2012 final Masthead

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 Vol. 2 - No. 22- April 9, 2012

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Countdown to the Festival:
Less than 3 WEEKS Until the Largest Celebration of Science & Engineering! 


Walter E. Washington Convention Center 
Convention Center 
Saturday, April 28, 10am-6pm
Sunday, April 29, 10am-4pm      

Over 3,000 hands-on science and
engineering activities

More than 100 stage shows on six stages 

A free event for all ages

BRING A FRIEND - VOLUNTEER for Sneak Peek Friday, EXPO, Book Fair & Special Events!


SIGN UP to volunteer for the Expo & Book Fair Volunteer NOW!  The best way to be part of the FUN is to Volunteer. We need Volunteers for Expo Move-in, Sneak Peek Friday, Expo, Book Fair, and Special Evening Events. Tell your friends and volunteer together.  We have Volunteer Opportunities for Individuals (Youth & Adult) and Groups of five or more. All volunteers will get a FREE Red Volunteer T-shirt - and memories of a lifetime!


Volunteer Volunteers who bring in the most FRIENDS will win prizes! Email questions about Volunteering & your total number of volunteers to Laura


Attend ONE Volunteer Training Session- April 14th and April 21st at 10am-12pm or 1pm-3pm for Expo & Book Fair Volunteers at K&L Gates, 1601 K Street NW, Washington, DC. 


FUN Volunteers Register HERE 

Group Volunteers Register HERE

And in Other Important Festival News...  





We love all of the Festival connections from your website promotion! Thank you for helping us spread the word about the Expo! 


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!   


Festival Tools to Make Your Experience Amazing! 

The Expo Map is Here- Start Planning your Festival Weekend Today!

We are excited to share the news that the 2012 USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo Map has been released! The Festival is packed with entertainment for the whole family with 3,000 exhibits and over 100 stageStage shows shows!  We are thrilled to offer extraordinary hands on activities at the exhibits plus an amazing line up of science celebrities and authors will fill our Festival stages! We have finalized all of the presentation show dates, times and stages so that you may plan ahead to make your Festival experience that much more enjoyable.  Click here to view the Festival Expo Map.


A Night of Celestial Excitement: Join Us April 28 at the Stargazing Party!

Under the guidance of some of the top astronomy experts in the country, explore our amazing Universe - including up close views of the Earth's moon, Jupiter and other Telescopemysterious planetary objects - at the Stargazing Party, an exciting educational collaboration between the Festival, the Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum (NASM), telescope manufacturer Celestron and other partners, on Saturday, April 28 at NASM in Washington, DC.


bill nyeA hit with visitors at the inaugural Festival in 2010, the Stargazing Party is returning to the Festival Expo with an equally impressive lineup of evening celestial activities which include Bill Nye the Science Guy in a live recorded broadcast by Planetary Radio with host Mat Kaplan who will inspire other young astronomers to make their own unbelievable discoveries!


In addition, don't miss presentations by such prominent astronomy educators as Drs. Jeffrey Bennett and Jeff Goldstein who will give walking tours of the celebrated Voyage Scale Solar Model System located just outside the NASM and later discuss other fascinating facets of our quest to explore the universe.


Celestron LogoCelestron will add hand-on excitement to this night with telescopes set up around NASM's Public Observatory to accommodate visitors' celestial viewing enjoyment.


Event Details:

April 28, 2012- 06:30 PM to 10:30 PM

Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall  

  • 6:30 pm - 7:45 pm: Walking Tours of the Voyage Scale Model Solar System (space is limited, sign up for one of the 3 thirty-minute tours at the museums info desk when you arrive)
  • 7:30 pm: Telescopes ready for viewing around NASM's Public Observatory
  • 7:45 pm: Doors open for Stargazing Party!
  • 8:00 pm: Program in Moving Beyond Earth gallery, including welcome by Bill Nye the Science Guy and remarks by Celestron, and the Planetary Radio Live program (Space is limited) 
  • 8:10 - 10:20 pm: Check out "Scale of the Universe" and "Human Exploration: the Journey Continues" in Milestones of Flight, plus "Forces of Flight" in How Things Fly, and look for hands-on Discovery Stations throughout the first floor of the Museum!


The Stargazing Party is made possible by the generous support of Celestron! For more information on this free event, CLICK HERE


And keep updated on other exciting Festival activities taking place in the month of April (including Expo Weekend) here.

From Virtual Human Museum Guides to Unforgettable Encounters With Storm Chasers and Robotic Fish - NSF Returns to the Expo 


NSF logoThe National Science Foundation (NSF), the federal agency focused on keeping the U.S. at the leading edge of discovery in fundamental fields of science and engineering, is returning as a major participant in the Festival!  NSF is sponsoring 15 exhibits at the Festival's Expo, some with partners that the agency regularly collaborates with in science, including George Washington University, the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program, and NBC Learn.


