2012 final Masthead

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 Vol. 2 - No. 19 - February 13, 2012

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Countdown to the Festival:
75 Days Until the Largest Celebration of Science & Engineering! 


Don't miss the Expo at the
Walter E. Washington Convention Center 
Convention Center

Saturday, April 28, 10am-6pm
Sunday, April 29, 10am-4pm      

Over 2,000 hands-on science and
engineering activities
More than 100 stage shows on six stages 

A free event for all ages

Teachers - Last Chance to Apply to Bring Your Students on the ULTIMATE Field Trip!  

Robert EkmenSneak Peek Friday on April 27, 2012- the hottest opportunity to interact with the wide array of Festival EXPO personalities and exhibits before these chances are open to the general public that Saturday and Sunday at the Washington Convention Center!    


We have over 13,000 students officially signed up to attend, and it's not too late for you bring your students on this ultimate field trip! 

TEACHERS - if you have not signed up to attend, there is still time, but space is almost sold out!  Complete the form below by February 20 to bring your students to the ultimate celebration of science and engineering!    
Click Here to Register now!  

And in Other Important Festival News...   

Countdown to Expo: Plan Your Day! 

The Finale Expo (April 28-29) is less than 100 days away! You'll find over 2,000 different hands-on activities, experiments, and lots of scientists and engineers to talk to, and over 100 stage performances. Find exhibits and performances that meet your interests before the Expo and make the most of your visit!

Click Here to plan your day and learn more!


Be sure to become of fan of ours on Facebook!  

Like ButtonClick here to "like" us on Facebook to stay up to date with all Festival news and to connect with others in the Festival community!  


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 for a chance to meet Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage of the Mythbusters OR Mayim Bialik of The Big Bang Theory; an iPad 2; lots of Cool Video Games; lots of Science and Engineering Books; 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!    



Volunteer Meeting was a Flying Success



With special guest appearance from the Maxecuters who were planning their flying exhibit for the Festival, the Volunteer Outreach Team was treated to a Flying Demo and discussion to start off the meeting.  About 70 Volunteers attended the February Volunteer Outreach Team Meeting on Sunday, February 12th from 2-4 PM.  Volunteers searched for chairs as the excitement bubbled about the Expo & Book Fair.


To date our Volunteer Outreach Team has held 10 meetings with 289 attendees, 28 Volunteer Outreach Team Coordinators (including 4 Youth Coordinators) who represent 20 school dfistricts, secured 4 Sponsors, & distributed 750,000 postcards + 25,000 posters.


Volunteer Meeting 

Watch for special announcement when all Volunteer Positions will be open for applications by the end of February.  Volunteer Training dates are set for:


Saturday, April 14th 10am-12pm & 1pm-3pm

Saturday, April 21st 10am-12pm & 1pm-3pm

(Only 2 hr training per Volunteer Job type)


Don't Miss Out on these Festival Contests!!

The KidWind Challenge - Student Wind Turbine Design Competition!



Think you have what it takes to build the most powerful wind turbine? Come test your engineering prowess and compete for cash prizes at the KidWind Challenge! 


The KidWind Challenge is a student-oriented wind turbine design contest. Students will design and construct their own wind turbines with the goal of creating a device that is efficient, elegant and highly functional. To accomplish this task, and arrive prepared at a Challenge, students must perform research to better understand the science of wind, be analytical about testing protocols, think creatively about solutions to problems and work collaboratively to get their project completed on time. Student teams will convene at the USA Science and Engineering Festival and the teams enter a judging process.


Learn more about the KidWind Challenge including how to register by clicking here. 


5 Weeks left to enter the Kavli "Save the World Through Science and Engineering Video Contest"!


The contest is open to students in Grades 6-12 and theKavli deadline is March 21, 2012. Students make a short video( :30-:90) that shows how scientific discoveries and inventions can improve our lives and help change our world, either right now or in the future. Then enter on Schooltube and compete for cash prizes! First prize is $2000 and a travel stipend to Washington, DC to the USA Science and Engineering Festival: April 28-29, Second prize is $750, Third prize is $500, and People's Choice is $250. Winners will be honored in a special awards ceremony hosted by Bill Nye the Science Guy.


Click here for more details!   

Celebrating its 110th Anniversary, Popular Mechanics Returns to Festival as Key Media Partner!

