NASA Joins USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington Download image WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA is joining more than 500 science organizations in Washington this weekend to inspire the next generation

NASA will be at the Festival and at the Lockheed Martin Stage there will be panel discussions with astronauts.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA is joining more than 500 science organizations in Washington this weekend to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers during the first national science and engineering festival to be held in the nation's capital.

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The USA Science & Engineering Festival, which began Oct. 10 with activities in local schools, ends this weekend with a two-day expo on the National Mall and surrounding areas. The event also marks the culmination of NASA's new Summer of Innovation education initiative, aimed at engaging middle school students in science, technology, engineering and math activities during the summer break. The program reached more than 75,000 middle-schoolers during its inaugural year.

NASA booths at the expo will feature hands-on activities, demonstrations and exhibits. Children and adults can learn about the agency's many scientific missions. Students also can learn how to become involved in 2011 Summer of Innovation events.

"This is such a dynamic way to reach students and the general public and get them excited about what NASA is doing," said Leland Melvin, NASA associate administrator for Education. "Hands-on experiences and interaction with the NASA team brings exploration and discovery to life. The Summer of Innovation pilot program, which began in June, used the same approach to engage middle school students across the nation in STEM activities. I look forward to an even larger program in 2011."

Admission to the expo is free. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT each day.

For more information about NASA's participation in the expo, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/soi

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