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SPIE Professional October 2010

U.S. Science & Engineering Festival

Join SPIE at the inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival and Expo in Washington, DC, in October and see a 4-foot long kaleidoscope, an IR camera, and other devices using optics.

Hosted by Lockheed Martin in cooperation with more than 500 science organizations, the festival begins 10 October and culminates with a free, two-day Expo on the National Mall and surrounding area 23-24 October. Its aim is to re-invigorate the interest of the nation's young people in science, technology, engineering, and math with educational and entertaining science activities and exhibits.

SPIE will provide a hands-on infrared camera demonstration and other interactive activities with light at the SPIE booth (No. 282, between Third and Fourth Streets NW on the Mall) where you can also look through a giant kaleidoscope.

There will also be a biophotonics booth at the festival staffed by SPIE member Marco Molinaro, chief education officer at the NSF Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis, and laser demonstrations at the LaserFest booth. Festival organizers expect more than 1500 free, hands-on activities at the Expo.

Daytime, evening, and weekend events, including workshops, lectures, open houses, and performances, will be offered for the general public. Opening ceremonies will include a concert of science songs performed by more than 200 children and adults.

The festival promises to be the ultimate multi-cultural, multi-generational, and multi-disciplinary celebration of science in the United States to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Organizers say that one reason for hosting a giant science party on America's front lawn is found in a report by the National Science Board. The report says that in 2007, foreign students on temporary visas earned 50% or more of all doctoral degrees awarded in engineering, physics, mathematics, and the computer sciences.

photo of SPIE Fellow and Board member Ray Johnson of Lockheed Martin"Lockheed Martin is deeply concerned about the shortage of American scientists and engineers in our country," says SPIE Fellow Ray O. Johnson, a member of the SPIE Board of Directors and senior vice president and chief technology officer at Lockheed Martin. "The U.S. needs to reinvigorate future generations to pursue careers in science and engineering. It is a national imperative that we as a nation must address."

The Lockheed Martin exhibit attendees will experience a virtual reality environment-discover what it is like to fly a fighter jet, operate a submarine periscope, race a robot, watch a car that drives itself, and much more.

For those who can't attend, more than 50 satellite events will be held across the country.


Have a question or comment about this event? Is there an event SPIE should know about? Write to us at spieprofessional@spie.org.  

DOI: 10.1117/2.4201010.41

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