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USA Science & Engineering Festival Testimonials

2014 Testimonials


"Congratulations, Festival Folk! As CEO of the Planetary Society I was thrilled to be part of the fun on stage and at our booth. As an engineer I was delighted to see so many young people and adults attending and participating. Thanks to all 325,000 of you, who showed up to learn more about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Together, we're changing the world." 
       -Bill Nye the Science Guy
        USA Science & Engineering Festival Performer & Supporter



"This was my family's first time attending and we absolutely LOVED it. It was a mini vacation for us so we kept the festival as a surprise to our kids and they were in awe when we arrived. We attended Saturday and Sunday and were amazed at all the things to see and do - so many wonderful opportunities. Congratulations on a job well done!

There were so many exhibits we enjoyed. For us, the ones that stand out are the on-hand surgical procedures - anything medically related, the jet simulators, the Orion exhibit where the kids' names will go into space, the Magic School Bus, the CIA and Homeland Security sections.....the list goes on."
       -Andrea, Chris, Nicholas, & Kamryn Stoner, Attendees


"As a scientist and an educator, I was absolutely thrilled to be a part of the X-STEM Extreme STEM Symposium and the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. at the end of April. Both events provided a grand opportunity to interact with students and learners of all types over the course of four days."
Aaron A. Alford, PhD, MPH, PMP
        X-STEM Speaker, SharkFinder, Paleo Quest


"Are you looking for hours of jam packed science and engineering that appeals to students? Look no further than a day at the Science and Engineering Festival. University students showcase cutting edge technology while letting younger students participate in the research. Enthusiastic scientists and engineers provide patient instruction while letting students explore.

There are companies that show what you can do with a science or engineering degree. There are speakers who show that you don't have to be in a lab to enjoy science. Overall, there is not a single boring moment. Everyone will leave fired up about what is happening in the Science and Engineering World."
       -Author and Attendee Melissa Reed


"I am a scientist, my husband is an engineer, and our kids were skeptical, but we couldn't get them to leave! Very child friendly, the interactive exhibits were great, the volunteers were all clearly excited to be there and very helpful. I am sorry we have to wait until 2016 to go again."
        -Sheila Brady, Attendee



"The mikeroweWORKS Pavilion was a big hit, and I'm humbled by the enthusiasm that surrounded our little slice of the festival. It didn't really hit me until I walked through it myself, but 12,000 square feet is a lot of space, and I can't believe who we filled it with.

Every part of employment was represented, from non-profit to big business. Union to non-union. Schools, youth organizations, agriculture, and global powerhouses. On every front, we challenged people to put the "skill" back in STEM. And the people dug it."

      -Mike Rowe
       USA Science & Engineering Festival Performer and Supporter 
       "Dirty Jobs" and CEO of mikeroweWORKS


"Our experience was completely positive. I am including everything that took place both before and during the Festival. The parents and students we encountered at our booth felt the same way. Parents who had been at the Festival for 5 or 6 hours said their child did not want to leave and that they had never seen such enthusiasm. The Festival staff and floor volunteers were fantastic.

I enjoyed everything and was proud to be a participant."
       -Dr. James Turner, Exhibitor
        Director, Percy Julian Institute


"First time attending this event. Definitely not the last. So much to see! My son LOVED ROBOT FEST!! Thank you all so much for making this happen. Our future depends on events like these. I wanted my son to see what the world of science and Engineering and to offer and the USA Science & Engineering Festival really did deliver just that!!"
      -Jennifer Leon McReynolds, Attendee


"We came from the Kansas City area to attend the X Stem symposium and this amazing festival. There was so much to see that we could have spent another day viewing all of the exhibits. I hope that our school district will make it a recognized field trip in 2016."
       -Carla Price, Attendee


"Again, this is the most worthwhile outreach our society can do. We can reach so many people in a short amount of time. It is worth the time and effort. The effort for a stem week was really encouraging."
      -Dr. Paul Fagette, Exhibitor
    Biomedical Engineering Society


"I cannot begin to thank you enough for such an amazing experience! I only wish I knew about it sooner so I could've taken advantage of all 3 days with my son. It was fun, it was engaging, it was obviously educational, my son is beyond inspired, and that's most what I want to thank you for.

