The new Resource of the Month is the 4th USA Science and Engineering Festival, held in Washington, DC, April 16-17, 2016. This largest and only national science festival includes nationwide contests and school programs, a “Nifty Fifty” science speaker program, and an X-STEM Symposium. More than 350,000 people are expected to attend the Expo during the two days of the Festival. For those outside the DC area, the festival website (http://www.usasciencefestival.org) offers resources that will enliven your science classroom. Most materials are tailored to middle or high school students.
Click “School Programs” on the orange bar near the top of the Festival’s homepage to open a pull-down menu listing three signature programs – Nifty Fifty, X-STEM (eXtreme STEM) Symposium, and Lunch with a Laureate. The first two programs bring DC-area middle and high school students into contact with STEM professionals who describe their work or give interactive presentations to interest kids in STEM careers. “Lunch with a Laureate” invites small groups of students to share a brown bag lunch and chat casually with Nobel Prize winners!
Too far from DC to participate? Move your cursor down the “School Programs” menu to “Teacher Resources.” Nearly 70 videos from the 2014 and 2015 X-STEM Symposiums enable your students to watch 15- to 20-minute presentations by successful engineers, authors of children’s science books, museum directors, stunt scientists, NASA astronauts, and an amazing variety of other STEM speakers! You can easily search the videos by Subject, Age Group, Key Word, or Speaker. Half a dozen Nifty Fifty podcasts are also available on the Festival website.
For teachers/classrooms in or near Washington, DC, this website informs you about the wealth of speakers and programs available at the USA Science & Engineering Festival. However, if you live far from DC, the videos are still wonderful resources. The website features many scientists and engineers giving classroom-friendly talks for middle- and high school students. Eight of the X-STEM Symposium talks are even geared to elementary school: Young students get to imagine taking a ride on the Space Shuttle with a former astronaut, diving for ancient fossils, or peering inside the brain with the founder of Backyard Brains!
About the Creators:
The USA Science & Engineering Festival is a national effort to enhance STEM education and increase interest and education in science and engineering careers. Their mission is “to re-invigorate the interest of our nation's youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by producing and presenting the most compelling, exciting, educational, and entertaining science festival in the United States.” Sponsors, partners, and advisors include 100s of organizations, companies, and individuals in related fields.