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Science Wednesday: Gearing up for the USA Science & Engineering Festival

2010 September 15

Each week we write about the science behind environmental protection. Previous Science Wednesdays.

By Aaron Ferster

Back to school season always seems so refreshing. I find the excitement my kids show as they crack open new books and get reacquainted with long-lost schoolmates infectious. And this year, I’m happy to feel like we here at EPA are part of it.

The science communication team that I work with has been enlisted to help plan the Agency’s exhibition at the Inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival. The Festival is a grassroots collaboration of over 550 of the nation’s leading science organizations—including the U.S. EPA—to spark the interest of the nation’s students in science, technology, engineering, and math by producing and presenting compelling, exciting, educational, and entertaining science gatherings.

ScienceandEngineeringOpening on 10/10/10 with a concert of science songs performed by over 200 children and adults at the University of Maryland, the Festival promises to be the ultimate multi-disciplinary celebration of science in the United States. The culmination of the Festival will be a free, two-day Expo on the National Mall here in Washington, DC that will feature over 1500 fun, hands-on science activities and over 50 stage shows and performances on four stages.

EPA’s own exhibition at the Expo will feature the innovative work that EPA scientists and engineers conduct everyday to provide the information and products the Agency relies on to protect human health and the environment. We will have a great line-up of demonstrations and hands-on activities, including:

  • Changes: Fun with Chemical Reactions where visitors can explore the world of scientific observation and experimentation while discovering the potential environmental issues of chemical mixtures.
  • Green Chemistry for a Better Environment presents a nature-inspired green chemistry experiment where visitors can design their own eco-friendly, light-sensitive films using thymine, ultraviolet light, and food dye.
  • Bugged about Water Quality presents a hands-on demonstration that shows how biologists use aquatic critters as “indicators” that provide insights into the health of the nation’s water ways.
  • Meet the Scientist/Engineering will feature research scientists, toxicologists, statisticians, engineers, and others from across EPA to talk about their work, answer questions, and share their passion for protecting the environment.
  • Permeable Pavements will highlight how EPA engineers invented a greener way to pave parking lots and other surfaces to minimize rain runoff.

I’m really looking forward to bringing my kids to the Expo—and we won’t even have to play hooky!

About the author: Aaron Fester is the lead science writer-editor in EPA’s Office of Research and Development, and the editor for Science Wednesday.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    September 15, 2010

    Good morning Aaron,
    Your post felt me cries to see our children in my country who lost aim to develop their abilities. System… ya, system made them apathetic.
    They are extrovert, smart and funny. Their imagine going to the moon. But our system, or cultures(?) made them to be clerk in home, meant, office boy in their home. Tragic. Today, many students are in abroad because we are not giving attention to their experiences. Nepotism is made them happy (but cries(?)) and enjoy there. Look, Aaron…., our people just work as well as clerk in their country. Regards for your kid, but I hope he will perfect human: Freedom and “easy-going” !!!

  2. Dan permalink
    September 19, 2010

    I must admit I have a soft spot in my heart for the whole science fair/festival vibe. I was a bit of a nerd myself (I mean that in the nicest way.) Later in life my interests took me into auto repair, and my previous work as an official nerd did me a lot of good there as well. Particularly when I got into the repair information and software side of things.

    It sounds like this one is quite a bit bigger than any I ever attended or participated in, though. Those were more… cafeteria size :)

    I hope you guys have a great time and the attendees learn a lot.


  3. Joe Anderson permalink
    September 24, 2010

    I like festivals!!!!!

  4. Genesis Nungaray permalink
    September 24, 2010

    I think it is great how people take time to clean up our environment. If there was more people like them we would have a nicere, cleaner, and in general a better world. I think since i have read these blogs i feel like I should volunteer in my local park and help out. Maybe, we can all contribute by just recycling and disposing of our trash properly. Again I would like to thank people that take actions to help create a better and cleaner environment.

  5. eva pogorzelski permalink
    September 24, 2010

    It absolutely stunning…..

  6. jerome permalink
    October 29, 2010

    if you have time to use your pool cleaner, why not use some of it to help clean the environment. people miss the bigger picture that if we dont do something about the environmental problem, well get into much larger trouble. more walk and less talk.

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