Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at the National Mall in Washington D.C.

What an exciting event. America is renewing it's support and interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with the first annual USA Science and Engineering Festival. It was exciting to bring our virtual bike to the fair, but there were many other exciting booths and events.

It was uplifting to see hundreds if not thousands of people come to ours and the other booths. Organizations, Corporations, and Schools of all types came out to get citizens of all ages excited about science and engineering. So often we forget that it is possible to have fun while learning but events like this are just what is needed to remind us. I also appreciated the chance to meet and talk with educators and business people from all over the country and hear their passion and interest in getting interest reignited about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Everyone did an amazing job and brought some wonderful exhibits. Here are a few highlights:

There are so many potential discoveries and opportunities in biology and genetics so it was great to see so many exhibits teaching about DNA. Students of all ages learned trascription/translation, how to extract genetic material from fruit, mutations, and much more.

Robotics was a big player in this festival. Almost every type of robotics team was represented at the fair. VEX Robots were playing soccer, BotBall bots were following obstacle courses, but FRC stole the show with its high powered catapults and launchers. Who wouldn't want a robot that could shoot a soccer ball 20 feet into the air?

The National Academies of Engineering and Disney's Tron had a line out the door with their exhibit on Virtual Reality (you can imagine why we took an interest). Partnered together because of the NAE Grand Challenges. It was mindblowing to see the virtual technology being used to improve neurosurgeon's precision. As they practice, they are able to see if their stress levels are high, as well as practice on a realistic simulation. Apparently one cannot learn everything by practicing on a cadaver. It will be amazing if the top surgeons of the future can trace back their skills to practicing on video games like this.

Thanks to all who made this event possible. My students and I would definitely come back to exhibit another ground breaking innovation by the Chaos Vortex Robotics Team from Chula Vista, CA.

Did you go to the event? Share your experience below!