2012 final Masthead

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 Vol. 2 - No. 16 - December 13, 2011

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Science Idol: Help us Choose the Festival Song Contest Winners! Vote by January 31! 

Science IdolWe challenged musicians around the world to enter the 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival Songwriting Contest, and we received so many fantastic submissions...now we need your help to choose the winning songs! Musicians had the choice of submitting a song in two unique categories for Songwriters:

  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 

Please help us decide which top song in each category should take home the prize and be featured as the official 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival winners! Simply click here to go to the Festival website, listen to each song and vote for your favorite(s). Complete the short form to vote for your favorite song in one or BOTH of the song categories.  

Here are our top choices for each category (in no particular order), selected from nearly 50 submissions:

Category 1: A song that gets kids (ages 2-10) interested in science or engineering:
A - I Want to Know, by Becky Ferreira
B - Science Frontier, by Monty Harper
C - I Want to Sing About Science, by David Newman 

Category 2: A song that shows middle and high-school age students how cool a career in the sciences can be:
A - I Like Science, by Roberto Moore
B - Super Scientist, by Monty Harper

Click here to vote for your favorites by January 31.

Thank you to all musically inclined science enthusiasts for writing these wonderful songs! We heard a lot of really good songs, and had a really hard time selecting the top 5.

The winner will be announced in early February! 

Great Holiday Gift - Festival T-Shirts: And Knowing Your Donation Will Help Bring Students to Sneak Peek Friday at the Festival! 

Volunteer Image

Show your enthusiasm for science and engineering...help spread the word about the Festival...and help bring a child to the Expo! The proceeds from the sale of each T-Shirt will go towards transportation grants to help bring students to the Expo.   

Click here for more info and to
visit our online store!




And in Other Important Festival News...  

Exhibitor Kit Now Online   

For those participating as exhibitors at the 2nd Festival, please check out the Exhibitor Kit on our Resources page. This will answer all your questions concerning logistics and provides lots of other important information, including deadlines to be aware of. Click Here to view and download the kit. Still have questions after reviewing the Exhibitor Kit? You can join one of our upcoming Logistics Info Webinars by Clicking Here to sign up.   


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!    


Calling All Emcees, Moderators and Stage Hands

Are 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!     

Increase Your Organization's High-Profile Visibility! Sponsor a Performance Stage During Expo Weekend!

Performance stages at the finale Expo will be the center of exciting, high-profile attention the weekend of April 27-29 when they will serve as sites for more than 50 performances and appearances - from cool innovative engineers and entrepreneurs to science rappers and musical artists, math wizards, pioneering space explorers, storytellers, and more!


Crowd Photo

By sponsoring a performance stage at the Expo, your company, school or association can take advantage of a unique opportunity to become an integral part of these unforgettable experiences!  Imagine, a stage with your organization's name on it, indicating to national and international audiences that the performances at the site were made possible through your support!


Each stage, seating from 250 to 1,000 people, will host 20 performances during the Expo.  For a look at the wide range of stage shows and performances taking place that weekend, click here


Contact Larry Bock for information on how to become a performance stage sponsor, and to reserve your name at one these Expo sites!  

Call to Action: Employee Volunteers Needed for Expo's Sneak Peek Friday, April 27

Are you the head of Human Resources, or in a similar decision-making capacity, at your company or organization in the Washington DC regional area? If so, would you consider giving some of your employees the day off on Friday, April 27 to help the Festival with an important community outreach endeavor?  


We need 10 to 20 volunteers to assist us in hosting Sneak Peek Friday at the DC Convention Center for groups of K-12 students from underserved communities, home schools and military families. Sneak Peek gives these youngsters an opportunity to preview and interact with a wide array of Festival EXPO personalities and exhibits before these chances are open to the general public that Saturday and Sunday at the Convention Center. Volunteers are needed to staff registration tables, direct traffic, serve as docents, host lecture hall activities and perform other duties. For more information on Sneak Peek Friday, click here. 

Please contact Larry Bock if you have employee volunteers that you can share with us that day. Thanks so much!
Expo's Encounters With Scientists/Engineers Takes Off!
More Than 200 Professionals Already Signed to Meet Students

Imagine the opportunity to chat one-on-one with some of the nation's top scientists, engineers and other professionals in such fields as medical research, oceanography, microbiology, and intellectual property law (the profession that deals with patents and trade secrets in the expanding areas of technology)!  


