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ACS is proud to be an Official Partner of the 3rd USA Science & Engineering Festival, to be held April 24-27, 2014 in Washington, D.C.


Mark the date and plan to visit the free Expo. Over 250,000 K-12 students and parents, over 5,000 teachers and over 3,000 STEM professionals will celebrate science! There will be a myriad of hands-on activities to do.


Participants include more than 750 of the World's leading professional scientific and engineering societies, universities, government agencies, high tech corporations and STEM outreach and community organizations. ACS will be there with four booths and the ACS Mole.


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. Meet science celebrities like Mike Rowe, host of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Job series, Bill Nye the Science Guy, David Pogue, host of NOVA ScienceNow series on PBS, and Grammy Award-winning alternative music band "They Might BeGiants!" mole-science-cheer.jpg

The feedback is still pouring in from surveys the organizers sent out, but overall the response has been overwhelmingly positive:

  • Attendees – We surveyed the Sneak Peek teachers (over 500) who signed up in advance and all general attendees had the option to complete an online survey which we advertised at the Expo. When asked to rate the Festival overall (1=poor, 10=fantastic), the average rating is 9.7
  • Volunteers – We surveyed the 750+ volunteers participating to rate the Festival overall (1=poor, 10=fantastic), and the average rating is 9.8


Here are a few key Festival Highlights :

  • We had a total of 3,000 hands on activities at the Expo, which grew 100% from the inaugural Festival’s 1500 Exhibits
  • We were able to reach over 550,000 people around the world through the 3-day Finale Expo, Nifty Fifty Programs and other Pre-Expo events, and our Satellite/Affiliate Events program
  • Based on estimated numbers from the Convention Center, nearly 200,000 people participated over the 3 days, the second largest event the Convention Center has ever seen
  • Sneak Peek Friday more than doubled in size based on the number of students who had pre-registered, and included nearly 28,000 students, teachers, military families, government officials and press

At the ACS Booth, the Mole served admirably as a Chemistry Ambassador.


He met US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, while his wife and daughter made UV bead bracelets at the booth. If Avogadro could talk, he would have no doubt taken the time to expound on the ACS Positions on Policy Issues. (He's good like that)


And he was thrilled to meet the first private female space explorer, Anousheh Ansari.


Finally--Thing 1, 2, 3, and 4. They were so excited by the science and technology on display. They ran up! They ran down! (At the end of the day their mother said "I bet with my net, I'll get those things yet").  They did take a moment to take these pictures. Avogadro even got approached by the Cat in Hat's mascot "talent scout". They wanted to know who does his drying cleaning and transportation to events.


The crowds at the festival built to a crescendo in early afternoon with the performance of the Myth Busters crew.


It was packed! I will be very interested to see the attendance figures, but unlike on the previous fest on the Mall, I imagine the convention center will have better grasp on attendance. The festival creators call it the "Woodstock" of science festivals. The Mythbusters event definitely had a rock concert feel to it, but with the clean, available restrooms it might have missed the Woodstock mark by a bit.


I just realized that in my attempt to show the popularity of the fest, I also made it look like a sweaty pushing match, but many of the hands on booths and performances had plenty of space and seating and meaningful one on one interactions between scientists, engineers and enthusiasts.


Back at the ACS Booth, the secret science of self-inflating balloons was a hit. Everyone loves the moment when the citric acid/baking soda/soap solution bubbles over the graduated cylinder and then they get to stomp on their own self-inflating balloon.



And finally, that rascal Avogadro, the ACS mole, was quite the draw for attendees and fellow performers alike.


The ACS booth was jumping on the first day, the sneak peak day of the USA Science and Engineering Festival.The secret science of self-inflating balloons and the ACS Mole meets the EPA Panda (I would say there was some 'chemistry' between them.)




I hear Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison and many other famous scientists will be attending the 2nd USA Science and Engineering Festival being held this weekend (April 28 and 29, 2012) at the Walter E.  Washington Convention Center in Washington DC.  See for more information.