The USA Science & Engineering Festival was held over the weekend and we went down to check it out on Sunday (actually the manservant was giving a public talk in his guise as an astro-dweeb in an afternoon session, so we went in the morning to give us time to see some of the exhibits and other things happening).
The event advertised itself as inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers; to “re-invigorate the interest of our nation’s youth in science, technology, engineering and math by producing and presenting the most compelling, exciting, educational and entertaining science gatherings in the United States”.
There was a huge crowd and judging by expressions I would say that it was more than just the youth who were interested and entertained. There were more than 1,500 interactive exhibits and 75 stage shows with science stars, comedians, magicians, musicians and Erno Rubik!
We learnt the physics behind comic book heroes and the science of climate change and weather forecasting. I looked through this telescope at sun spots on the sun (obviously) …. this little girl was in front of me in the queue and when it was her turn she stepped forward and pulled the telescope down! The man was very nice as he told her that she was not allowed to touch anything and that now he was going to have to line it all up again. His assistant was not so nice though as she rushed forward and grabbed the girl by the shoulders and shook her while almost shouting: “do NOT touch things!” It took him a while to get things re-focused but it was worth waiting for:
One of the most popular exhibits – a virtual ride inside the human lung – the line was an hour long! We didn’t wait even though this was one thing I really wanted to do.
Then the manservant gave his little talk on Astronomy in a gorgeous auditorium:
And then it was time to go home! It was a huge event and I think you probably needed the two days to see everything that was on offer. I’m looking forward to going back next year!