UPDATE 3/12/20: Events cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic
By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
The USA Science & Engineering Festival, which bills itself as the largest event of its kind in the United States, kicked off in 2010. Ten years later, we’ve got some updates, and they are of the “good news, bad news” (and yet more good news) kind. First, the good news: the biennial two-day expo happens on the even-numbered years, which means it will be back this year.
Now, the bad news: For the first five instances of the expo, admission was completely free to the general public. In 2020, that changes, since the USA Science & Engineering Festival now will charge admission fees. The other good news, though, is that the festival at least remains in Washington, DC, and all children under age 18 can attend for free. Adults will need to pay $15 per person, or $20 each at the door, each day. Current college and university students are admitted free with valid school identification.
The festival, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, celebrates science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and features industry professionals, researchers, academics, and celebrities. The 2020 expo is the weekend of April 25-26.
The purpose of the festival is to get the public excited about STEM developments and education. With more than 3,000 hands-on activities, 30 stage shows, hundreds of exhibitors, educational programs, and more, it’s a fantastic way to learn about the world around us and what the future holds. Past science celebrities include Bill Nye the Science Guy, futurist Dr. Michio Kaku, actress and mathematician Danica McKellar, the Mythbusters, and the band They Might Be Giants, which sang about science.
The festival is a family-friendly event with activities for all ages. Activities appeal to everyone from young kids who just enjoy the fun of science to professionals seeking the latest news and developments in their STEM industries. The festival also features nationwide contests and school programs, including the popular “Nifty Fifty” science speaker program and X-STEM Symposium for middle and high school students. There also is a “Sneak Peek Friday” for K-12 school groups, homeschoolers, and military families.
The USA Science & Engineering Expo covers just about everything, from tiny atoms to the vast possibilities of space. Interactive pavilions for the 2020 event will focus on: aviation, energy, earth sciences, health and medicine, math, national security, sustainability, space, and more.
Event organizers expect more than 350,000 attendees during the two days of the expo. This festival really is very large and takes place in a huge exhibit hall, so it’s good to plan ahead. Check the USA Science & Engineering Festival website often for updates for details. And see our Top Six Festival Tips to make your attendance at the event more pleasant and productive from our previous visits.