workshop.  Adults are welcome to attend at 2pm to help with the youth training. Register for Back to School Blast Off and Youth Public Speaking Workshop by clicking here.    


Bill Nye The Science Guy Returns to Festival Expo Weekend! 

What's happening in the world of space travel - including solar-powered space vehicles - and other timely developments in science, engineering and technology?


Bill Nye HeadhshotWe're bringing back the perfect Festival Partner, Bill Nye The Science Guy®, to shed light on such questions!    


The well-known media personality will be on hand at the Festival's finale Expo once again to meet and greet visitors, and to provide insight into recent technological advancements.


"The USA Science & Engineering Festival is a major event to engage the country in celebrating innovation and I'm really happy to be returning," says Bill, who last year was also named executive director of The Planetary Society, the world's largest space-interest organization and a Krypton Level Sponsor of the Festival this year. Bill represented the Society at last year's Festival when the non-profit organization served as a major Partner.


"I look forward to sharing the passion, beauty, and joy of science and space exploration with the entire nation at the Festival, especially with the young innovators of tomorrow," adds Bill, a former astronomy student of Carl Sagan who co-founded The Planetary Society.


The Society has developed and is preparing to launch its first solar sail craft, dubbed LightSail-1, representing a major step forward in solar-sail space travel technology. Stop by the Planetary Society's booth to see a scale-model of this revolutionary spacecraft.


Don't Miss Them! Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman to Appear at Festival's Finale Expo Jamie Adam Banner

In their quest to test the validity of some of the world's most daunting myths and rumors, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman - hosts of the Discovery Channel's hit TV series MythBusters - bravely take viewers into uncharted realms of the unexplained. These journeys have included investigating "The Mummy," viral videos, the physics of shock waves in water, and whether it is really possible to jump out of the way of a bullet.


Adam and Jamie will be appearing together as part of the USA Science & Engineering Festival's exciting Finale Expo next April in Washington, DC!


Jamie Adam Head Shots

L-R: Jamie Hyneman
and Adam Savage.

Don't miss the opportunity to discover how Adam and Jamie use elements of the scientific method in the show to test the validity of rumors in the world of science, technology, movies, the Internet, history, news stories and other topics!


Both Adam and Jamie are well-known special effects experts - a talent that is essential in recreating the realistic environments to demonstrate and test myths and rumors.  But each host brings a wealth of other personal talents to MythBusters which make them well suited to handle the wide range of topics the series covers. 


Jamie, for example, is CEO and owner of M5 Industries and has experience as a scuba diver, animal wrangler, robotics designer, boat captain, chef, wilderness survival expert, linguist (he has a degree in Russian linguistics) and machinist.


Adam, a self-described "stuff maker," has expertise in such areas as industrial design and fabrication, set design, carpentry, electronics, animation, acting, graphic design, electronics, toy design, animatronics and robotics, and model making (he served as model maker on such films as Space Cowboys, the Matrix Reloaded, and Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones.)


You can learn more about Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman by visiting their websites.    


To see our full line-up of exciting performers for the 2nd Festival, Click Here. And check back regularly for new additions! 

Featured Nifty Fifty

Brought to you by:

ATT Logo    

Kim Cobb Kim Cobb, Ph.D. - This prominent climatologist will regale you with stories about her forays into remote areas of the tropical Pacific to better understand how climate changes of the past may impact global warming patterns of the future.  


Ben Dublin ThalerBen Dubin-Thaler, Ph.D. - You've never realized how much scientific discovery is available on a bus, but you'll become a believer when this innovative biophysicist introduces you to his BioBus, the amazing mobile science lab that is wowing kids throughout NYC!

Sarah Fortune Sarah Fortune, M.D. - Learn how the novel research approach of this physician-scientist is helping to zero in on one of modern day medicine's most daunting questions: why the bacterium that causes tuberculosis is often resistant to antibiotics and the body's immune system.


Mario LivioMario Livio, Ph.D. - Delve into the mysterious world of Black Holes, super novas and dark energy with this world-renowned physicist from the Space Telescope Institute!


Don Thomas Don Thomas, Ph.D. - He's been an astronaut on four different Space Shuttle missions, but discover why this engineer says his most rewarding job is the one he has now - motivating the next generation of young scientists as director of Towson University's Hackerman Academy of Mathematics and Science!                       


Dennis VanEngelsdorp Dennis vanEngelsdorp, Ph.D. - Hear the latest from this highly acclaimed bee researcher what science is uncovering about the mysterious death and disappearance of the world's honey bee population, and what impact this phenomenon is having on the globe's ecosystem.


Josh WolfeJosh Wolfe - Learn how this entrepreneur is helping to propel future technological advances in biotechnology through the world of venture capital investment!