My son is a smart, curious kid, but he also has dyspraxia (fine motor trouble, he's slow to get work done, etc). He started school this year SO excited about first grade. He gets the material, but he gets held in from recess to finish work, etc and his enthusiasm for school, and learning, has taken a beating this year. You people and your PHENOMENAL festival single-handedly, in a single day, re-inspired him and gave him SUCH a shot of confidence, it is just amazing. He is literally standing taller, days later, due to the successes he had doing experiments, and from encouragement he received from "real scientists". He is still talking most of all about how his lego structure survived the tsunami tank , among other things. While waiting for the metro he looked up at me with wonder in his eyes and said, "can you believe it mom? REAL SCIENTISTS said to me that I had good ideas!" I can't begin to tell you what that means to him, and to me, for a kid w ho's always hearing about how slow he is, or how messy his handwriting is, to give him a kind word, to entertain his questions, and to give him feedback on his ideas, was nothing less than a gift. To us both. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

My only complaint is the two-year wait for the next festival! :-) Keep up the phenomenal work!"
      -Anonymous Parent/Attendee


"It's difficult to express how spectacularly exhilarating and delightful the festival was. I spent all day Saturday wandering around by myself, and came back Sunday with a 7-year-old who also was entranced and excited throughout the whole day. Whenever I visit a city I like to look at the local science museum, and the USA festival had more interesting exhibits by far than anything I have seen (even beating San Francisco's Exploratorium, my favorite stable museum). I learned more than I expected in fields far from my knowledge base, since enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers at the exhibits were willing to spend as much time as I wanted answering my questions. It was a spectacular event, and gave me many ideas to enhance my teaching. Thanks SO much to Lockheed Martin and the other sponsors!!"
      -Dr. Edward Max 


"It was great! We had no idea what to expect as an exhibitor. To see all those smiling faces of parents and kids as they engage with our hands-on engineering activities was such a great experience. We also feel as if we got really great exposure about our programs and research at Tufts CEEO from this event."
      -Magee Giarrosso, Exhibitor
       Tufts University


"The Lockheed Martin scanning electron microscope with the nanotechnology was absolutely amazing. I had never even known about nanotechnology before and the volunteer there told me how nanotechnology worked and explained what kind of background I would need to get a career in the field. And the scanning electron microscope was very educational. The student at Penn State gave me information on everything I should know. I can't even express how thankful I am to him. I absolutely loved being able to use a piece of equipment I wouldn't normally be able to get my hands on."
       -Clare Mapes, Student/Attendee


"The best part for my daughter was when a college attempted to recruit her onsite. They thought she was in 12th grade and she is actually 12 years old. She told them that she is interested in Aviation and Mechanical Engineering, and the subjects she is currently taking (chemistry, biology and physics). She had a blast learning more about engineering and applying concepts learned to exhibitor experiments."
      -Charlissa Quick Attendee


"Outstanding! I attended with my wife, daughters & grandsons. We started with the XSTEM sessions on Thursday. Every presenter was world class & all of the presentations were loaded with information & inspiration. This high level of excellence continued throughout the entire weekend of the STEM festival. The exhibitors were also top notch and extremely well staffed. I have participated in and/or attended many festivals & conferences all over the world & I would rate this STEM Festival as vastly superior to anything I have previously attended. All details including logistics & crowd management were handled with the highest level of professionalism & efficiency. Congratulations & thank you to the entire STEM team including organizers, presenters, exhibitors, & operations support personnel! I must say I found the presentation on Thursday by Dr. Francis Collins, Director of The NIH, extremely inspirational, encouraging & memorable, including his awesome musical performance. Again I cannot select one. They were all amazing. As I mentioned Dr Francis Collins was excellent. Likewise, Bill Nye, Dave Pogue, all of the astronauts, Art Benjamin, Mike Rowe, Joe Schwarz, Keith Johnson, Amanda Boxtel, Michio Kaku, etc.; in other words, everyone we heard was a favorite..."
      -Ron Kendrick, Attendee