Science ExperimentStudents and others will get that chance at the finale Expo next April when the Festival, in association with the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), hosts its Encounters With Scientists/Engineers sessions. These informal gatherings, part of the Festival's STEM Career Pavilion initiative, allow students to conduct in-person interviews with a wide range of experts for one-hour periods to receive valuable information on careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).


AWISWith more than 200 professionals (representing 10 institutions and organizations) already signed up for Encounter sessions, we are well on our way to making these gatherings especially exciting and meaningful for kids and others.


Here are brief examples of what to expect:
  • What's it like to be a woman in science? Representatives from AWIS (The Association for Women in Science) will provide answers. These scientists from different fields of study will tell how they became interested in science and give insight into the many options available today for females in such fields. 
  • Also on hand will be more than 25 professionals from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) who will tell you what it's like to work for one of the world's foremost medical research centers, and provide exciting visuals on their individual research pursuits.
  • Want to know how to prepare for and succeed in the promising STEM fields of tomorrow? A visit with scientists from STEM Link will definitely help! In addition to providing sound advice, these experts will wow you with examples of their research!
  • You'll further your knowledge of undersea exploration when you visit experts representing the Consortium of Ocean Leadership. Learn about the challenges scientists face as they advance research and policymaking concerning our oceans, plus view cool images of microscopic phytoplankton, manganese nodules from the South Pacific seafloor and other aspects of ocean study.
  • Learn how your background in STEM can be used in the ever-expanding field of Intellectual Property Law as professionals from this area explain what's involved in establishing, maintaining and protecting patents and trade secrets involving such technological innovations as Bucky Balls, clean energy and other trademark specimens.
  • And prepare to be regaled when scientists from the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) unveil their rendition of "Giant Microbes" after answering questions about the many and exciting fields of this area of science!

GirlsIn addition to the Encounters sessions, the Festival's STEM Career Pavilion initiative also includes other opportunities for students to further enhance career preparation in STEM, including internship and mentoring resources, and College Fair and Job Fair avenues. For more information, click here  

Technology Review Magazine Poised to Return as Festival Sponsor

Technology Review LogoKnown as "the authority on the future of technology " and the world's oldest technology magazine, Technology Review - published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - is bringing its prestige and expertise back to the Festival as a Media Partner!

Technology Review, published by MIT since 1899, continues today to provide unparalleled insights into cutting edge technologies that are changing the world and the way science and engineering do business.

In returning as a Media Partner, the magazine joins a growing list of other top science media leaders who are also serving as Festival sponsors, including Popular Mechanics, Scientific American, Popular Science, Chemical & Engineering News, School Tube.com, ENGINEERING.com, EE Times, The Epoch Times, and PBS Kids.

Children doing an Experiment"In many ways, the mission of the USA Science & Engineering Festival in educating tomorrow's innovators and the general public on the future of technology coincides with our publication's mission as well," says Kathleen Kennedy, Technology Review's Chief Strategy Officer. "Technology Review identifies emerging technologies and analyzes their impact for technology and business leaders-the senior executives, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, engineers, developers, and researchers who create and fund the innovations that drive the global economy," she adds.

Technology Review is also an invaluable resource for early adopters, students, the media, those in government, and anyone who needs to understand trends in technology, including the hottest happenings in computing, the web and social media, communications, sci fi-inspired innovations, energy, materials, biomedicine and news from its thought-provoking blogs.


Two Girls Using Chemistry SetAs a Media Partner in the Festival, Technology Review, like other key media sponsors for next year's event, will run advertisements pro bono via their respective media outlets. This will play a key role in not only giving the Festival heightened visibility on a national and international scale, but will also help the event recruit for new satellite venues and participation in the Expo, contests and other activities.

Owned by MIT as an independent media company, Technology Review boasts a worldwide readership of more than three million. The publication is published in five languages (including, Chinese, Spanish, Italian and an English edition for India) and is also available on a variety of digital and print platforms. 


We thank Technology Review and our other Media Partners for their valued participation!  

Celebrate Science in Your Community: Host a Satellite Event this April!         

Can't join the celebration in DC? Organize a Satellite Event in your neighborhood! Your event can be as small or as big as you want it to be. It's a great activity for Girl Scout Troops, science classes, afterschool clubs, colleges Naval STEM sailor photo 2and libraries. The possibilities are endless, but here are some ideas: put together a science scavenger hunt at your school, ask a local scientist or engineer to give a talk about his or her work and career path, host an open house at your technology company, organize an open-lab day at your college, or get your local library or science museum to put on a small event to celebrate science. All events that take place during April 2012 will be listed in our online Satellite Event directory and placed on the Satellite Event Map. View the 2012 map by clicking here

Lights On Group Shot 
Here are some examples of what others are doing: The Iowa Math and Science Education Partnership, in collaboration with Iowa State University College of Engineering, is organizing "Moms' Night out for STEM" featuring STEM events for Moms and free babysitting; the College of Sciences and Mathematics at Auburn University is hosting an interactive day for middle school students and teachers to celebrate science and math; and Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center in Ruskin, Florida, will host an open house giving families a chance to complete hands-on activities including water quality testing, wildlife monitoring, trail tours and more.