Science education and outreach are closely aligned with NSF's primary mission of funding and advancing cutting-edge research, says Judy Gan, Director of NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs (OLPA).


"NSF is the primary federal agency focused on funding research that advances science and engineering -- with the goals of keeping America globally competitive, improving quality of life, and securing the national defense," she says. "Closely tied with that is assuring that research is fully integrated with science education, ensuring that the nation continues to train tomorrow's top scientists and engineers, and that we support science teachers to enhance the quality of education."


At the Festival Expo at the end of this month, NSF's Expo exhibits are aimed at showcasing key areas of research that the agency is supporting and "to show kids the relevance and the many sides of science in exciting hands-on ways," says Susan Mason, Head of External Affairs at NSF. 


Take a look at just a few of the fascinating interactive encounters NSF has in store for Festival-goers:


Virtual Human Museum Guides

NSF Human Museum GuideInteract with Ada and Grace, two virtual museum guides who greet and converse with visitors, including answering questions about exhibits, computer science, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Also, program a portable iRobot using basic principles of computer programming!


Robotic Fish Patrolling Waters

Robotic FishCome see and control a realistic-looking robotic fish swimming in a fish tank. This isn't an animation. Learn how NSF is using autonomous robotic fish for the monitoring of aquatic environments, including monitoring oil spills in the Gulf and harmful algal blooms in lakes.


Mobile Labs: Adventures of a Storm Chaser

Sit at the controls of a Doppler on Wheels (DOW), the mobile weather radar facility that scientists from NSF  use to gather up-close data on tornadoes, hurricanes, wild fires, winter storms and other severe weather events. Hands-on activities will also include models of tornadoes, microbursts and experiments with air pressure.


Experience a Fossil Dig in Panama -- Live!

MegalodonDiscover 15- to 20 million-year-old fossil deposits from Panama - new specimens of extinct rhinoceroses, beardogs, camels, horses, and the giant shark, Megalodon, that all lived in Panama during the Miocene. Interact via a live video feed with researchers and students at a fossil dig in the Panama Canal!


For a complete listing of NSF-sponsored exhibits, visit this link


The Festival thanks NSF for their sponsorship and participation in this year's Expo! 

Festival Contest Winners To Be in National Spotlight Marching With Astronaut Buzz Aldrin in Cherry Blossom Parade!


ParadeMegan Rosenberger, the newly-crowned Miss Teen Earth Pennsylvania 2012, will be there promoting the importance of making our planet more environmentally friendly. High school students from the Lockheed Martin-sponsored Explorer Post 1010 of Montgomery County, MD  will also be there showcasing their fascinating display of rocketry and robotics. 


These are just some of the 18 individuals and STEM-related groups who have been selected to march with famed NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin in the 100th Celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on April 14 in Washington, DC. 


This prominent national event will this year feature the contributions and importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and to help promote this, the USA Science & Engineering Festival was asked to enlist the assistance of science organizations, fans and the public in creating dynamic ideas, displays and costumes for the parade's science-related floats and activities.  This request resulted in us developing a recent contest  for schools, students, teachers and professional entities in STEM to submit their best creative approaches for entries.   

Buzz AldrinWinners of the contest, in addition to the opportunity to meet and march with Parade Grand Marshall Buzz Aldrin, will also walk with other parade personalities such as the Science & Engineering Festival's Mondo Spider, Ben Franklin, Thomas Edison, "Milli Mole" (the mascot of the American Chemical Society), and Life Technologies' "Dream Gene".


Don't miss seeing our contest winners as they march!  The list of winners also includes:

  • Forensic science experts from the National Museum of Crime & Punishment whose CSI lab instructors will be featured wearing Tyvex suits and marching with their famous adopted mascot in crime-solving - McGruff the dog!
  • The Math Tree outreach organization will have staffers dressed up as an actual math tree (with its leaves made up of numbers, equations and math symbols),  and will include other displays promoting its hands-on activities such as its Divide and Conquer, Algebra Appetizers for Adolescents, and Multiplication Matters programs.
  • Five-year old Emerie "Eme" Mitchell-Butler of Manassas, VA, who, blind from a rare childhood genetic disease known as Lebers Congential Amaurosis (LCA), will march to represent the promise that gene therapy holds in identifying the cause of this condition and perhaps one day restoring sight to children like Eme.


The parade will be nationally televised with an estimated audience of 72 million viewers and more than 120,000 spectators on site cheering the parade on as it makes its way down Constitution Avenue. This year's event is co-hosted by Katie Couric, with Alex Trebek  serving as parade route correspondent. Other celebrities participating include Marie Osmond, and U.S. Olympians Kristi Yamaguchi and Benita Fitzgerald Mosely.

Experience the Power of Dow Innovation at the USA Science & Engineering Festival! 