"This was the most phenomenal experience I have ever had with such a diverse group of people, especially the STEM focused populations: children, students, educators, parents, industry, government and community to make a herculean difference in realizing the potential and genius of science and engineering in everyday life in the U.S. and world."
      -Maxine Webb
       STEM Project Manager, Altimax Solutions, LLC


"All four of our sons found the day to be a wonderful event. All enjoyed what they saw and learned. They talked all the way home and then told friends about it the following day. They are still exploring the websites of the presenters to learn more about what they saw briefly. The presenters had the patience of a saint. The university students were especially enthusiastic and held our boys' interest. We will go again next year if it is offered. Thank you to the sponsors who made this event possible for our family!"
-Margaret Loesel, Attendee


"The Science & Engineering Festival ROCKED!!!  Seriously, of all the things offered in the DC area (whether free or paid), this one took easily blows away anything else. So much stimulation, hands-on experiments, goodies, and what-not. This is the MUST ATTEND event in DC. If you miss, you really miss it."
     -Sascha Kemper, Attende


2012 Testimonials

"Congratulations! What a phenomenal ride this has already been... and the weekend is just beginning!"

-Brian Malow


"Here with the family, and the event is amazing!  Congrats!!!"

-Greg Nelsen
Office of Science and Technology Policy
White House


"This is amazing!  We are proud to be even a teeny part of it.  I'm already thinking about cool ideas for next year. :-)  Congratulations!"

-Jennifer Kuhn


"FABULOUS!! My 5 and 7 year old loved it! Quality of the exhibits and enthusiasm and ability of those staffing far exceeded all expectations.  So did the enthusiasm, joy, and diversity of the crowd.  Numbers seem wonderful! Particularly competing for busy kids on an Autumn Saturday against sports, lessons, social events, etc, etc.


You've made an enormous contribution to our country and to enhancing the lives of millions of kids, including my Grandchildren.  Thank you."

-Manny Rouvelas


"I am impressed!"

-Cindy Lawrence
The Museum of Mathematics


"NIH had a fabulous day on the Mall and at Freedom Plaza.  Hope you are feeling the same way!"

-Bruce Fuchs
National Institutes of Health


"I just want to let you know what a wonderful festival this has been so far.  It’s been an amazing event and the people wandering through are really excited to be here."

-Rachel Weissenburger
The Thomas Edison Papers
Rutgers University


"I cannot express in words how incredible the experience was for me and my son to participate yesterday in your opening day events for the Science Expo on the Mall. Frankly, it’s about time we had a national event like this both in Washington and/or traveling across the country. Having attended several similar small-scale events in Europe and Asia,the amazing depth and passion brought by the booths and showcases was just powerful."

-Richard S. Seline
Regionnovate, LLC


"Congratulations.  You have pulled off a coup.  The USA Science and Engineering Festival is a smashing success.  One problem…too much to see.


Yesterday, was my 1st presentation.  It went very well.  Security told me that of all the presentations at the 4th street stage, mine was the most well attended – so well in fact that they had to bring in extra metal security horses to keep even more of the audience from the stage.


Thanks for giving me a great venue and a great audience.  Maybe we'll meet today. If not, I do understand that you might be just a tad busy."

-Professor Bob Friedhoffer
City University of New York
Center for Advanced Study In Education


"I cannot begin to tell you what an inspirational experience yesterday was at the Festival.  We had hundreds of kids visit our booth on Pennsylvania Avenue to see racecars and have fun with Science.  What a great day to be an engineer!  I have used my own blog to promote this event at 6am this morning – I was too excited to sleep.


When I was in engineering school there were 3 girls out of 205 graduates.  Yesterday, I was so happy to see so many girls participating."

-Marie Planchard
Dassault Systemes SoldWorks Corp.


"We had a fun/exhausting day at the fair.  Both the Bowdoin College booths typically had a group of people 3 deep around them.  We spent 7 1/2 hours talking science with hundreds of people.  Everyone had lots of fun, we met a lot of great people (including a bunch of Bowdoin alums) and felt like we were part of something really great."

