DC Metro Mom
Spark An Interest in Scientific Discovery at the USA Science & Engineering Festival!
The 2nd Annual USA Science & Engineering Festival is a super-charged series of public events and school programs with a mission to "re-invigorate" children's interest in science, technology, engineering and math. The Festival kicked off this week with over 150 FREE events for the public and Greater Washington, DC schools leading up to the finale Expo and Book Fair at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC on April 28 & 29, 2012.
The Expo will include over 3,000 fun, hands-on, interactive activities and 150 stage shows for all ages. This is an amazing opportunity to inspire and engage your children in the discovery of science, technology, engineering, and math. There will be something for everyone, from preschoolers to science professionals. At the Expo you can operate state-of-the art robots, taste edible bugs (yuck!), laugh and learn with science comedians & magicians, fly a fighter jet simulator, enter a virtual reality environment, be a CSI agent, learn about trends in climate change and preview renewable energy sources of the future. And kids will especially enjoy learning about fun topics like the science of Harry Potter's magic, the physics of superheroes, and special effects in movies!
Einstein Alive! Dr. Molecule Number Lady PBS Kids-Sid
During one of the many Stage Shows and Author Presentations festival-goers will also have the opportunity to hear from, meet and/or talk with scientists, mathematicians, astronauts, Nobel Laureates, storm chasers, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Adam and Jamie from Mythbusters, the author of Potato Chip Science, and science celebrities from Big Bang Theory and NCIS.
MythBusters Science Showdown! Rubik's Cube Competition The Rope Warrior Anousheh Ansari
To help families choose between all these great exhibits and events, the Expo has put together several thematic Expo Tracks to follow throughout the day. Tracks include: Tiny Animal Lover (ages 3-6), Wiz Pop Bang Chemistry (ages 7-10), Math is Fun...Really (ages 7+), Nano Nano (ages 11-14), Energize Me (ages 11+), What Does it Mean to Be Green? (ages 11+), A Space Trek (ages 11+), Be A Robotics Engineer (Ages 11+), Biologist in Training (Ages 15+), Science Careers (ages 15+), Sea/SKyFest (all ages), Discover E (all ages), Evolution Thought Trail (all ages), Nuclear to Stellar (all ages), and Dynamic Earth (all ages).
If you have teenagers, you'll also want to be sure to check out the new Career Pavilion for high-school students that will have information about scholarships and internships. Students will also be able to meet scientists and engineers to get career advice and encouragement. For a schedule of Meet the Scientist/Engineer opportunities, click here.
At the first-ever Science, Technology, Education & Mathematics Book Fair, you can shop for best-selling books by Science Festival Book Fair Featured Authors and enjoy explosive science experiments, hands-on demonstrations, and explanations of real-life science within the Festival. Thirty-six Featured Authors will discuss their books covering a full range of science, math, engineering and technology topics for students grades K-12.
Finally, if you have any extra energy left and your kids love outer space, you won't want to miss the special Saturday evening Stargazing Party at the National Air & Space Museum hosted by Bill Nye the Science Guy. Kids can learn how to become a young astronomer and make their own planetary discoveries through one of the telescopes set up around the Museum Public Observatory. Walking tours of the Scale Model Solar System begin at 6:30 p.m. and doors to the museum open at 7:45 p.m.
Before embarking on your scientific exploration, be sure to pre-register on the Festival's website to win prizes, use the online tools to Plan Your Day, and preview the Map. When you get there, kids can pick up a Discover-E Passport a the National Engineers Week Foundation booth (Hall A, Booth 3054) to collect stamps from exhibits. Kids who collect 5 of more stamps can return to the same booth to receive a prize!
Admission to The USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo and Book Fair is free. Hours are Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 10am-4pm (Meeting Rooms 145-147 open 9:30am for Featured Author Presentations). The closest Metro Stop to the Convention Center is Mt. Vernon Square/7th St.-Convention Center. Food concession carts will be available inside the convention center. For more information visit usasciencefestival.org.