USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo
NEES will participate in the USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo on the National Mall in Washington D.C. from October 23-24. Visitors will have the opportunity to build a small wooden structure that should survive a moderate earthquake and prevent injuries to the building occupants and test it on a mini-shake table. Youth will also receive a Shake & Breaker sticker. (NOTE: The festival activities begin October 10, but the culmination event, the Expo on the Mall, will be presented October 23-24). NEES is engaging civil engineering undergraduates students from George Washington University as NEES Ambassadors to help with staffing the exhibit and interacting with visitors.
This inaugural festival, sponsored by Lockheed Martin, aims to be the world’s biggest celebration of science and inspire youth to consider science-related careers through more than 1,500 interactive activities and 75 stage shows for all ages. Inspired by international science festivals which draw crowds numbering in the hundreds of thousands, this celebration of science and engineering will also offer information about science scholarships, internships, mentorships programs, jobs and more.
According to Larry Bock, executive director of the festival, the festival is important because of current trends of outsourcing innovation. “According to Nobel Laureate Richard Smalley, by the end of 2010, ninety percent of the world’s scientists and engineers with advanced degrees will live in Asia,” said Mr. Bock. “In addition, eighty percent of people being trained in the advanced physical sciences in the U.S. are from abroad and because opportunities are now greater abroad, the U.S. no longer retains scientific talent. If we don’t turn this trend around, the U.S. will lose its ability to compete.“