Want an “out of this world” experience? Enjoy one this weekend without leaving Planet Earth — or even the metro DC area — by attending Escape Velocity! The annual three-day event celebrating science fiction returns to National Harbor in Maryland (across from Old Town Alexandria in Virginia) Memorial Day weekend, May 24-26, 2019.
The event is a futuristic world’s fair to promote informal STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) educational activities. Unlike traditional STEM or STEAM events, though, Escape Velocity activities take place within the context of science fiction using the fun of comic cons and fascination of science and engineering festivals. All events take place at the Gaylord National Resort.
Escape Velocity 2019 takes place to boost informal learning on the more conceptually challenging academic areas. Escape Velocity’s mission is to attract young people to science, technology, engineering, art, and math by producing and presenting the most compelling, exciting, educational, and entertaining science festival in the United States using science fiction as its primary engine. The event is a joint venture of the Museum of Science Fiction and NASA.
At this year’s event, you can: Enjoy movies, exhibits, games, and seminars. Learn about the Klingon language or the law of science fiction inventions, or enjoy a question-and-answer session with an anime expert. Get a demo on cosplay cosmetics, hear about women science fiction writers, and see a full-scale replica (8′ X 4′) of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Escape Velocity features a variety of programming throughout the open hours of the show. Friday sessions run from 10 am until past midnight; Saturday show hours start at 9 am and conclude with a midnight film showing of Plan Nine from Outer Space, and Sunday hours are 9 am-4 pm. Features include celebrity guest appearances; panels and sessions spanning science fiction and STEAM genres; gaming competitions; a film festival; and photo ops in legendary sci-fi environments.
Scheduled celebrities and industry notables include Dominique Tipper, Gigi Edgley, Anwan Glover, Dan Curry, David Brin, PhD, Morgan Gendel, Marc Okrand, Kellie Gerardi, Mason Peck, PhD, Ghostbusters Tri-State Division, DJ Shaleigh, C. Alex Young, PhD, Eric Suggs, Jr., Aisha Matthews, Iron Knight Cosplay, Jeff Rutenbeck, PhD and David Grinspoon, PhD.
Event tickets are $10 for youths (aged 11-16), $25-30 for adults for a one-day pass or $50 for a three-day pass, and $100 for the full VIP treatment, available through the Escape Velocity website or onsite at the Gaylord Convention Center. Ten-dollar PAY IT FORWARD tickets allow patrons to donate a single-day admission for an underserved youth in the Washington, DC metro area.
The nonprofit Museum of Science Fiction, by the way, will be the world’s first comprehensive science fiction museum, covering the history of the genre across the arts and providing a narrative on its relationship to the real world. The Museum will show how science fiction continually inspires individuals, influences cultures, and impacts societies.
Photos provided by Escape Velocity and used with permission