2012 Science and Engineering Festival
The National Academies participated in the 2nd Annual Science and Engineering Festival on April 27-30, 2012 with the Decisiontown exhibit, which included several individual town locations where visitors could participate in activities in science, engineering and medicine. For example, the Home Sweet Home booth tested visitors’ knowledge about solid state lighting, thermostat setbacks and other home energy efficiency options, with several questions drawn from the What You Need to Know About Energy website. After completing activities at individual town locations, the exhibit culminated in a visit to town hall, where participants claimed a prize for being effective science citizens and voted on science-themed referenda that affect the community of Decisiontown. The exhibit also included interactive stage presentations, such as Mixed Messages: Communicating Complexity in a Crisis. In this activity, participants—who included simulation engineers, a fire protection engineer, an environmental engineer and Bob Marbourg from WTOP—discussed the dynamics of accurately and immediately communicating vital information during an emergency. The example chemical leak scenario was simulated in a virtual world engineered by the University of Maryland’s CATT Lab.
Visitors to the “GameDesk” explore immersive game playing, such a wind tunnel simulation, to learn about the physical sciences.
“The Dancing Scientist” leads volunteers from the audience in a hands-on chemistry experiment.
Photos: Sharon Segal