2012 final Masthead

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 Vol. 2 - No. 14 - October 31, 2011

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Help Bring The President to Sneak Peek Friday at the Festival

The USA Science & Engineering Festival is working hard to bring President Obama and the First Lady to Sneak Peek Friday on April 27, 2012, and you can help!

obamasAs most of you know, the inaugural Festival was endorsed by President Obama and received unanimous bi-partisan support of the House and Senate. To bring this same united spirit to the 2nd Festival, we are inviting The President and his family to attend Sneak Peek Friday to further ignite the support and recognition of the largest celebration of science and engineering in the nation! Will you join us in making history? Please join dozens of Nobel Laureates and senior scientific leaders in this important cause to showcase the true importance of STEM education as a national priority. Click Here to sign the electronic letter and support this unprecedented event!




And in Other Important Festival News...

Preregister for the Expo to win a cool prize! 

Let us know that you are planning to attend the Expo, and you will automatically be signed up to win an iPad 2, 5 Tickets to a special Meet & Greet with Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, or 1 of 50 T-shirts! You don't have to preregister to attend the Festival Expo, but you will have a chance to win a cool prize while letting us know a little about who will be attending. 

Click Here to preregister now!   


Do You Love Science and Engineering? You Can Support the 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival!    The USA Science & Engineering Heart Science ButtonFestival is a nonprofit organization that aims to inspire the next generation of innovators by producing the nation's largest celebration of all things science & engineering.

Generous support from our donors helps us provide and keep the Festival free and open to the public, and sustain the Festival's impact through year-round programming and curriculum development. 


If you or someone you know would like to donate to the Festival, then please click here.

*Your gift is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law  

Calling All Emcees, Moderators and Stage Hands  

StageAre you a budding Ryan Seacrest? Do you love the limelight of being on stage? Or do you want to help behind the scenes at what promises to be the "Woodstock of Science" ultimate event? Here is your big opportunity!  


If you would like to volunteer your services as a Stage Emcee, Book Fair Announcer and/or Stage Hand for our 100+ stage performances and Book Fair Author presentations, then please Click Here and tell us why!


We will give you a Festival t-shirt for dedicating your time and expertise! 

How Really Accurate is the Science in Hollywood Movies and TV Shows? Find Out at the Festival!

We've all marveled at the high-tech wonders and gadget wizardry in such blockbuster productions as Iron Man 2, TRON: Legacy, Contagion, and Storm Chasers - but just how real and accurate is the science and engineering depicted in these Hollywood films and TV shows?

Iron Man 2You'll get the chance to meet and interact with bona fide movie "truth detectives" at the USA Science & Engineering Festival next spring when we assemble an impressive array of scientists and organizations that work closely with top Hollywood film and TV producers to make sure these productions portray science and engineering realistically!

In a compendium of exciting exhibits, performances and appearances - hosted by Lockheed Martin - at the Festival's finale Expo on April 28-29 in Washington, DC, get ready to be wowed by such Hollywood insiders and science celebrities as: 

  • The Science and Entertainment Exchange. This noted organization and program of the National Academy of Science is like having a Nobel Prize winner on speed dial for Hollywood TV and film producers, and has served as consultant on such films as Iron Man 2, TRON: Thor, Green Lantern and the upcoming Disney film The Avengers.  
  • Famed innovator Elon Musk. Meet the inventor and inspiration for the Iron Man movies. Musk also serves as CEO and chief technology officer of SpaceX, the producer of the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets.
    Elon Musk  
  • Dr. Alan McCormack, San Diego State University Professor. He'll teach you the science behind the wizardry of Harry Potter and the magic from Hogwart's Academy in demonstrations showing how science can make objects levitate.  
  • The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech. In an eye-opening exhibit, scientists from the institute will simulate the rapid spread of the H1N1 virus through the Walter E. Washington Convention Center - similar to the epidemic in the movie Contagion - utilizing radio-frequency (RFID) tags as a surrogate for the virus.  
  • Dr. Josh Wurman, founder of the Center for Severe Weather Research. Dr. Wurman will lead you on tours of the vehicles - including the famous Doppler on Wheels (DOW) - that chase tornados and extreme weather in the popular reality show Storm Chasers.

Also, don't miss: The mesmerizing appearance of physicist Jim Kakalios, author of the Physics of Superheroes, who has served as consultant on the recent films The Watchmen and The Green Lantern and the upcoming movie The Amazing Spider Man; Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage of the MythBusters...and many more!

