US's Largest Science Engineering Festival Begins

BIG shoutout to the The Epoch Times! They have a lot of great pictures from our recent press conference and a great article about the USA Science and Engineering Festival. Below is an introduction to the article or you can read it all here. Thanks Epoch Times for being a Sponsor of the USA Science and Engineering Festival and publishing such a piece about the Festival.

Written By Du Won Kang
Epoch Times Staff

(pictures from Epoch Times article)

WASHINGTON--"We are going to put on the largest science and engineering party that the United States has ever seen," said Larry Bock, Executive Director of USA Science and Engineering Festival, at the Koshland Science Museum at the National Academies in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 29.

But this is not just fun and games.
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"In this society, we celebrate Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and we generate a lot of them. But we don't celebrate science and engineering," said Bock. And as a result, there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of Americans going into science and engineering, according to Bock.

Larry Bock is mobilizing 25 Nobel Laureates, 100 other scientists and engineers, and 550 organizations to get the attention of Americans and build a powerful momentum toward the upcoming nationwide festival starting on Oct. 10 involving 49 locations across the U.S

The nationwide festival will culminate in a two day expo on Oct. 23 and 24, centered in and around the National Mall in Washington, DC. The purpose is to educate a wide range of Americans and to inspire a young generation of Americans to take a greater interest in science and engineering.
Alarming Trends for the U.S.

In one of Larry Bock's emails to supporters of the festival he wrote: according to Nobel Laureate Richard Smalley, by the end of 2010, 90 percent of the world's scientists and engineers with advanced degrees will live in Asia; 80 percent of the people being trained in the advanced physical sciences in the United States are from abroad.

"Because the opportunities are now greater abroad, we are no longer retaining them in the USA. If we do not turn this trend around, we will have outsourced innovation," Bock wrote in an email to the Epoch Times and others in a Sept. 15 email.

"America's competitive posture in this world is changing, and it's not going in the right direction," said Charles Vest, President of the National Academy of Engineering and President Emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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He spoke at the Koshland Science Museum on Sept. 29, during the festival preview and press conference.

"This nation needs to strengthen its commitment to science and engineering, after all this is the knowledge age," said Dr. Vest.

"We need more engineers and scientists to drive innovation, to add real value, and above all to create 21st century jobs for real people," said Dr. Vest.

A nation that is ranked as low as the United States on the quality of its K-12 science and math education "is not going to lead the world," according to Dr. Vest.
Relevant to a Wide Range of People

The organizers of the festival believe that interest and inspiration of doing good science and engineering should start early in life. So, the prime target of the massive national campaign is for K-12 grade students.

However, this is not just for kids.

Teachers and parents will benefit from the festival too, according to Dr. Francis Eberle, Executive Director of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). ( )

Find the rest of the article and some great pictures here.


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I like reading news at the Epoch Times.

In this article, Bock mentions, "Because the opportunities are now greater abroad, we are no longer retaining them in the USA. If we do not turn this trend around, we will have outsourced innovation." Question is: What actions have the US gov taken to woo students of foreign nationality (the 80%) into staying permanently in the US?

The US education is peculiar: it is bad at K-12 level, moderately good at college and undergraduate levels, and is the worlds gold standard at graduate levels. In grad schools tuition is waived, office space is given, and most grad students are paid for teaching and researching. That's why up to 80% of grad students in physical sciences and engineering are foreigners as many countries have excellent and free K-12 and undergraduate education but their grad schools suck big time. Getting Ph.D. in the US is a dream come true for many foreigners. However, if previously many of those freshly minted Ph.D.s tried convert their student visas to green cards, now many return to their home countries or find positions in Asia, Europe, South America, or even Middle East, where they are lured by high salaries and generous benefits.

By MathForeigner (not verified) on 04 Oct 2010 #permalink