The all-encompassing 2nd Annual United States of America Science & Engineering Festival (USASEF) was the largest of its kind held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on April 28-29.
The festival featured over 3,000 fun interactive exhibits, more than 100 stage shows and 33 author presentations.
“The USA Science & Engineering Festival brings together families and teachers with scientist and engineers to practice hands-on activities,” said NSWC Carderock Division’s K-12 STEM Outreach Coordinator and Ocean Engineer, Toby Ratcliffe. “Our NAVSEA booth has a model dry-dock, SeaPerch, and Calculator-Controlled Robots as well as math activities, and toothbrush bots.”
The Carderock Division is the Navy’s premiere research, engineering, modeling, and testing facility for ships and submarines. The Division was founded at the turn of the century, and the naval technology is still the best of its kind, NSWCCD is internationally bridging science and engineering principles geared towards the maritime industry leaders of tomorrow.
“SeaPerch exposes students to marine engineering, a portion of the engineering community that is not normally represented in school robotics programs,” said SeaPerch Technical Director, Chris Hansen. “That exposure is key to developing our naval industrial base for the future.” For more information about SeaPerch please follow link to: http://www.sea perch.org/index.
USASEF is re-invigorating the interest of our nation’s youth in STEM by producing and presenting the most compelling, exciting, educational and entertaining science festival in the United States.
“This festival is so exciting . . . the children are having an amazing time and learning so much,” said Ms. Hinton, a Forest Heights Elementary School teacher in Prince George’s County, Md. “I do hands-on labs in our classroom so this extension is great. I love the way my students are thinking outside of the box it is a great feeling.”
Ms. Hinton’ students were taking advantage of the multi-faceted programs at USASEF that garnered high entertainment value and integrity of scientific content.
“I enjoyed building the rocket and watching it blast off,” said Forest Heights Elementary School, PG County third grader, Na’Zyia Jackson. “I would like to see projects like this in my class!”
USASEF involved the most dynamic leaders in business, technology, government, education, and culture.
“I think that events like the Science & Engineering Festival will help us determine our future career and open up our options for college,” said Milton Somers Middle School eighth grader, Karisma Magsakay. “It will also broaden our knowledge about science and engineering.”
The festival appeals to a mass diverse audience of all ages and backgrounds, from professionals to novices, from science enthusiasts to the merely curious.
USASEF fosters a strong foundation of prestigious and impressive institutional partner resulting in increased communication between the scientific and educational communities.
USASEF strives to produce programs at the highest level of quality, applying professional media and theatrical standards of excellence and technical sophistication.
The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) booth brought an engaging, hands-on dry-dock model experience to the USASEF participants, which “developed interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM) fields,” said Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) Marine Electrician, Stephen Mastel. “The dry-dock model can also be used to demonstrate the Navy’s stewardship of the environment.” A dry-dock is a narrow basin or vessel that can be flooded to allow a load to be floated in, then drained to allow that load to come to rest on a platform it is utilized for construction, repair, and storage.
“This conference is for and about the future of the U.S.,” said Dr. Lawrence Schuette. “Our future is best embodied in our children. There is no better future then STEM.” Dr. Lawrence Schuette is the director of the Office of Innovation at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, Va. As the senior civilian responsible for Innovation at ONR, he oversees the high-risk/high-payoff “game changing” technology investments.
USASEF is sustaining the Science Festival’s impact through year-round programming and curriculum development and a content-rich, interactive website, please visit at: http://www.usasciencefesti val.org/.
“Events like USASEF are fantastic and reinvigorating,” said Newport Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Newport Educational Outreach Coordinator, Candida Desjardins. “Watching the faces of the kids trying something new, is exciting for us as well . . . DoD has a wealth of people with a distinct passion for STEM - using that resource is wonderful.”
NSWCCD has a broad outreach objective to partner with local schools to increase students and teacher’s awareness and understanding of careers in STEM. NSWCCD scientists and engineers are uniquely participating in STEM activities such as the USASEF and other various programs that emphasize and foster a wealth of knowledge geared towards the maritime industry of tomorrow.