USA Science & Engineering Festival Draws Nearly 200,000
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 25, 2010) -- It is estimated that nearly 200,000 people crowded The National Mall in Washington, D.C., this past weekend to attend the first USA Science & Engineering Festival. The Space Foundation was there, giving students of all grade levels and their parents the experience of training like astronauts. Using gloveboxes similar to the ones used in space to prevent experiments from floating away and to keep scientists and astronauts safe, the Space Foundation let attendees experience firsthand what it is like to conduct scientific studies using circuits, robotic arms and heavy space gloves.
The demonstrations, manned by Space Foundation space education specialists, were being presented in conjunction with the National Security Space Office, with the goal of promoting interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Said one father who attended, "We thought this would be cool, but it exceeded our expectations."
Hosted by Lockheed Martin, the Festival featured more than 1,500 interactive exhibits and activities, as well as 50 stage shows, including comedians, science magicians and musicians.
"This national event to support STEM education was a fantastic opportunity for students and parents to see what the U.S. is capable of when it comes to preparing young minds for STEM careers," said Bryan DeBates, Space Foundation director - education. "The participating STEM industries showcased what is possible when we focus our priorities on inspiring the next generation of explorers. It was thrilling for the Space Foundation to be a part of this inaugural event which, hopefully, become an annual event for the nation."
For more about Space Foundation support of STEM education, see www.SpaceFoundation.org/education.