For a complete rundown on all exhibits, appearances and performances, Click Here 


With Focus on Wowing Elementary and Middle School Students, Life Technologies Returns as Major Sponsor! 

As many educators know, the elementary and middle school years are critical periods in which students' interest in science can "wither on the vine" if efforts are not made early to engage young learners in such subjects in exciting and creative ways.

Life TechnologiesThis is why global biotech leader Life Technologies -- as it prepares to return as a major Sponsor of the USA Science & Engineering Festival next spring.-- will devote a major portion of its outreach exhibits at the finale Expo to wowing elementary and middle school students through a wide range of interactive science activities.

"We know how important it is for kids, especially young girls, to remain engaged and motivated in science at that age," says Heather Virdo, head of Community Relations for Life Technologies." And we know how powerful science outreach can be when it is combined with exciting hands-on interaction with real-life scientists and other professionals.  

"That's why," she says, "Life Technologies looks forward to returning as a Sponsor of a major public event like the Science & Engineering Festival as this gathering works to help inspire young students to become leading scientists of tomorrow and to prepare them to play an important role in developing new applications and technologies that will lead our society into the future."

Life Technologies Corporation and its Foundation, with its long history of scientific excellence and community involvement, is also known for its deep commitment to supporting the next generation of scientific leaders through education and outreach in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

At the Life Technologies exhibits during the finale Expo in April, elementary and middle school students and their teachers will get an up-close-and personal look into theteacher showing experiment
intriguing world of bioscience research, including how Life Technologies scientists are using DNA sequencing techniques to not only better diagnose, treat and investigate disease, but to also save wild cheetahs and other endangered species, in addition to improving farming and agriculture techniques for the food we eat.

And through hands-on interaction with Life Technologies scientists and research technicians, Expo goers will also participate in genetic sequencing and human identification exercises.

"The Festival also offers a great way for our non-scientist employees at Life Technologies to also become involved with outreach," says Heather. "So members of our Human Resources, Finance and other departments will also be present to talk to students about career opportunities in these fields as well at our corporation."

Known worldwide for its innovation and leadership in scientific discovery, Life Technologies is a global biotechnology tools company dedicated to improving the human condition. Its systems, consumables and services enable researchers to accelerate scientific exploration, driving to discoveries and developments that make life even better. Life Technologies was created by the combination of Invitrogen Corporation and Applied Biosystems Inc., and manufactures both in-vitro diagnostic products and research use only-labeled products.

We thank Life Technologies and our other valued Sponsors as they join us in our goal of inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers!  

Jeffrey Bennett - Astrophysicist & Educator as Book Fair Featured Author 

Jeffrey Bennett, an astrophysicist and former NASABennet Headshot scientist, has taught at every level from pre-school through graduate school. He is the author of bestselling college textbooks in four subject areas, of critically claimed science and math books for the general public, and of the award-winning Max Science Adventure series for children. In addition to his Featured Book for children, The Wizard Who Saved the World, Jeff recently released Beyond UFO's: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Its Astonishing Implications for Our Future.


You Can Do the Rubik's Cube Contest - Free Workshop and Kit 

You Can Do the Rubik's Cube Contest - Free Workshop and Kit - Space is limited so sign up today!

DC, MD and VA K-12 teams will be competing for the fastest time to collectively solve 25 Rubik's Cubes. Teams may compete in one of three divisions: K-5th grade ,6th-8th grade and 9th-12th grade. Team sign-ups have begun!  All registered teams will compete in a semi-final contest and the top six finalists from each division will then compete for the championship at the USA Science & Engineering Festival during the Expo weekend 4/28/2012. Attend a free teacher's workshop, learn how the Rubik's Cube relates to STEM, learn to solve the Rubik's Cube and receive a Free Rubik's Cube Math education kit valued at $150.  This workshop and free kit offer are only available to new workshop attendees.  Learn more by clicking here



2012 Kavli Launch is Underway!

KavliThe 2012 Kavli "Save the World Through Science and Engineering" Video Contest is now accepting student entries. Eligible applicants include: individual students or groups from Grades 6-12 schools, home school networks, after-school programs, science clubs or any other organization the student is representing for the purpose of the contest.


Students worldwide are encouraged to send videos through schooltube.com and take the chance to win cash awards and prizes for the top entries! And best of all, the top 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. In addition, the first place winner will also receive a travel stipend to attend the Expo!

So if you think you can save the world through science and engineering then let us know! 

School TubeVideo entries will be accepted on schooltube.com from October 1, 2011-March 1, 2012.