-Eric Crown
Bowdoin College


"My kids and I have been here all morning and only scratched the surface.  Outstanding!  They are engaged, involved and fascinated at each exhibit.  The teams at each booth are wonderful and patient. The crowd is polite and impressed. Abby and Ben are exploring everything they pinball back and forth between.  They had a model Mars Rover climb over them. They have been to the Doppler truck. They have done hands-on experiments with university professor and countless other highly qualified presenters. What a day!  Congratulations to you and your entire team - and thank you for such a remarkable Festival."

-Jim Dinegar
Greater Washington Board of Trade


"It was totally AWESOME. Our team presented at the LMCO stage... they had a blast. You have truly done something extraordinary.It was a great honor to be part of it."

-Nancy Conrad
Conrad Foundation


"I'm a Docent at the National Air and Space Museum who enjoyed attending two full days of activities at the Inaugural USA Science Festival in Washington, DC. I was amazed with the sheer size of the event, with over 500 exhibits.


I'd like to offer some time and energy to help plan for the next Science Festival to make it even more successful. Again, a big Thank You!"

-Gene Nelson, Ph.D.
National Air and Space Museum


"Congratulations for a resounding success of a Festival.  For those of us who live in the trenches of science research, seeing the endless crowds of kids as curious, excited and happy as kids can be, was an uplifting experience."

-Bertrand Moreno Esteva Garcia
Johns Hopkins University


"I want to thank you for all your efforts in organizing the USA Science and Engineering Festival. It was an incredible event – the attendees clearly had a tremendous time, and you made it easy for exhibitors to promote the joys of science, engineering, and mathematics.


The organization of the festival was spectacular. I was especially impressed by the speed with which requests were handled. When I called Festival Central and requested a water delivery, the truck was filling our buckets within minutes. Receiving water was the one logistical challenge about which I worried, but your deft handling of all the details made it a non-issue. I appreciate your efforts in making sure that the needs of even us small exhibitors were met.


You did a remarkable job and are to be commended. In addition to the incredible experience that we had, I heard other exhibitors commenting on how well the festival was run. Three cheers for the USASEF logistical team – hip, hip, HOORAY!"

-Patrick Vennebush
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics


"Thanks for an amazing experience.  The high school students were great and the Natural History Museum auditorium was spectacular.  Both performances were packed!  I have to congratulate you on organizing such a marvelous event.  I can't even conceive how you managed to pull it all together with the hundreds of booths and performances.  Just fantastic!   Call on me anytime...(next time though I'd like to have 10 more minutes)

Cheers and congrats again to you and your whole crew for an absolutely superb job!"

-Joe Schwarcz Ph.D.
McGill University Office for Science and Society


"The festival was truly incredible.  I'm really happy and proud of you.  I know it took a tremendous amount of work."

-Adam Kalish
Lux Capital


"Congratulations on a job well done! Ivan, Zac , and myself had an outstanding time. The event was well organized and a professional environment. We all had a great experience and look forward to volunteering and visiting in the future."

-Robert Lesefka
Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors


It was my privilege to be an "ambassador" for the USA Science and Engineering Festival!  Congrats on producing a spectacular event on the Mall in DC.  You have set a new standard for celebrating science.  In my years in the science education biz, the USA Science & Engineering Festival is the highlight of my community engagement experience!  Thanks for bringing the nation together for citizen science, everyone was engaged and thrilled to be there on Sat & Sun!  I never knew that DC could be so much fun!"

-Nancy Taylor

K-12 Science Coordinator
San Diego County Office of Education
Executive Director
San Diego Science Alliance


"Thanks for the very impressive stats, but far greater thanks for managing to pull off such an enormous and spectacularly successful enterprise.  I am sure you are exhausted now, but I hope that you will soon start planning for next year.  Let us know how OSTP might be able to help."

-Carl Wieman

Associate Director for Science
Office of Science and Technology Policy
Executive Office of the President


"I brought my daughter (a 7 years old girl to the national mall this weekend for the USA Science & Engineering Festival.  It is the best festival we have ever attended.  My daughter learned so much from those hands-on activities and she really liked it.


