By Lisa McDonald

Science Festivals

SDSA High Tech Fair 2009: Dr. Bretschger and students

With spring around the corner (or at least we hope), there are several upcoming science festivals. These festivals are designed to provide students and families opportunities to find out what is happening in local science research institutes, universities and companies. These organizations are expanding the text books beyond our imaginations. These are EXCITING times in science – we are just scratching the surface of understanding the diversity of life on our planet, beginning to understand how to boot up synthetic cell, and how to better care for us and our planet.

We are looking forward to participating in the SDSA High Tech Fair, March 9 & 10. Stop by our booth. It should be easy to find – with a unique sulfur odor coming from the sediment battery Dr. Bretschger created related to her work. At the end of March, we will exhibit with SD Science Festival Expo Day, March 27, which brings together over 150 hands-on science activities and stage performances for people of all ages and interest levels!

Switching coasts, April 25, JCVI will be participating at the Rockville Science Day. Another fun day of hands-on science activities and demonstrations! Look for the Mobile Lab there!!

DiscoverGenomics! Mobile Lab
DiscoverGenomics! Mobile Lab

Finally, this fall, we are excited to participate in the first ever USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo on the National Mall! The Mobile Lab will be there with other labs for a mobile lab CONVOY!! Well, maybe not as security might not like that, but we will be there.  Explore science & engineering with hundreds of free, hands-on activities and over 40 science shows on three different stages. The two-day Expo is perfect for teens, children and their families, and anyone with a curious mind who is looking for a weekend of fun and discovery. Build an underwater robot, chat with a Nobel Laureate, explore the science behind the magic of Hogwarts Academy and see a car that drives itself. From bugs to birds, kitchen chemistry to computer games, environmental monitoring to electronic music – the Expo has something for everyone and is completely free of charge. The Expo is the pinnacle event of the inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival to be held in the greater Washington D.C. area October 10-24, 2010. The USA Science & Engineering Festival is a collaboration of over 500 of the nation’s leading science and engineering organizations. For more information on all Festival events and how you can get involved, visit www.usasciencefestival.org

I hope everyone can make it out to these great events.  If you are scientists or have a science-related career, please be sure to get out there and volunteer.  National Lab Day has provided a great national portal to volunteer.  There are never enough science fair judges, career speakers or mentors, so contact your local school to find out how you can help.