Popular MechanicsPopular Mechanics, known worldwide for its insightful, hands-on approach to covering the world of science and technology, is rejoining the Festival as a Media Partner, rekindling the excitement in discovery that it helped bring to the Festival Expo in 2010.
Celebrating its 110th anniversary this year, Popular Mechanics, has covered the gamut of scientific breakthroughs over the last century, including the dawn of nuclear power, the transistor, the polio vaccine, and man's first steps on the moon. "Today, PM continues to recognize and celebrate world-changing innovations through hands-on articles that help readers better understand how technology works and impacts their lives," says science editor Jennifer Bogo.  
At the Expo this year, the publication --through interactive exhibits celebrating its 110th anniversary -- hopes to feature and depict some of the most fascinating breakthroughs over the past century and shed light on how these advances have influenced important aspects of current technology. 
Girl playing with robotThis meshes with the publication's longtime interest in engaging kids in science discovery through exciting avenues. Says Jennifer: "PM encourages kids of all ages in the hands-on exploration of science and technology -- from classic projects compiled in books such as Boy Mechanic and Girl Mechanic, to modern exercises such as "Build Your First Robot."  
In its mission, PM is also a supporter of well-known science and engineering outreach programs like FIRST Robotics. In addition, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage of the hit TV show Mythbusters are regular PM columnists (as well as being Festival Expo performers this year). "We're very excited to be surrounded by like minds at the USA Science and Engineering Festival, where we'll be sharing our knowledge of innovations that will shape the future," says Jennifer. 
As a key Media Partner, Popular Mechanics, like other Media Partners, will work with the Festival to run advertisements about the Festival in their respective publications. This will not only play a key role in giving the Festival heightened visibility on a national and international scale, but also increase participation in the Festival, including the finale Expo, contests and other activities. 
Why does Popular Mechanics remain, well, so popular amongPopular Mechanics readers? Throughout its history, the publication -- which
boasts Hollywood film director James Cameron as among its longtime reader-- has never lost sight of giving its audience what they want, says Jennifer. "Popular Mechanics helps people master the modern world. Our readers want to feel capable and competent in all the areas where technology touches their lives," she explains. "They want to understand how things work and how to work them. And they want to know where the world is headed by keeping up with breakthroughs in science and engineering."
We sincerely thank Popular Mechanics and our other valued Media Partners for their participation! 


The Mood is Electric as EE Times/Innovation Generation (iGen) Rejoins the Festival as Media Partner! 


EE TImes 

As it prepares to return as a key Media Partner in the Festival, the EE Times, the premier source of news on the electronics industry, has a message for tomorrow's young innovators: get ready to immerse yourself --hands-on style --in the fascinating world of electronics engineering and science at the Festival's finale Expo!  

Students are in for a bevy of "electrifying" experiences as the EE Times and its STEM-education site, Innovation Generation, return with their inspiring activity series conducted in partnership with electronic engineers, editors and other professionals associated with the publication. These activities include: 
-- an "iPod Autopsy" which gives kids at the Expo the chance to take apart and reassemble a real iPod --just to see how it works! 
Cub Reporter-- a "Cub Reporter Contest" which invites teachers in the Washington, D.C., area to organize teams of students before the Expo and to submit news articles they have written about math, science and technology. After submitting these stories as blogs on the EE Times' Innovation Generation website, two teams judged to have written the best articles will be provided transportation to attend the finale Expo on April 28-29 in Washington, DC. There, winning students, working in teams, will each be awarded a digital camera to help provide news coverage of the exciting happenings at the event for the EE Times by posting "live" written and visual reports on the Innovation Generation website!  
-- "Drive for Innovation" This partnership with Avnet Express and UBM Electronics is designed to showcase electronics innovation and automotive system design via a cross-country journey by Brian Fuller, EE Times' editorial director of EE Life, in a Chevrolet Volt electric car. Begun last June, the journey has already logged over 14,000 miles. Brian will be on hand at the Expo to exhibit parts of the Volt and to shed light on the car's fuel efficient technology and driving performance. 
There will also be winning projects on hand from the recently completed 2011 Fall Student LED Challenge, sponsored by Digi-Key and Microchip, in which teachers organized teams of students to use a provided kit of electronics components to design electric circuits and create simple LED displays. 
-- the "LED (light-emitting diodes) Design Challenge" that seeks to inspire middle school and high school students -- working in teams under the guidance of their teachers -- to learn about electronics and LEDs by designing simple electrical circuits using microchips. The EE Times provides schools with the needed microchips, microcontrollers and online tutorials through an 
in-kind grant. The team judged to have the most creative, viable LED receives a $3,000 grand prize just before the Expo. 
"We received such a terrific response from students and ourEE Times editors about such Innovation Generation activities at the last Expo, we're returning this year to further excite kids about electronics and science," says Naomi Eigner Price, EE Times' Online Brand Manager, who coordinates the Innovation Generation initiative and the publication's other online-based programs. "These hands-on interactions really help students look at science and technology in a different way and can inspire them to consider science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) as a career." 
For more information on Innovation Generation, including how to enter the Cub Reporter Contest, click here. 
As a key Media Partner for the Festival, the EE Times/Innovation Generation, like other Media Partners, will work with the Festival to run advertisements about the Festival in its respective print and online outlets. This will not only play a key role in giving the Festival heightened visibility on a national and international scale, but also increase participation in the Festival, including the finale Expo, contests and other activities. 
We sincerely thank the EE Times/Innovation Generation and our other valued Media Partners for their participation!