So join the fun! Not sure what to do? Fill out our online form by clicking here and we will be in touch to help you brainstorm.    

Holiday Shopping Ideas - Great Science Books!

  Book Fair Logo

Do your holiday shopping by purchasing books from our fabulous Festival Authors! There are two ways where you can purchase Festival Books - through our newly launched Festival Book Store and through our Featured Author Biography Pages.

BooksBrowse the Festival Book Store to find the perfect gift ideas by the Featured Authors Stage Categories or find noted Nifty Fifty author and Festival Performer books through Other Festival Authors link.  Featured Author Books are available through the author Biography pages of most Festival Authors if their current book is available.

Thank you for supporting the Festival programs!    

Book Fair 
Featured Authors Announced!

  Book Fair Logo

The USA Science & Engineering Festival Book Fair
is proud to announce an extraordinary line-up of Featured Authors to appear at the Finale Expo April 28-29, 2012. Check out these award winning and inspiring authors grouped below by their Book Fair author performance stages at the Expo. Click on their names below to find out more!

And if you like what you see...it only takes one click to support the Festival with Amazon when you purchase your books through our new online store. Click Here to order books and the Festival will get a portion of the proceeds to help support bringing even more students to the Expo!


Family Science

Seymour Simon - Butterflies
Bruce Degen - Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge
Jeffrey Bennett - The Wizard Who Saved the World
Dawn Cusick - Cool Animal Names
Rebecca Klemm - NumbersAlive! Books for Young Travelers
Jenny Offill - 11 Experiments That Failed
Dia Michels - If My Mom Were a Platypus


Teen Fiction
Pendred Noyce - Lost in Lexicon
Homer Hickam - Crater
Benedict Carey - Poison Most Vial
Julie Chibbaro - Deadly


Teen Non-Fiction
Joy Hakim - Stories of Science
Theodore Gray - The Elements Vault - Science Ink

Carl Zimmer - Science Ink 

Steve Wolf - The Secret Science Behind Movie Stunts & Special Effects
Celeste Baine - Amazing Engineering Careers
Fred Bortz - Meltdown! The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and our Energy Future
Sean Connolly - Book of Perfectly Perilous Math


High School - Stories

Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa - Becoming Dr. Q

Robin Cook - Cure   

Walter Lewin - For the Love of Physics

Thea Cooper - Breakthrough

Robert P. Crease - World in Balance

Holly Tucker - Blood Work


High School - Discoveries
Lisa Randall - Knocking on Heaven's Door

Sheril Kirshenbaum - The Science of Kissing  

Joe Palca - Annoying
Curt Stager - Deep Future

Hands-On Science
Ken Denmead - The Geek Dad Book for Aspiring Mad Scientists
William Gurstelle - Practical Pyromanica
Ed Sobey - Unscrewed
Allen Kurzweil - Potato Chip Science
Dustyn Roberts - Making Things Move  

New Sponsors of the Festival 

Project Lead the Way

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) education curricular programs used in middle and high schools across the U.S. For America to remain economically competitive, students must engage in activities and projects, such as the ones offered at PLTW, to prepare for their future in the world of STEM.  The Festival is thrilled to have Project Lead the Way as a Platinum Level Sponsor!  



To provide the robotics industry with the platform, software, and tools to explore and develop the applications of tomorrow, Aldebaran Robotics designs, produces, and commercializes autonomous humanoid robots. Aldebaran-Robotics joins the Festival this year as a Palladium Level Sponsor. Thank you! 


Volunteer Outreach Team Meeting Scheduled - NEW YEAR!


Kick off the New Year by attending the next Volunteer Outreach Team Meeting on January 15th, 2012 from 2-4pm! Meet with our 20 Volunteer Outreach Coordinators to share plans to the word about the Festival.  Volunteer Outreach Team members will get first choice at the Pre-Event Volunteer Activities and Expo & Book Fair events.  Come network with amazing STEM youth and adult leaders in the DC Metro area. We will be meeting at our favorite location: K&L Gates, 1601 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006. Register Here.

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.