This is an invited guest post by Larry Bock.

A visit to Washington, DC in the spring is especially exciting, but this season the “wow” factor in the nation’s capital will rise just a bit higher as the city becomes the site of the 2nd USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo hosted by Lockheed Martin on April 28-29, 2012. The Festival -- with its world-class array of technology, innovators, science celebrities and Nobel laureates as well as amazing hands-on exhibits and stage shows -- is the nation's largest celebration of science and engineering, and has rapidly evolved into a must-see event for families, students and others across the country.

What’s more, the event, scheduled for the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, is FREE!

The goal of the Festival Expo is to inspire the next generation of science and technology innovators through a fun and exciting weekend that allows kids, their families and others to participate in over 2,500 interactive activities and see more than 150 live performances by science celebrities, explorers, best-selling authors, innovative entrepreneurs and world-renowned experts.

Never a dull moment, the Festival adroitly integrates science and engineering discovery with unforgettable hands-on encounters, such as below, that your family will not want to miss this April:

-- Meet Science Celebrities. Here are just a few of the well-known personalities who will be on hand to help science come alive! Bill Nye the Science Guy; real-life neuroscientist Mayim Bialik who stars in the hit TV comedy The Big Bang Theory; Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage of the MythBusters; Jeff Lieberman, host of Discovery Channel's Time Warp, and sleight-of-hand maestro Apollo Robbins.

--Space Heroes and Heroines. Be inspired by such role models as: John Mace Grunsfeld, Ph.D., a five-time Space Shuttle astronaut; electrical engineer Anousheh Ansari, who in 2006 became the first female private space explorer, and legendary computer video game innovator Richard Garriott who became the sixth private citizen to journey into Earth’s orbit.

--Cutting-Edge Scientists and Engineers. Learn from leading scientists and engineers at the Expo's Career Pavilion. The Pavilion will also provide information on careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as well on colleges, scholarships, internships mentorships and after-school programs available.

--Tinkerers and Inventors. From demonstrations by MakerBot Industries, Fab Lab DC and others at the Expo (and at the partnering Robot Fest and DIY Pavilion), you'll see and experience the amazing technology that is spurring the DIY, or Do It Yourself, movement, which is making inventing easier and more cost effective for the average person!

--Award-Winning Authors. Hear these and other prominent science authors: Homer Hickam, autobiographer of Rocket Boys (the book that formed the basis of the Hollywood movie October Sky); nationally-acclaimed children's science book writers Seymour Simon and Joy Hakim, and renowned science fiction writer Robin Cook.

--Innovative Entrepreneurs. These are just some of the exciting entrepreneurs you’ll meet who are changing the course of technology: Elon Musk, creator of rocket manufacturer SpaceX and co-founder of Pay Pal (the world's largest internet payment system), and George Whitesides, CEO and president of Virgin Galactic, the pioneering U.S. based space tourism company.

--Myriad Stage Performances and Exhibits. And from exciting presentations in music, magic and illusion, comedy, Hollywood movies, comic book superheroes, robotics and other frontiers, you’ll discover that science is truly all around us.

For more information, visit


Previously in this series:

What is: Open Laboratory 2011

What is: Science Online London

What is: #NYCSciTweetUp

What is: Science Online New York City

What Is:

What is: The Story Collider

What is: NASW

What is: #SciFund Challenge

What is: Journal of Science Communication

What is: ScienceOnline2012 - and it's coming soon!

What is:

What is:

What is: The Young Australian Skeptics’ Skeptical Blog Anthology

What is: SciBarCamb?

What is: