By F. Mark Modzelewski
When you were in class, did you ever wish you could ask an astronaut what space was like? Or have a world renowned mathematician explain how they approach a problem? Or find out what inspired a storm chaser to pursue her passion? That’s X-STEM!
The USA Science & Engineering Festival, supported by presenting host sponsor Lockheed Martin, is kicking off another groundbreaking event with X-STEM - presented by Northrop Grumman Foundation and MedImmune. It’s an Extreme STEM Symposium for students featuring interactive presentations and workshops by an amazing group of science and technology visionaries who will empower and inspire kids to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The speakers will not only discuss their amazing discoveries and the wonders of science and technology, but also what drove them to become the visionaries they are today.
Set up much like a TED conference for students, the event will take place on April 24, 2014 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, as part of the 3rd USA Science & Engineering Festival. The incredible roster of speakers for the 2014 kick-off X-STEM event include:
- Dr. J. Craig Venter, genetics pioneer who decoded the human genome
- Dr. Sylvia Earle, world-renowned oceanographer and National Geographic explorer
- Mr. David Schenone, Innovation Director for Global Footwear at NIKE, Inc.
- Ms. Anousheh Ansari, private space explorer and entrepreneur
- Mr. Steve Wolf, Hollywood stunt scientist and pyrotechnic expert
- Dr. David Gallo, Titanic explorer
- Dr. Bernard Harris, physician, NASA astronaut and venture capitalist
- Dr. Karen Kosiba and Dr. Joshua Wurman, storm chasers
- Mr. Barrington Irving, record breaking aviator
“X-STEM is one of the greatest gatherings of scientific and creative minds ever put together on one stage,” said Larry Bock, Co-founder of the USA Science & Engineering Festival. He added, “With the Festival we are trying to create the Super Bowl of STEM, and the star power at X-STEM is simply extraordinary and is sure to inspire and enlighten kids, parents, educators, as well as political and business leaders.”
This all-day event will feature multiple presentation sessions covering a wide array of subject areas including space exploration, paleontology, oceanography, the science of social networks, the physics of superheroes, mathematical puzzles and much, much more. Student attendees will have the opportunity to sit in on multiple engaging presentations, live demonstrations and hands-on workshops. Talks and workshops will be geared mainly toward a middle and high school level audience with some options for elementary level students as well. STEM professionals are welcome to attend the student talks by purchasing a ticket.
Alternatively, many school groups are attending the event for free by forming X-STEM School Ambassador Teams made up of student STEM Leaders who increase awareness for the 2014 Festival in their school and community. These include Anacostia Senior High School, Washington Mathematics Science Technology Public Charter School, Pace Academy of Atlanta, Bel Air Middle School, Full Moon Homeschoolers, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology and many, many others.
X-STEM is a key component of the USA Science & Engineering Festival, the country’s only national science festival. It was developed to increase public awareness about the importance of science and to encourage America’s young people to pursue careers in STEM to change their lives and the future of the nation.