I just want to say thanks for all the volunteers and I hope this festival can be held on the National Mall every year."

-June Zhou.  Ph.D.
Deputy Director, Laboratory of Geriatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Veterans Affairs Medical Center


"I want to convey to you our many thanks for this weekend.  Not only at the celebration of science over the weekend, but this morning we had individuals call and also saw people in the hallway who mentioned the great experience they had. Was a wonderful opportunity to enlighten children, and their parents on the value and meaning of science.  Was deeply appreciated from the NIH Community.  THANK YOU- was great to meet you, and learn from you.  Hopefully we get to work together again. Take Care."

-Randy Schools
NIH Charities


"You did an AMAZING job!  The festival was beyond incredible, and one of the best-organized large events I've ever seen. Thanks!"

-Cindy Lawrence
The Museum of Math



We thought it was a fabulous event:  Great ideas, great efforts, great weather, great spirit, and a lot of families obviously having a great time.  It also helped those of us in STEM education appreciate how many clever, creative, and dedicated allies we have throughout the nation.


Thank you for inviting us; thank you for arranging such a perfect stage for our production; and thank you for coming to see us!  We had many very heart-warming responses from our very diverse and jolly audiences.  Please pass along our thanks to the AV, security, and production crew at NMNH who were so supportive and kind to us."

-Carol Lynn Alpert
(on behalf of The Amazing Nano Brothers Juggling Show team at the Museum of Science, Boston: Dan Foley, Joel Harris, Karine Thate, Terry O'Malley)


"I'm sure you are being inundated with congratulations on the success of the Science & Engineering Festival, but I wanted to add my own as well.  I worked both days as part of the EPA exhibit (Baggie Science - learning about chemical mixtures) and it was amazing.  So many kids exposed to so many aspects of science - just incredible.  I've heard so many favorable reports, and I hope this is something I can be part of for years to come!


Thank you for all your efforts and for putting this together!


-Maureen R. Gwinn, Ph.D. DABT



"Just wanted to thank you for all your efforts over the past year to give birth to the USA Science & Engineering Festival and to make the event such a success. We had a great satellite event out here in Portland at OMSI on Saturday, and are looking forward to the 2nd Annual Festival next year. (I’ll bet you have already started planning for it)!"
-Diana Gordon

Education Outreach Specialist
Oregon National Primate Research Center


"Congrats – it was a great success!  I enjoyed the full days at the DC Mall.  It's time to start working on the 2011 USA S&E Festival."

-Dr. Kam Ng

Office of Naval Research


"Thanks again for hosting us for the USA Science & Engineering Festival – and congratulations to your wonderful achievement! I was truly impressed by the organization, outreach, and the scale of the event."

-Erno Rubik
Inventor of the Rubik’s Cube


"What a fantastic weekend!


I hope that you were pleased.  We were all ecstatic about all the enthusiasm drummed up for science and engineering.  I spent much of Sunday on the mall with two of our grandchildren, Mary and Robert Gay.  As you can see, they had a great time and send their thanks as well as their pictures riding off into cyberspace."

-Chuck Vest
National Academy of Engineering


"I want to thank you for all your help and advice. We just completed a very successful festival in Austin, Texas.  We appreciate your vision and I am sure you would have enjoyed seeing the nearly 20,000 people and over 100 exhibits and lectures we had on October 23 and 24. We did not compare close to what you did in Washington DC but I am sure you would have been proud of us.


Thank you very much!"

-Enrique Gomez

Austin Science and Engineering Festival
Executive Director


"I wanted to write and say Congratulations for putting on such a successful festival.  I am an astronomer by training and have been working on science education projects for nearly a decade now at various organizations.  Seeing the turnout this past weekend nearly brought tears to my eyes – it was absolutely fantastic to see so many people show up to celebrate science.  It gave me hope that people do appreciate science for itself and also realize how essential S&E are for the economic growth and success of the nation.