C Zimmer Carl Zimmer - He's rated as one of the most talented science writers in the nation. Explore with him the mysteries of evolution and neuroscience as he takes you on a fascinating journey through his work, ranging from The Tangled Bank, and Parasite Rex, to Soul Made Flesh.


See the full list of Nifty Fifty Speakers here.   


Would you like to be a Sponsor of the Nifty Fifty program? Contact biobock@mac.com for more info.  


Acclaimed Storytelling Science Author Joy Hakim Joins Book Fair as Featured Author! 

Joy Hakim's second award-winning series, "The Story of Science," focuses on the quest to understand the universe from ancient Greece to today's expanding world. Hakim's goal in "The Story of Science" is to encourage reading - especially Hakim Booknonfiction reading - which is the essential skill of the Information Age. Titles in the series are: Aristotle Leads the Way, Newton at the Center, and Einstein Adds a New Dimension. Hakim is currently working on two books that put biology into a narrative framework. Hakim has an honorary PhD from Goucher College where she earned her M.Ed and lives in Colorado with her husband.


For more information about Joy Hakim, go to her official site.

Hakim Headshot


To see a complete list of Book Fair Author Biographies, Click Here.

The ResMed and the Farrell Family Foundations Return for the Third Time as Festival Sponsors!

The ResMed Foundation and the Farrell Family Foundation, which served as key Sponsors for the inaugural Festival last year and for the original San Diego Science Festival(SM) (organized by the Science Spark team) in 2009, is continuing its support by signing on as a Sponsor for the 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival in 2012!  


Crowd Photo

"As the world becomes increasingly complex," says Dr. Peter C. Farrell, Founder of the Farrell Family Foundation and Founder, Chairman and CEO of ResMed Corporation, "an understanding of science and technology is ever more critical - which is the value that a nationwide science event such as the Festival can provide. We need bright children to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics, otherwise we are in danger of public policy being decided by ignorance rather than circumspection."


When first approached by the Festival, Dr. Farrell immediately saw the importance of this major event and committed funds from the ResMed and Farrell Family Foundations to support the Festival's mission.                      


In addition, he says, the Festival, in its goal to motivate and encourage more students to pursue careers in STEM, is helping to assure a robust climate of innovation and entrepreneurship for tomorrow in America, which in turn will help drive economic growth, wealth and job creation.


Boys at Festival"In short," says Dr. Farrell, "we need to stimulate a critical mass of bright students to undertake careers in science and engineering or society as a whole will suffer. The ResMed and Farrell Family Foundations are committed to helping catalyze this process."


Lear more about The ResMed Foundation and the Farrell Family Foundation.  

Festival Welcomes Former U.S. Congressman Bart Gordon to Advisory Board

GordonFormer U.S. Congressman Bart Gordon, known for his longtime commitment to science education, technology and American competitiveness, has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the USA Science & Engineering Festival.


Gordon served as Representative for Tennessee's 6 congressional district from 1985 until he retired from the House this year, and is now a lawyer for the global law firm K&L Gates, which represents the high-tech energy sectors and serves as government affairs counsel to the Festival.  He is also a distinguished fellow at the Council on Competitiveness.


Gordon was Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology from 2007 until 2011. During his tenure as Chairman and in Congress he was a powerful voice in formulating and advancing policy impacting science, research and American competitiveness.


He was also instrumental in passage of the 2007 Energy Bill, served as member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce from 1995 to 2011, and worked to foster international collaboration to solve major challenges facing the nation and world.


A close friend and ally of the USA Science & Engineering Festival and its mission, Gordon played a key role in formulating and shepherding through the joint House-Senate resolution last year which officially endorsed the Festival.


We welcome the expertise and commitment he brings to the Advisory Board!

See a full list of our advisors here

Authors & Publishers - Submit Books for USASEF Book Fair 

BooksAuthors & Publishers - submit your books online for the USA Science & Engineering Festival Book Fair which will be held April 28-29, 2012. Authors are asked to give a 50-minute presentation with 15 minutes for question & answer followed by a book-signing. A New York Times reporting bookseller will sell author's recent books. Preferred books have a publish date between January 2011-April 2012 and are written for children and trade publications.


Selected Authors will be announced in September 2011. To submit a book, fill out the following form. See the full list of Book Fair Authors here. Would you like to meet your favorite Science Author at the next USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo? Click Here and complete a quick form.


Email Book Fair questions to Laura Angle.


