I’ve been following the announcements about this festival for a while now. These are the kinds of things that really could excite some kids to follow a path into science and engineering if they get inspired by some booth or project. I was lucky: I got hooked on biology from the tide pools at our nearby beach. Not every kid has that opportunity.
It’s also great to see science celebrated in DC. It wasn’t like that for a few years, if you’ll remember….
Anyway: they are taking proposals for events and they are offering grants for student clubs, and all sorts of neat stuff is shaping up. Get on their mailing list to keep abreast of it. I’ll put the science club grant language from the newsletter here to entice anyone involved with a student group, but there’s more coming all the time.
Calling All Students! Win a $250 Grant to Bring Your School’s Exhibit to the USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo on the National Mall
(Know a Science Teacher? Please forward this to them…)
News Flash to Students! Student groups and clubs are invited to submit a proposal to exhibit as part of the two-day Expo on the National Mall. A limited number of $250 grants are available to student groups to help offset the cost of materials for developing their exhibit. To win a grant, each school must submit a brief proposal describing the planned exhibit and how funds will be used.
Elna Clevenger, Science Department Chair at Washington DC’s National Cathedral School, an all girls’ school, explains why her students have applied for an exhibit grant: “A large percentage of our students are very interested in science and pursue careers in the sciences. However, it is important for everyone to be scientifically literate, regardless of their chosen field of study and work. Our exhibit will show how polymers are involved in all aspects of people’s lives.”
Lisa Davis, Community Developer at San Diego-based High Tech High Foundation, adds that participation in the Festival’s student exhibits “helps our High Tech High Chula Vista students to enhance leadership capacity, reinforce learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and give back to the community by encouraging others to experience interactive science!”
“Our TransTech Academy students have been exposed to the latest technology in science, technology, engineering, and math fields. It is important for our students to share the exciting and employable skills they have attained at the 2010 inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival,” says Andrea Young, Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator for TransTech Academy.
So, what constitutes a cool, winning exhibit for the Expo?
Festival organizers say student science and engineering groups should create an interactive, hands-on activity that will give Expo-goers the opportunity to explore a scientific or engineering concept. All activities should be both educational and fun and targeted at a 10th grade understanding of science or below.
The girls from National Cathedral School, for example, invite Expo-goers to “Observe superabsorbent polymers in action. Make instant snow, see alligators and other beasts grow, and discover the many uses of these unique polymers in a variety of commercial products.”
For examples of what other exhibitors are offering, visit the Festival website.
To submit your online proposal for a grant, click here. Proposals must be submitted no later than January 31, 2010. Applicants will be notified by February 15 as to whether they have been awarded a grant.