World’s Largest STEM Event Impacts Thousands
With more than 325,000 attendees, the 2014 USA Science & Engineering Festival was the most successful ever for the biennial event, providing thousands of opportunities for students and families to experience science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Nearly 800 volunteers and exhibitors brought the Lockheed Martin pavilion to life April 25-27, including more than 40 hands-on demonstrations from across the enterprise in the areas of nanotechnology, data analytics, robotics, energy, advanced aeronautics, and scientific discovery.
A photo album is available online here, where you will see participants, young and old, flying cockpit simulators, trying on Antarctica cold weather gear, building and flying gliders, learning about 3D printing, and enjoying the many others activities in our pavilion.
“STEM education efforts, both regionally and nationally, are critical to engage and inspire our future technical talent,” said Dr. Ray O. Johnson, senior vice president and chief technology officer. “I am absolutely confident that many of the children who attended the festival this year will look back in 10 or 20 years and credit that weekend as their spark to pursue a STEM field.”
Further inspiring children and participants were several prominent events and stage acts throughout the weekend, including the announcement of the winning high school team for Exploration Design Challenge. The nationwide challenge was developed by NASA, Lockheed Martin, and the National Institute of Aerospace to engage students in STEM by inviting them to help tackle one of the most significant dangers of human space flight—radiation exposure.
Additionally, NASCAR announced the Finish First Fellowship program, a partnership between Lockheed Martin, ACORE and NASCAR to connect students in STEM-related fields with career opportunities in renewable energy.
Notable stage acts included former NBA professionals Jerome Williams and Theo Ratliff, who demonstrated the connection between STEM and basketball; Danica McKellar, best known for her starring television roles in The Wonder Years and The West Wing, who presented her latest best-selling book, Math Doesn’t Suck; and U.S. Army veteran Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, a quadruple amputee, who shared the power of STEM and an inspiring “never give up” message.
“Determination and modern technology helped me survive and allowed me to continue to enjoy many of the things I did before I was injured in Afghanistan, including playing with my daughter Chloe,” said Mills. “I am a living example of STEM in action, and I hope to inspire students to consider a career in STEM, to chase their dreams, and to never give up and never quit.”
These events, stage acts, and activities were all captured via social media, which played a big part in the weekend. The #SciFestSelfies contest, for example, received more than 750 submissions and generated more than 7 million impressions, including a post with Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Dr. Johnson.
June 3, 2014