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usa science and engineering festival

NIFA Supports Annual Science, Engineering Festival to Spur Future Scientists

The link between agriculture, science, and engineering is quite simple. Whether you live in a rural or urban setting, those three components work together to make a more sustainable environment. Thousands of students had the chance to learn about that and more, April 15-17 at the 4th Annual Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC.

Several members of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) participated in the festival to encourage children to become the next generation of agricultural professionals.

Getting Geeky at the 3rd Annual USA Science and Engineering Festival

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

When you think of agriculture do you think of science and engineering? You should! Farmers are some of our original scientists, tinkering with plant varieties and farming techniques to find ways to reliably grow food. At USDA, we still do that kind of research in a never-ending effort to find better ways to produce food, fuel, and fiber. We also do a lot of research you might not think of when you think about agriculture: from forensic genetic analysis to track down unwanted pests to figuring out how to turn spent grain from distilleries into biodegradable kitty litter.

On April 26-27, the 3rd Annual USA Science and Engineering Festival took over the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Over 325,000 people came out to celebrate discovery and innovation through over 3,000 hands-on activities and 150 performances and lectures.  USDA pulled all of the stops to show our geeky side and hopefully convince a few young booth visitors to consider agriculture when they think about careers in science.

Hands-On Ag Education at the USA Science and Engineering Festival

How do you get tent caterpillars and termites to follow a circle on a piece of paper? Paint the circle with pheromones.

This was one of the many cool facts that kids and adults learned perusing the USDA exhibits at the USA Science & Engineering Festival this past weekend.   I joined thousands of people during this three-day event designed to revive interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and promote careers in those fields.

Science of Food Safety through the USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone

This past weekend, the USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone (FSDZ) appeared at the inaugural USA Science and Engineering Festival Expo in Washington, DC.  Over 1,500 exhibitors, including universities, private industry, and government agencies filled the National Mall and surrounding areas with thought-provoking, fun, interactive, and hands-on displays. The mission of the organizer and founder, Larry Bock, and his team is to re-invigorate the interest of our nation’s youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by producing and presenting the most compelling, exciting, educational and entertaining science-based exhibits and displays in the United States. If this weekend was any measure, they definitely succeeded!

USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone to Bring Food Safety to the USA Science Festival

A Revamped Education Campaign from the Food Safety Inspection Service

Come see the USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone on October 23-24 at the Inaugural USA Science and Engineering Festival. The Zone program incorporates the Be Food Safe campaign with a 40 foot interactive vehicle where consumers can enter and learn about food safety in fun and engaging way. It will be located on the National Mall near the corner of Pennsylvania and 12th Street in Washington, DC.