Two New Video Resources for High School Students and Educators 

 InvenTeens: A High School Engineering Design Challenge
IvenTeensSeven intrepid Hopewell High School students tackle their classroom nemesis - the old restrictive half-desk/chair combo, essentially unchanged since the 1950's - and their revolutionary design makes it all the way to the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams™ expo. Funny and funky and animated with drawings by best-selling author/illustrator David Macaulay, this ten-minute film provides an updated introduction to the classic engineering design process. Produced by Emmy Award-winning producer Lawrence Klein and developed by MOS executive producer Carol Lynn Alpert with support from the National Science Foundation (DRL-0833636).
Videos are available on the web here or you can find them on DVD by clicking here

Hands-On, Minds-On: Bringing Engineering Design to High School Classrooms

Hands OnFive Massachusetts high school teachers inspire their students by bringing engineering design challenges into STEM curricula at five very different public schools -- an urban arts academy, a regional voc-tech institute, a special-needs school, a factory-town high school, and a typical suburban "no-shops" high school. This 2011 film by Emmy Award-winning producer Lawrence Klein tackles the huge issue of motivating students to achieve mastery in the science, engineering, and technology areas most likely to prepare them for productive, high-paying careers. The film was developed by the Museum of Science in collaboration with the National Center for Technological Literacy, Boston Public Schools, and Northeastern University, with support from the National Science Foundation (DRL-0833636).
You can find this video on the web by clicking here on DVD by clicking here. 
If you can have questions or comments send an email to the Museum of Science. 

Book Fair Teen Fiction Featured Authors: Sunday, April 29th, 2012 

USESEF book fair  

The Book Fair has an exciting line-up of Featured Authors to appear on the Teen Fiction Stage on  Sunday April 29, 2012 at the Finale Expo, including 5 new Featured Authors!  They include: 


Benedict CareyBenedict Carey is an award-winning science

Benedict Carey Book

reporter for the New York Times who covers psychology, psychiatry, and brain science. He has written two novels for young adults, both science-based mysteries. Island of the Unknowns, a math mystery which came out in 2009, was a winner of North Carolina's Battle of the Books contest in 2010. Poison Most Vial, about forensic toxicology, is due out in April, 2012.  


Julie ChibarroJulie Chibbaro is the author of the young adultDeadly novel Deadly, a medical mystery about the hunt for Typhoid Mary in New York City in 1906. Deadly recently joined the Scholastic Book Club, and has been named Outstanding Science Trade Book of 2012 by the National Science Teachers Association. Ms. Chibbaro's first historical YA novel, Redemption (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster 2004), is an epic tale of love, kidnapping, and white Indians. It won the 2005 American Book Award.


Homer HickamHomer Hickam is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Rocket Boys, which was made into the acclaimed movie October Sky.Crater He is also the author of The Coalwood Way, Sky of Stone, and We Are Not Afraid (all set in his beloved hometown of Coalwood, West Virginia), plus Torpedo Junction, Back to the Moon, and his popular "Josh Thurlow" World War II series.  The first novel in his new Helium-3 series for young adults, Crater, will release in April 2012. He is a former coal miner, a Vietnam combat veteran, a scuba instructor, a retired rocket scientist, and, recently, an avid field paleontologist. More than anything else, he loves to write.   


Pendred NoycePendred (Penny) Noyce is a doctor,
advocate for science education, and writer. She is a founding trustee of the Noyce Foundation, which supports mathematics andPendred Noyce Novel science education with a special emphasis on informal science that inspires kids in museums, clubs, and after-school programs.   As her four older children were leaving for college, Penny wrote Lost in Lexicon: an Adventure in Words and Numbers as a birthday present for her youngest son.  A second Lexicon adventure, The Ice Castle, will be released by Scarletta Press in the fall of 2012, and at least two more Lexicon adventures will follow.

Susan Beth PfefferSusan Beth Pfeffer is the award winning author of over 70 books for children and young adults. Her New York Times Best Selling trilogy, Life As We Knew It, The DeadThe World We Live In And The Gone, and This World We Live In, was inspired by her fascination with the power the moon has over the tides. Since writers can do whatever they want, Ms. Pfeffer nudged the moon over a little closer to earth to see just how much havoc she could wreak, and she had a wonderful time doing so. Most recently, Life As We Knew It won the Buxtehude (Germany) Bulle Award, indicating that fascination with global catastrophies is not limited to the United States.