Visit our website by clicking here for a complete list of details on the contest.   

At a Glance- New Sponsors of the Festival 

WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio 

WAMU 88.5 is the leading public radio station for NPR news and information in the greater Washington D.C. area, and is licensed to American University, a non-profit corporation. The Festival is thrilled to have WAMU 88.5 as a Krypton Level Media Partner. 



The KidWind Project was developed by Michael Arquin when he was a 6th grade science teacher in California. KidWind seeks to support teachers and students all over the globe who do not have the financial capacity to access our training programs and equipment. The Festival is honored to have KidWind as a Titanium Level Sponsor this year, and also host the KidWind Challenge at the Festival Finale Expo. 


Tumblehome Learning, Inc.

By using fiction and non-fiction books, as well as fun experiments, Tumblehome Learning, Inc. helps kids imagine themselves as young scientists or engineers. The goal of Tumblehome Learning is to provide the tools for students to become inspired to learn more about the natural and man-made worlds around them. Tumblehome Learning, In. joins the Festival this year as Titanium Level Sponsor. 


University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut stands among the top 20 public institutions in the nation. Student diversity continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. The Festival is thankful to have UConn as a Titanium Level Sponsor this year. 


U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration  is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products, medical devices, our nation's food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and products that give off radiation. The FDA joins the Festival this year as a Titanium Level Sponsor. 


Wellesley College

Wellesley is known for the thousands of accomplished, thoughtful women it has sent out into the world for over 100 years-women who are committed to making a difference. Wellesley is also famous for the excellence of its education, the beauty of its setting, its gifted faculty, and the uniqueness of its campus culture. Wellesley College joins the Festival this year as a Titanium Level Sponsor. 


West Virginia University 

Located in Morgantown, West Virginia, WVU offers over 191 degree programs.  Whether your goal is to be a nurse, speech pathologist, forensic investigator, opera singer, physicist, reporter, aerospace engineer, athletic trainer, CEO, interior designer, lawyer, or pharmacist, WVU will help you achieve. WVU becomes a Titanium Level Sponsor for this year's Festival. 


Wind Energy Foundation

A Washington, D.C.-based organization founded in 2010 to educate the public about the benefits of wind power, the Wind Energy Foundation was created in memory of the late AWEA's Chief Operating Officer Britt Theismann. The Festival is honored to have the Wind Energy Foundation as a Titanium Level Sponsor. 


Festival Larger than Last Year and Growing!

The Festival Finale Expo is officially larger than last year, with over 400 exhibitors signed up to date, and nearly 1300 booths reserved! Here are some of the exciting organizations who have signed up to exhibit at the 2nd USA Science & Engineering Finale Expo!


Concord Consortium Discovery Flight Grasp Lab

     Globe Logo        



   Spy museum  UDEL  

STEM Advice Corner 

AtmosphereAtmospheric and climate scientists do more than forecast the weather. Indeed, temperature, humidity and air pressure are important in our immediate and day-to-day activities.  However, scientists who study the physics and chemistry of gases, clouds and aerosols in our atmosphere can reveal long-term climate change impacts relevant to our lives.

Students and parents: read on to get great advice on how to pursue a career in this cool field by clicking here!  


Each month we feature an article written by biologist Dr. April Le. She shares her tips on how she became a successful biologist and will provide great resources that you and your friends can check out. Learn about all of the exciting things happening in STEM, from cool kitchen science experiments to interactive math games.  
Have an idea for a topic? Have some feedback? Please let us know by emailing biobock@mac.com.

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 Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA)  

American Society of Agronomy

American Society of Civil Engineers

American Society for Microbiology

Atlas Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider 

Big Kid Science

Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute  

Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Crop Science Society of America


Defense Threat Reduction Agency

DeVry University

The Engineering Place, North Carolina State University 


George Mason University

Georgetown University

George Washington University

 George Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) 

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


Polytech Institute of NYU 

Rochester Institute of Technology 

 San Diego State University  

SMU Caruth Institute for Engineering Education

Society of American Military Engineers (SAME)

Soil Science Society of America

The Mars Society

The Pennsylvania State University  

Thirty Meter Telescope

Tumblehome Learning, Inc

 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)   

United States Naval Academy

University of Connecticut 
University of Florida 

University of Georgia

University of Rochester

Vanderbilt University

VCU School of Engineering

Wellesley College

West Virginia University

Wind Energy Foundation  


In-Kind Sponsors:

American Elements 



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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.