The 2nd USASEF - At A Glance

New Sponsors 



AT&T has a long history of innovation - from the original research taking place in its labs to working with small businesses to help drive economic growth. AT&T's heritage includes eight Nobel Prizes and thousands of patents issued or pending worldwide. AT&T has fueled groundbreaking initiatives that have changed the direction of communications. Today, AT&T remains committed to creating innovations that drive our global network, encouraging us all to Rethink Possible.  AT&T's commitment to education and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields (STEM) is an important piece of this and is as much a part of its legacy as its future. This is why AT&T has a number of programs and relationships focused on increasing the number of STEM students in the pipeline. AT&T is honored once again to sponsor the Festival as this year's Co-Sponsor for the "Nifty Fifty Program".


The Planetary Society 

The Planetary Society, the world's largest space-interest group, is dedicated to inspiring the public with the adventure and mystery of space exploration. The Planetary Society joins the Festival to inspire the next generation to explore science, technology, engineering and math as a Kyrpton Level Sponsor. 


U.S. Department of Defense 

The mission of the U.S. Department of Defense is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country. Department of Defense is our nation's largest employer with over 1.4 million men and women on active duty, 718,000 civilian personnel, and another 1.1 million that serve in the National Guard and Reserve Forces. The Department of Defense joins the Festival this year as a Platinum Level Sponsor. 


Purdue University  

Founded in 1869, Purdue University is one of the nation's leading research institutions with a reputation for excellent and affordable education. Purdue University's graduate and undergraduate programs continue to reach national rankings year after year. The Festival is thrilled to have Purdue University return as a Platinum Level Sponsor. 


Johns Hopkins University  

The mission of Johns Hopkins University is to educate its students and cultivate their capacity for life-long learning, to foster independent and original research, and to bring the benefits of discovery to the world. A world leader in both teaching and research, Johns Hopkins University becomes a Titanium Level Sponsor of the Festival. 


VCU School of Engineering 

The vision of Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Engineering is to become a preeminent school in education, research and technological development at the intersection of engineering, business, medicine and the life sciences. As one of the youngest and most vibrant engineering schools in the country, VCU School of Engineering joins the Festival as a Titanium Level Sponsor. 


Exhibitors Signing up for Festival!

The Festival Finale Expo is quickly gaining momentum, with nearly 300 exhibitors signed up to date, and over 750 booths reserved! Here are some of the exciting organizations who have signed up to exhibit at the 2nd USA Science & Engineering Finale Expo!

   Botanical Society America     Cornell University     Fab Home Logo

   AMA Logo      Ideal Schools


 Federation of American ScientistsAGU LogoCMAST


         ASME Logo         AIAA Logo

    Girls Inc Logo     Graduate School Logo     HFES Logo

      ELH Logo  AIBS Logo

Coming to the Festival from Out of Town Next Spring? 


Get a Hotel Early with our Group Discounts!


hotel buttonWe have secured group blocks with discounted rates for Festival-goers at 4 hotels in the Downtown DC area and the rates are less than half of what they will cost during the high season.


Click Here to visit our Exhibitor Resources page and book a hotel room today before they are sold out!  


LEDs, Students, and Teachers Unite!


Middle & High School Teachers:  Do you want to get kids excited about technology? Here's an opportunity you shouldn't miss.

LEDEE Times and Innovation Generation (iGen) have just started the "Fall 2011 Student LED Challenge" and teachers can register a team until July 31. This Challenge gives students an opportunity to use a free kit of parts--LEDs, resistors, transistors, switches, and more--along with a free Microchip Technology MCU development kit. Total kit value is $150. Teachers will receive their kits in early September and then submit their Challenge entry by December 15. (Teachers and teams don't have to buy anything to register and compete in the Fall Challenge.)  


CLICK HERE to learn more and find out how to apply!



sponsorsThank You to our Palladium Sponsors

Academy of Model Aeronautics

American Mathematical Society

Biogen Idec

Children's National Medical Center

Draper Laboratory

Dassault Systèmes Solidworks Corp. 

Destination DC

FEI Company


National Girls Collaborative Project

University of Massachusetts Lowell


Thank You to our Titanium Sponsors

Aerospace Corporation

American Society of Agronomy

American Society of Civil Engineers

American Society for Microbiology

Big Kid Science

The Engineering Place, North Carolina State University

Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Crop Science Society of America


Defense Threat Reduction Agency

DeVry University


George Mason University

Georgetown University

George Washington University

Georgia Institute of Technology 

Idaho State University

James Madison University

Johns Hopkins University

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Michigan Tech Mind Trekkers

National Museum of Health and Medicine

North Carolina State University


Society of American Military Engineers (SAME)

Soil Science Society of America

Thirty Meter Telescope

University of Rochester

VCU School of Engineering


In-Kind Sponsors:

American Elements 



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.