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Vol. LXVI, No. 12
June 6, 2014
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NIH Pavilion Draws Crowd at Science & Engineering Festival

On the front page...

A father shares a polyomavirus model with his son at NIH’s 3-D Print Exchange booth during USASEF.
A father shares a polyomavirus model with his son at NIH’s 3-D Print Exchange booth during USASEF.

NIH recently participated in the 3rd USA Science & Engineering Festival (USASEF) in Washington, D.C., the nation’s largest biennial celebration of science, technology, engineering and math. As a testament to President Obama’s initiative to graduate 1 million STEM students over the next decade, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution this year supporting the festival and designated the last week of April as National Science Week.

“A nation gets what it celebrates! As a culture, we celebrate movie stars, rock stars and athletes and we generate a lot of them…but we don’t celebrate science and engineering,” said Larry Bock, co-founder of USASEF. He added, “Strengthening the STEM educational foundation of our nation is vital to our future economy and the health, safety and well-being of America’s families.”

Continued...

Since USASEF’s inception, NIH, a 2014 sponsor, has had widespread involvement. Last February, NIDDK director Dr. Griffin Rodgers spoke at Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Md., as part of the Nifty Fifty Speaker program. Nifty Fifty is one of the national STEM initiatives organized before the festival for 180,000 students and teachers. NIH’s involvement continued at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Apr. 24-27 for the X-STEM Extreme STEM Symposium, Sneak Peek Friday, Meet the Scientists and the Grand Finale Expo.

Attracting more than 325,000 people, the Convention Center was filled every day during the festival with enthusiasts—young and old—learning, creating and exploring the wonders of STEM. On Apr. 24, more than 5,000 students participated in the Extreme STEM Symposium, which offered presentations from a group of visionaries who aimed to empower and inspire youth about careers in STEM. NIH director Dr. Francis Collins was one of the speakers who addressed a standing-room only crowd.
At the NIH Pavilion at the USA Science and Engineering Festival, NIDDK’s Diane Tuncer (l), deputy director of the National Diabetes Education Program, helps children “Be a Sugar Detective.” The 3-D Print Exchange team included (from l) Meghan Coakley, Katie Rush, Damien Terry, Sybil Philip, Jeremy Swan and Meredith Daly.The team showed visitors 3-D printers at work and hosted interactive activities for kids, showing them how to build scientific models from objects made with the printers. photos: jeremy swan, jessica meade

At the NIH Pavilion at the USA Science and Engineering Festival, NIDDK’s Diane Tuncer (l), deputy director of the National Diabetes Education Program, helps children “Be a Sugar Detective.”





The 3-D Print Exchange team included (from l) Meghan Coakley, Katie Rush, Damien Terry, Sybil Philip, Jeremy Swan and Meredith Daly.The team showed visitors 3-D printers at work and hosted interactive activities for kids, showing them how to build scientific models from objects made with the printers.

Photos: Jeremy Swan, Jessica Meade, Hans Spiegel

NIH hosted a 5,600-square-foot anchor exhibit in the Health and Medicine Pavilion where children and families journeyed through an interactive obstacle course of 25 hands-on activities led by 20 institutes and centers. In the NIH Pavilion, participants were able to find out how researchers are advancing science with new 3-D printers that transform digital files into physical objects; explore DNA and the human brain; and measure lung capacity. Also, attendees studied how the body works by learning about eyes, ears, joints and skin; found out how much sugar is really in foods and drinks; and tested their knowledge of regenerative medicine and biomedical imaging.

At the USASEF Career Pavilion on Apr. 26, attendees were able to “Meet the Scientists,” during a 1-hour networking extravaganza where students met NIH staff representing many different career fields.

The NIH Office of Administrative Management and Communications thanks the hundreds of NIH staff who worked, volunteered and otherwise supported efforts to make the NIH footprint at USASEF a success.
children and parents played an iPad game “Who Wants to be a Bioengineer?” and racked up points while learning about bioimaging, robotics and bioengineering. Visitors are fascinated by a 3-D printer as it turns a digital file into a physical object right before their eyes.
At left, children and parents played an iPad game “Who Wants to be a Bioengineer?” and racked up points while learning about bioimaging, robotics and bioengineering. At right, visitors are fascinated by a 3-D printer as it turns a digital file into a physical object right before their eyes.


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