I know it’s been a long road to get here, but you’ve showed it can be done!  And I do hope we can do this regularly and it’s easier to do the next time around since you’ve now demonstrated the proof-of-concept.   I would be happy to help in any way I can – the Afterschool Alliance is a small non-profit with very limited resources, but we are committed to increasing engagement in STEM topics and careers for youth and their families.


Congratulations again and best wishes."

-Anita Krishnamurthi, Ph.D.
Director of STEM Policy
Afterschool Alliance


"I thought the Expo was an outstanding success and I know that the first question people are asking is when is the next one.  I'm wondering, instead, what else do you have planned?  One thing that has stayed with me was your comment in the studio about how our society does not celebrate science. If you are planning to use the Expo experience as a springboard to other events, it would be a pleasure to assist in any way."

-Andrew Zwicker
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory


"Just a note to let you know that my family and I had a wonderful time at the festival this weekend. I am very interested to find out how the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) can play a role in next year’s festival. One of ITE’s strategic goals is to take a more active role in workforce development through STEM and K-12 activities. Great job!"

-Aliyah N. Horton
Institute of Transportation Engineers


"Immense meeting of the minds, and a wild success! Thank you for providing the opportunity to volunteer at the Expo."

-Marco "Poch" Roxas


"Just a quick note congratulating you again on a phenomenal festival.  Every aspect of it was remarkable, even down to the weather! And of course, the video extravaganza at the Baird was itself a delightful hit, with Bill Nye generously donating his time to serve as the perfect host for the event.  (It was a special delight to see the excitement and joy in the winners’ faces.) You know, Bill mentioned to me that a pivotal event in his life was attending the New York City World's Fair in 64-65, which ignited his excitement for science. I'm certain the festival will prove just as inspirational for the young people I saw (and sometimes met while giving directions) during the Expo. What a wonderful accomplishment!"

-James Cohen
The Kavli Foundation


"The D.C. science festival was an amazing event that offered both kids and adults a wide range of enriching, memorable activities.  My four sons and I spent six hours on the Mall on Saturday, caught up in the rapture of so many hands-on projects and thoughtful, passionate presentations by researchers and staffers who truly care about science and math.  Thank you for planning such a marvelous event for young minds."

-Vanee' Vines


"You, indeed, are an amazing visionary!  The USA Science & Engineering Festival has now infused me with vitality and connection to the real world of the possible.  As a teacher of elementary students caught in the throes of state standards (VA) and high stakes testing, it is sometimes easy to get caught in predictable paths.  However, having experienced the Festival (and it was a marvelous experience), I am even more bound and determined to have my students reach beyond excellence.


I jumped on the engineering and nanotechnology bandwagon a couple of years ago after participating in seminars intended for middle and high school teachers.  One of the outcomes of those transfusions is a thematic curriculum surveying engineering that will be used with 2nd and 3rd grade gifted students in Richmond, VA, an ethnically diverse, urban school district with a high concentration of poverty. My take-away from the festival is that it is imperative to take this message of the engineering mindset even beyond the gifted program and early introduction is key.


Thank you so much for the countless hours you and your colleagues devoted to making the Festival such a grand opportunity for people like me who don't always focus on the big picture (or the big ideas of the little world of nanotechnology)!  It was for me a transformational moment in time.  Can't wait until next year!"

-Pat Woodberry

SPACE Teacher
Special Programs for Academic and Creative Excellence
Richmond Public Schools


"In all of the flurry, I don't think I wrote to tell you- Congratulations!  You really pulled it off!  It was, by far, the largest science festival in the Nation's Capital's history.  I hope you are very proud of this accomplishment.


Dr. Collins truly enjoyed his visit to Walt Whitman and his appearance on the Mall stage.  I feel very fortunate to have been part of the whole process.  Thanks again for all you've done for science and the country.  It's been a pleasure working with you."

-John Burklow
National Institutes of Health


"What you've achieved is simply mind blowing! We're in full support of another festival. CE can help in extending the international reach of the festival and if possible, I request you to have a small scale festival in other countries as well. I am aware that it is a huge task!


CrazyEngineers looks forward to another festival and you can count us in from day 1 of your planning. :-)"

-Kaustubh Katdare