I was lucky enough to attend the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington D.C. this past weekend. The Finale Expo of the second USA Science & Engineering Festival, hosted by Lockheed Martin, featured more than 3,000 fun, interactive exhibits, 100 stage shows, and a book fair including 40 best-selling science authors.
The festival was designed to inspire and motivate students to pursue an interest in STEM (science technology engineering mathematics). The hope is that the festival will help to get students excited to work in STEM related jobs when they grow up in order to protect our nation's security, to remain competitive in the global economy, and to solve the challenging problems of tomorrow.
As I walked around the festival, I saw students engaged in hands-on learning activities such as virtual manipulatives, playing video games, assembling electronic devices, operating robots from their smart phones, etc. In addition, I was also able to collect tons of resources and materials to use with my students. I was even able to see presenters such as Jamie and Adam from the Mythbusters, and Bill Nye the Science Guy.
My Science Resources: http://www.diigo.com/user/mrlands/science
My Engineering Resources: http://www.diigo.com/user/mrlands/engineering
My Math Resources: http://www.diigo.com/user/mrlands/math
My STEM Resources: http://www.diigo.com/user/mrlands/stem
Here is a highlight video that I created of the festival.
STEM education has never been as important for U.S. students as it is today. Compared with other students around the world, U.S. students are particularly falling behind in math and science. As a result, fewer students are graduating college with math and science degrees and thus, failing to fill math and science positions in the workforce. Simultaneously, as the U.S. demand for technology increases exponentially, the supply of innovators steadily decreases, jeopardizing our economy, environment, and national security.
The future of U.S. citizens is in the hands of the country’s educators. As an educator, it is my responsibility to help inspire students to pursue STEM education so America continues to persevere in the future.
An Advertising Supplement to the Washington Post.
Meet the Mythbusters: A Conversation with Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman
What's your advice to students about how to pursue their interest in science?
Jamie: "Of all the skills and the knowledge I gained through my school years, that's been the most important thing when it comes to what I do now. If you have questions, you need to be able to track down the information that wil help you find answers."
Adam: "Information is power. Science and engineering are a way of looking at the world and being methodical and thinking about how to solve problems. if you are a scientist or an engineer, you have the tools you need to go anywhere you want to go."
What's your favorite part of your job, besides exploding stuff?
Adam: "We love getting into conversations with kids. They are the first ones who are going to tell us when we mess up. And they are always coming to us with great ideas for things we can do on the show."
For more information, visit: http://www.usasciencefestival.org/
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