With the U.S. consistently ranking in the middle of the pack among the near 60 industrialized nations promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, experts say the need to encourage youth to engage with the subjects has never been more grave.
And while the shrinking STEM pipeline is concerning for government contractors dependent on the workforce to ensure the industry sustains its trajectory of innovation, the country has of recent witnessed an increase in grassroots efforts to safeguard against that shrinking.
The USA Science & Engineering Festival’s third annual Grand Finale Expo set for April 23-25 aims to advance the very issue in STEM education to ensure there will be a “next generation” of scientists and engineers.
The country’s largest science festival, the event’s program boasts a lineup which includes hundreds of exhibitors, performers, speakers partners, advisers and sponsors pooling heads in Washington, D.C. to “re-invigorate the interest of our nation’s youth in [STEM] by producing and presenting the most compelling, exciting, educational and entertaining science festival in the United States,” according to the organization.
The Children’s Science Center is one such featured exhibitor slated to present to the 250,000 individuals projected to show at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center come April 26, the group announced last week.
Based in Herndon, Va., the interactive museum’s exhibit will allow visitors to participate in activities about solar energy, water conservation, and rooftop gardens.
Nene Spivy, Children’s Science Center’s executive director, said the festival’s goal aligns with the museum’s mission.
“The Children’s Science Center wants all children to love STEM so we are proud to participate the in the USA Science and Engineering Festival – the Super Bowl of STEM, “ Spivy said. “This event demonstrates the need and the desire for greater access to hands-on activities where children can explore, create and be inspired within our region.”