Dow LogoChemistry drives virtually everything we depend on to sustain life and its necessities - from the air, water, and food that sustain us, the energy and engineering technology that empower us, to the pharmaceuticals and medical breakthroughs that ensure our good health.  No one knows this better than The Dow Chemical Company, which has long been at the forefront of innovation, providing scientific solutions that make the world safer, cleaner, and healthier, and our lives more convenient and productive.


As a key sponsor of the USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo, Dow will showcase its long-term commitment to advance interest in, access to, and quality of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.


Dow is working to build an innovative and competitive workforce, and create a knowledgeable society that values science and technology through its support for STEM education and careers. As an advocate for innovation, Dow is supporting transformational initiatives that make a difference for students, educators and academic institutions.


"Dow invests strategically to leverage its science and technology expertise, sustainability focus, and global network to increase public appreciation of chemistry, encourage interest in chemistry among young people, and generate enthusiasm for the creative future of science," commented Bo Miller, director of Corporate Citizenship and president of The Dow Chemical Company Foundation. "Dow has made a long-term commitment to advance the understanding and appreciation of the values and benefits that science brings to society as well as inspire future generations to pursue education and careers in science-related fields."


Science TeacherDow's current commitments to enhance the quality of STEM education in America include providing scholarships for experienced teachers to attend workshops at the Keystone Center and The National Science Resource Center (Smithsonian Institutes), and funding National Science Teachers Association's (NSTA) New Science Teacher Academy for second- and third-year teachers. Since 2008, these programs have impacted more than 11,500 teachers and 1.5 million students in the United States alone.


Dow is also serving as the sole corporate sponsor this summer for the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), which provides high school chemistry students around the globe the opportunity to compete in high-level science competitions.


The Festival sincerely thanks Dow and our other valued Sponsors for their participation in inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers!             


Book Fair Hands On Science Stage Featured Authors: Sunday, April 29th, 2012!

Be sure to catch the line-up of amazing talent at the Festival Book Fair! 



Ken DenmeadKen Denmead is the editor of GeekDad, the parenting blog for Wired magazine's online presence, where along with a group of other dedicated, geeky parents heDenmead Book posts projects, book and movie reviews, weekly podcasts, and more about being a parent and being a geek. The third book in the New York Times bestselling Geek Dad series, The Geek Dad Book for Aspiring Mad Scientists gives scientists-in-the-making creative project ideas with instructional illustrations to put the fun back in science.


William GurtselleWilliam Gurstelle is a professional engineer who has been researching and building model catapults, ballistic devices, and flamethrowers for more than 30 years. His trend-Gurtselle setting ideas on the creative use of technology plus his ability to mix science, history and DIY technology in readable, doable ways make him one of the most widely read science and technology authors in the world. The Practical Pyromaniac is Gurstelle's seventh book.  

Ed Sobey Ed Sobey has participated in research expeditions and has given lectures and workshops around the world. Ed directed five museums, including the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He also founded the National Toy Hall of Fame and started KidsUnscrewed Invent! The self proclaimed "Global Evangelist for Creative Learning", Ed advocates learning by inventing and problem solving. Recently the Fulbright Scholarship Board selected Ed as a specialist in science education. Unscrewed is Ed's 27th published book and represents one of his favorite activities: taking stuff apart to see how it works.


Allen KurzweilPotato Chip Science was cooked up by award-winning author Allen Kurzweil and his chip-loving son, Max, who was the principal beta-taster for the experiments found in this book. Allen is the author of Leon and the Champion Chip-the second in a series of young-Potato Chip Sciencereader novels-in which he first explored the idea of a science curriculum based on the potato chip. He has also written two award-winning novels for adults, A Case of Curiosities and The Grand Complication.  

Dustyn RobertsDustyn Roberts is a traditionally trained engineer with non-traditional ideas of how practical engineering can be taught. In 2007, Making Things Move she developed a course for NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program called Mechanisms and Things That Move that led to writing Making Things Move: DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists, and Artists.  

Connect with Featured Authors at the Festival Book Fair! 

Science Authors Discuss Writing Excellent Books to Excite Students About SCIENCE!

Don't miss this amazing Evening Book Fair Event: "Science Stories in Society in School: Using Narrative to Bridge the Gap"


Saturday, April 28th 8:00PM, Lisner Auditorium, GWU

Sponsored by George Washington University School of Engineering & Applied Sciences


Register for FREE Tickets for an Evening Panel discussion with Robin Cook, Theodore GrayWilliam GurstelleHomer HickamPendred Noyce and moderated by Shawn Lawrence OttoThis one-of-a-kind event is FREE! 


Get your free tickets by clicking this link



for BOOK FAIR Featured Authors
See these Award Winning Featured Authors if you arrive EARLY! 


Saturday 10:00am (doors open 9:30am)
Joy Hakim, Walter Lewin, Seymour Simon
Sunday 10:00am (doors open 9:30am)
Pendred Noyce, Lisa Randall, Ken Denmead

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

AFCEA Belvoir Chapter 

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

 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


Space Camp & Aviation Challenge 

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.