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AAAS at the 2014 USA Science & Engineering Festival

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Free and open to the public!

Join more than 300,000 people in the nation’s largest celebration of science! AAAS is pleased to be a partner of the third USA Science & Engineering Festival taking place in Washington, D.C. More than 3,000 interactive exhibits and more than 100 stage shows will be held at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center for the festival expo.

Bring the whole family to this fun and free event! The festival has something for everyone, so come prepared for a weekend of cool, interactive science. While there, you and your family will be able to explore and discover science, learn about cool science jobs, and talk with scientists and engineers.

Be sure to check out the following AAAS activities at the festival.

Brain Meets World: The Science of the Senses

Hands-On Activities

Visit AAAS at Booth 5422, Exhibit Hall D during the Festival Expo to see how much you know about you! Test your sense of sight, smell, hearing, and taste and touch with a variety of fun games and activities for the entire family.

Meet the Scientists! Speaker Series

Come stimulate your senses at the AAAS stage at Booth 5422, Exhibit Hall D and talk with researchers who study how we see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. Ask your questions about how humans and animals experience the world and what it’s like to be a scientist. View the speaker schedule below.

Saturday, April 26

10:00 a.m.

The Science of Language and Music
Robert Slevc, Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park

11:00 a.m.

Scent-sational Science
Ricardo C. Araneda, Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park

12:00 p.m.

Studying the Fly to Understand How Our Brains Make Behavioral Choices
Gwyneth Card, Neuroscientist, Janelia Group Leader, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

1:00 p.m.

Fragile X: Mutations on the X Chromosome Can Affect Your Senses
Christopher Cross, PhD Student in Neuroscience, Howard University

2:00 p.m.

How Do We Taste Things?
Yada Treesukosol, Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

3:00 p.m.

Itchy Tales: Discoveries in Sensory Neuroscience
Mark Hoon, Chief of Molecular Genetics Unit, National Institutes of Health

4:00 p.m.

I, Robot: Blurring the Lines Between Man, Machine, and Robotics
Ralph Etienne-Cummings, Professor of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University


Sunday, April 27

11:00 a.m.

How Blind Cavefish Navigate Dark Waters
Daphne Soares, Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park

12:00 p.m.

Smell, Taste, and Flavor: Making Sense of Food
Steven Munger, Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine

1:00 p.m.

Brainwaves and Words: How We Learn about Language in the Brain
Polly O’Rourke, Assistant Research Scientist, Center for Advanced Study of Language, University of Maryland, College Park

2:00 p.m.

How Tiny Robots See the World
Sarah Bergbreiter, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park

3:00 p.m.

What Optical Illusions Tell Us about the Eyes and Brain
Joshua Singer, Assistant Professor of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park

4:00 p.m.

The Very Chatty Bark Beetle
Kasey Yturralde, Urban Forester, Urban Forestry Administration, District Department of Transportation


Meet the AAAS Scientists & Engineers at Festival's Career Pavilion

The Festival has invited nearly 40 AAAS member scientists and engineers to participate in two Meet the Scientist/Engineer events in Exhibit Hall A next to the Career Pavilion on Sunday, April 27 from 1:00 p.m. - 1:50 p.m and 3:00 p.m. - 3:50 p.m. At this informal roundtable interaction, high school students and others are welcome to speak to experts about their field, research, education, and career path.

Nifty Fifty (Times 3)


The 'Nifty Fifty (times 3)' are a group of 150 noted science and engineering professionals who fan out across the Washington, DC area in the 2013-2014 school year to speak about their work and careers at various middle and high schools. AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner participated as a speaker in the festival's Nifty Fifty series at Yorktown High School in Arlington, VA on March 11, 2014.

When and Where

All Festival Expo events will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, across the street from the Mt. Vernon Square/7th St- Convention Center Metro station.

Expo Hours:
Sneak Peak Friday
Friday, April 25: 9am - 3pm

Open to General Public
Saturday, April 26: 9am - 6pm
Sunday, April 27: 9am - 6pm

AAAS Booth 5422, Hall D
801 Mount Vernon Place, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

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