More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the nation’s largest science festival in April as the second USA Science & Engineering Festival brings exciting, family-friendly activities to Washington, D.C. AAAS is a founding partner of the festival, and this year will organize and host several festival activities.
The festival culminates in an expo weekend of free events 28-29 April at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, including exhibits, stage shows, a book fair, and career pavilion where students will have the opportunity to network with scientists. Satellite events will be held nationwide throughout the month. The expo weekend will feature more than 3000 interactive science activities made possible by the efforts of local and national science organizations, including universities, museums, government agencies, nonprofits, and corporations. The expo is completely free and open to the public.
At the AAAS booth—“The Science of Our Senses,” hosted by AAAS Education and Human Resources—attendees will have the opportunity to stimulate their senses, learning about the way people see, smell, hear, taste and touch. The hands-on activities at the booth will include constructing optical illusions, testing personal levels of smell and taste, and creating sound through vibration.
AAAS will also host its popular “Meet the Scientists!” stage show event from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday 28 April and Sunday 29 April at the AAAS stage in the Exhibit Hall of the Washington Convention Center. “Meet the Scientists!” allows festival-goers to attend engaging presentations by scientists as well as ask questions and interact with them off-stage. The “Meet the Scientists!” lineup includes experts researching the science of perception and covers topics from how babies make sense of sound to how robots sense touch. AAAS Chief Executive Officer Alan I. Leshner serves on the festival’s advisory board and will participate as a speaker in the Nifty Fifty program. The program arranges for 100 noted science and engineering professionals to talk about their work with middle and high school students throughout the greater Washington, D.C., area. Leshner is scheduled to speak in mid-April to students at the Nysmith School for the Gifted, a private school in Herndon, Virginia.
“Providing opportunities for scientists to engage directly with the greater Washington, D.C. community, including families, teachers, and adults, is central to AAAS participation in this event,” said Tiffany Lohwater, AAAS public engagement manager.
The AAAS Senior Scientists Program, the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships, and EurekAlert! also will be represented at the AAAS booth and provide information to interested attendees.