Kids Flock to Science and Engineering Expo in D.C. (photos)

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Expo visitors watch a robotics demo by the Penn Engineering GRASP Laboratory. Photo by Jeff Malet.

The largest festival of its kind takes place in the nation’s capital every two years.

The 5th USA Science and Engineering Festival Expo, presented by Lockheed Martin, commandeered the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on April 7 and 8, dazzling an estimated 350,000 visitors, many of them children, with over 3,000 exhibits and 25 stage shows. Its primary goal: to inspire the next generations to pursue rewarding careers in the sciences.

Attendees were invited to chat with astronauts, scientists and educators; examine live microbes; learn how the brain works; and decode messages with an authentic World War II Enigma machine.

This year’s theme was “Where Can STEM Take You?” STEM, shorthand for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is typically used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices to improve students’ competitiveness in those areas.

Studies suggest that the U.S. has a severe shortage of tech workers. A STEM Career Pavilion at the expo hosted more than 50 colleges and universities and more than 20 companies showcasing STEM internships, mentorships and afterschool programs.

On April 6, in conjunction with the expo, the U.S. Postal Service issued a STEM education “Forever” stamp featuring symbols representing the complexity and interconnectedness of STEM disciplines.

View Jeff Malet’s photos from the 5th USA Science and Engineering Festival Expo by clicking on the photo icons below.

 

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