The USA Science and Engineering Festival announcement comes at the height of National Engineers Week, amplifying the importance of engineering to our nation's future. Highlights of the USA Science & Engineering Festival include:
- Two weeks of free events in the Washington, D.C. area including scientists' visits to local schools and science open house events, leading up to a two-day Science Expo at the National Mall October 23-24, 2010.
- More than 350 of the nation's leading science and engineering organizations are partners including colleges and universities, corporations, federal agencies, museums and science centers, and professional engineering and science societies.
- More than 750 hands-on, interactive exhibits spanning aerospace, green energy, medicine, biotechnology, climatology, robotics, nanotechnology, botany, neuroscience, genetics, and many other scientific disciplines.
- Satellite events across the country held by universities, student science clubs, national laboratories, and a wide array of other organizations.
- Contests for schools and their students with cash prizes. Entries are being accepted for a "You CAN Do the Rubik's Cube Tournament" for K-12 teams in the greater Washington, D.C. area and a Video Contest challenging students to explore "Why Science is Cool."
Inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers is a big reason for hosting a giant science party on America's front lawn. A new report by the National Science Board says that in 2007 foreign students on temporary visas earned 50 percent or more of all doctoral degrees awarded in engineering, physics, mathematics, and the computer sciences. Global security company Lockheed Martin, which employs approximately 71,000 engineers, is the festival host and has a strategic purpose for its support.
"Lockheed Martin is deeply concerned about the shortage of American scientists and engineers in our country," says Dr. Ray O. Johnson, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Lockheed Martin. "The U.S. needs to reinvigorate future generations to pursue careers in science and engineering. It is a national imperative that we as a nation must address."
The Lockheed Martin exhibit attendees will experience a virtual reality environment-discover what it is like to fly a fighter jet, operate a submarine periscope, race a robot, watch a car that drives itself, and much more!
Another reason to get the nation's families excited and engaged in science and engineering right now, is because that's where many of today's and tomorrow's jobs will be. The U.S. science and engineering workforce is now at more than 5.5 million and averages a 3.2% growth rate, about double that of the American workforce as a whole, reports the National Science Board.
"The Life Technologies Foundation is dedicated to increasing society's understanding of the importance of life sciences, and we're proud to work alongside the wide variety of organizations participating in the USA Science & Engineering Festival," said Gregory T. Lucier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Life Technologies. "The nation's scientific community is joining together to inspire and engage the entire nation in the wonders of science, and inform them about careers in fields like biotechnology which will provide job opportunities, and revolutionary changes in medicine, for decades to come."
The Festival is hosted by Lockheed Martin and sponsors include Life Technologies Foundation, Clean Technology and Sustainability Industries Organization (CTSI), Larry and Diane Bock, ResMed Foundation, Farrell Family Foundation, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Agilent Technologies, Amgen, Celgene Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company, National Institutes of Health, Illumina, You Can Do the Rubik's Cube, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., Genentech Inc., MedImmune, Sandia National Laboratories, Project Lead The Way (PLTW), K&L Gates, NuVasive Inc., FEI Company, Case Western Reserve University, Silicon Valley Bank, Bechtel Corporation, SpaceX, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and Research in Motion.
Current media partners include Popular Science and Science Illustrated, New Scientist, EE Times Group, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, POPULAR MECHANICS, Discovery Communications, Forbes Wolfe Emerging Tech Report, ScienceBlogs, FAMILY Magazine and SciVee, Inc.
The Festival's creator, life science and high technology entrepreneur Larry Bock, was the inspiration and organizer of the highly successful inaugural San Diego Science Festival(SM). For a preview of the D.C. event, view a short video about what happened in San Diego.