View all of our exciting Featured Authors by clicking here! 
DIY! Find Amazing Ideas and Tools to Make Your Dreams a Reality

The Festival offers a special appeal for buddingDIY PIcture entrepreneurs, inventors, engineers and programmers who will find the ideas, tools and resources to help them make their dreams a reality.  From robotic technology to amazing desktop manufacturing technology that makes prototype development easy and cost-effective, the "makers" and innovators of society will find a wealth of inspiration throughout the Festival and Expo, as well as in the Robot Fest and DIY Expo Pavilion, where creativity and technology meet.


Organizations like MakerBot Industries, Fab Lab DC and Fab@Home by Cornell University and Dassault Systèmes Americas will show prospective inventors how they can develop product prototypes with 3D printers and digital fabrication.  Sparkfun Electronics will show participants how to bring new product ideas to life more easily and inexpensively than many of us may have thought was possible, through electronics and microcontroller kits.  The Festival will also feature an array of robotic technology ranging from military, manufacturing and surgical robots to more entertaining robots like R2DC's Star Wars droids and other exhibits that allow attendees to build their own robots.


DIY Photo 2In addition, budding entrepreneurs will be able to network with members of various "hackerspace" groups who work collaboratively to network, socialize and develop technical solutions and new products in their spare time, simply because they love to tinker with new ideas, create something from nothing, and solve problems.  The Baltimore Node, Unallocated Space and HacDC are three hackerspace groups participating in the DIY Expo and will show some of their recent projects like the HacDC spaceblimp. Unlike the more malicious forms of hacking, the hackerspace model is borne of an interest in collaboration, shared knowledge and tools to create and innovate.  


At the Festival Book Fair some of the leading authors and experts in the DIY world will speak, including Dustyn Roberts, author of Making Things Move: DIY MechanismsWilliam Gurtselle for Inventors, Hobbyists and Artists. Also, William Gurstelle, author of The Practical Pyromaniac, a professional engineer and has been researching and building model catapults, ballistic devices and flamethrowers for more than 30 years will appear at the Festival.  


"The USA Science & Engineering Festival is an amazing place for engineers and DIY enthusiasts to see what's new and innovative in the world of science and technology," said Gurstelle.  "I can't imagine anyone in my field who wouldn't find it to be a tremendously inspiring event, full of creative fuel to spark that next great idea or invention."                   

Dow Joins The Festival as a Financial Partner

Dow LogoDow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture.


In 2011, Dow had annual sales of $60 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 197 sites in 36 countries across the globe. More information about Dow can be found by clicking here. 

New Sponsors of the Festival 

Weather Underground 

Weather Underground delivers the most reliable weather information possible. Weather Underground monitors conditions around the world, providing weather you can count on. The Festival is grateful to have Weather Underground as a Nobelium Level Sponsor. 


Macaroni Kid and its family of Publisher Moms are dedicated to delivering the scoop on all the family-friendly events and activities happening in their communities each week. Check out Macaroni Kid's list of communities and sign up to receive your free weekly newsletter. The Festival is thrilled to have Macaroni Kid as a Palladium Level Sponsor. 


Nuts & Volts is written for the hands-on hobbyist, design engineer, technician, and experimenter. The diversity of subjects appeals to all levels of experience and spans such topics as amateur robotics, circuit design, lasers, computer control, home automation, data acquisition, new technology, DIY projects, electronic theory, analog, and myriad microcontrollers. Nuts & Volts joins the 2012 Festival as a Palladium Level Sponsor. 


SERVO Magazine is dedicated to the "Next Generation of Robotics Experimenters", devoted 100% to robots and robotics. The Festival thanks SERVO Magazine for becoming a Palladium Level Sponsor this year.


The Rice Space Institute ("RSI") has taken a central role in fostering programs that make Rice University internationally known in all areas of space research. RSI invests in efforts to further development of new ideas and generate advanced research projects at the frontiers of knowledge. The Festival is thrilled to have Rice SPace Institute as a Titanium Level Sponsor this year. 

The Festival thanks all of our Sponsors this year! 

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


 Macaroni Kid

M.Y. Voice   
National Girls Collaborative Project
Nuts & Volts Magazine 


SERVO Magazine

University of Massachusetts Lowell

U.S. Census Bureau, Statistics in Schools 

Workman Publishing   


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

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)  

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 

 Rice Space Institute

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 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 

The Pennsylvania State University  

Thirty Meter Telescope

Tumblehome Learning, Inc

 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  

United States Naval Academy

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office 

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.