It’s no secret that I had the most incredible experience as the spokesperson for the USA Science and Engineering Festival this year. I have had so many opportunities to meet the movers and shakers of the science community and I feel grateful to be able to do what I love on such an epic scale!
The USA Science & Engineering Festival is the largest celebration of STEM (aka “The Superbowl of STEM”) and if you haven’t attended SciFest before, I’ve compiled the best 5 reasons on why you definitely should soon.
1) There’s something for everyone at SciFest
They aren’t joking when they say it’s the largest celebration of STEM in the country. There are different pavilions for nearly every area of STEM you can imagine. From health and medicine to earth sciences to engineering and my personal favorite, ocean science, there is something at SciFest for everyone! Let’s not forget to mention there were entire areas dedicated to STEAM and social sciences, natural sciences, space exploration, sustainability, energy, math and computer science, national security, aviation, and so many more.
2) Explore where STEM can take you
One of the unique aspects of SciFest this year was that they had a job fair at their Career Pavilion that connected STEM-minded college students and recent graduates with the companies that are actively looking for STEM superstars. Showing young people the hot new careers of tomorrow including fields such as renewable energy, robotics, space tourism, and virtual reality is the key to garnering more interest in STEM subjects.
3) Meet STEM Movers and Shakers
It was such a blast meeting, leading panel discussions, and hosting stage shows for all of the STEM movers and shakers that attended SciFest. My good friend and TV Personality Emily Calandrelli spoke during X-Stem in front of thousands of middle and high school students. Fellow #SciComm advocate, neuroscientist and PhD Candidate Samantha Yammine (aka Science Sam) hosted a stage show with me all about the triumphs and trials about our experiences as science communicators in today’s world. I also had the amazing opportunity to share the stage with Angela Sun, ESPN anchor and producer of Plastic Paradise, and Carlos Toro from STEER Digital, who have produced content for NatGeo and Discovery Channel’s Shark Vortex. We discussed our roles as science filmmakers, shared our ocean experiences, and talked about ways we can help save our oceans. No matter what you love about STEM, there are so many inspiring and innovative people that you can meet!
4) There’s always something to do no matter what day you visit!
My role as the festival’s spokesperson meant my schedule was jam-packed with lots of fun activities! Sneak Peek Friday was open to schools, military families, and homeschoolers and Saturday and Sunday were open to the public. My experience was particularly special because I had the opportunity to meet and interview many of the biggest sponsor booths! Lockheed Martin had an interactive STEM Career Predictor where you could take a quiz to see which STEM field might suit you best. Plus visitors could take a virtual field trip to Mars in their Lockheed Martin Mars Experience bus AND see live demonstrations of their exoskeleton and get hands on in their robo lab!
Over at the Honda Robotics pavilion, I met their advanced humanoid robot ASIMO. Asimo was designed in mind to help people with limited mobility or assist in situations that are dangerous to humans like fighting fire, but Asimo is also about FUN! If you want to see the best robot dance ever, check out Asimo!
Whether you’re determined to visit each and every booth and pavilion or if you’re looking to sit in on all of the stage shows, the USA Science and Engineering Festival will keep you busy all day – or all weekend!
5) Get an inside look at STEM
The best part of the USA Science and Engineering Festival and my personal experience at the 5th annual festival is the simple face that kids from all walks of life can get an inside look at what STEM looks like. There were 3,000+ fun, interactive activities and stations to see how planes fly, learn about STEM through sports, explore more about the secret electricity living under your skin, and see ocean wildlife in person!
The 5th annual SciFest was amazing this year and if you haven’t attended one, you should definitely put it on your to do list! To learn more about upcoming science festivals, visit them at usasciencefestival.org. If you attended this year’s festival, visit me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let me know what your favorite part of the festival was!