LM USA Science & Engineering FestivalBy Dr. Ray O. Johnson, Lockheed Martin senior vice president and chief technology officer

As the founding and presenting host of the third USA Science & Engineering Festival, Lockheed Martin returns to the 2014 Festival with inspiring, hands-on exhibits designed to drive excitement in our next generation of engineers, scientists, and technical professionals. The Lockheed Martin Experience promises to once again be a premier attraction at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, located in the nation’s capital. We will bring fresh exhibits that provide an innovative engineering and technology Exploratorium.

The USA Science & Engineering Festival is a fun, hands-on experience, but make no mistake – it has seriousness of purpose. The competiveness of the United States depends on a skilled workforce of engineers and innovators who are equipped to design solutions to our nation’s most critical needs. As a generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians retires, young people are not sufficiently preparing for these important technology positions. In fact, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor statistic, 24 percent of our engineering workforce will retire by 2020. Just to fill the void, we need 365,000 engineers. To build for the future, we need many more.

We need to change the way we perceive, experience, and prioritize science and engineering in this country. Larry Bock and I founded the USA Science & Engineering Festival with this in mind. During the Festival, we elevate engineers and scientists to celebrity status. Taking their rightful place on the Festival’s main stages, they captivate audiences of the next generation, who get to experience how much fun it is to make science and engineering part of their life.

The Festival also provides the hands-on aspect that is essential to move from the theoretical to the practical side of engineering and science. Integrating visual, auditory, and hands-on experiences, the Festival helps students gain confidence through exploration.

We are confident that students will leave the Festival exhilarated and inspired to build the pipeline of technical talent that our nation needs to prosper into the future.

Link to Dr. Johnson on Twitter (@Ray_O_Johnson)




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