15 September 2010

USA Science & Engineering Festival

I've been asked to play Rachel Carson* at this festival, so I'm pretty excited about it.  Here (slightly edited by me) is the "please come to our festival and bring a future Dr. Sheldon Cooper with you" e-mail that I received today from the organizer via the director who recruited me.

*Actually, I was offered my choice of Rachel Carson; Sally Ride; or Rosalind Franklin. I look more like Dr. Ride than I do Ms. Carson, but, c'mon, Rachel Carson lived in Silver Spring.  It was a foregone conclusion that I would pick Carson.  And it gives me a more pressing reason to read Silent Spring and The Edge of the Sea than "Oh.  I should read those."  

Ever wanted to talk with a Nobel Laureate? Did you know red wine goes well with steak, but also has anti-aging properties? Want to uncover the mysteries of baseball's knuckleball? These and other intriguing questions are answered at the Inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival, the biggest celebration of science the World has ever seen!

Inspired by international science festivals that draw crowds in the hundreds of thousands, the goal is to increase our nation's awareness of science and inspire our nation's youth to consider science-related careers, while uniting our country and showcasing the amazing science and innovation taking place throughout the United States. The Festival descends on Washington, D.C. with events throughout the city for everyone, from the smallest child to the most established scientist; promising to be the ultimate multi-cultural, multi-generational, multi-disciplinary celebration of science in the United States.

Check out a video of the San Diego Science Festival (SM) at http://www.scivee.tv/node/12528

(SM) -- San Diego Science Festival is a registered California Service Mark of Science Spark

USA Science & Engineering Festival | c/o ScienceSpark | PO Box 2141 | Olivenhain | CA | 92024

So why have a Science Festival? Society gets what it celebrates! As a culture, we celebrate movie stars, rock stars and athletes and we generate a lot of them, but we don't celebrate science and engineering.

The Festival is analogous to an art, music or literary Festival but it is focused on Science and Engineering and accomplishes its mission via hands-on demonstrations, fun demos, and presentations including art, music, comedy, film and theater.

The Festival kicks off in just three weeks, offering over 150 FREE events for the public - all geared toward sparking an interest in Science.  Over 750 companies, universities, research labs, federal agencies, professional societies, community groups and science outreach organizations will participate.

You can find out all the details at:  http://www.usasciencefestival.org

The grand finale will be a two day EXPO on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  (and surrounding venues) on October 23-24, 2010--- over 1,500 fun, hands-on interactive activities and 75 stage shows for all ages. There will be stuff for the mildly curious to the science professional. You can learn about fun topics like the science of the magic of Harry Potter, the mathematics of jump roping, the physics of superheroes, the chemistry of Thanksgiving Dinner, the engineering of baseball bats and balls, the science behind special effects in movies, trends in Global Warming, renewable energy sources of the future .... (This is a completely non-profit, non-commercial, fun and educational initiative.)

You can operate state-of-the-art robots,  laugh with science comedians, be mesmerized by science magicians and mathemagicians, converse with astronauts, Nobel Laureates, science celebrities like Bill Nye the Science Guy and even scientists of the past, fly a fighter jet simulator, enter a virtual reality environment, be a CSI agent, make a virus out of marshmallows and toothpicks, try your hand at using a surgical robot, discover methods of measuring global warming, learn how to transform your car so it can run off a cuisinart etc.

And --- while having fun --- you can leave with information about science scholarships, internships, mentorship programs, jobs and much more.

Many, many thanks and best regards,
Larry Bock
Executive Director
USA Science & Engineering Festival

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