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PNW Initiative an Official Satellite of First USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, DC
The inaugural, grassroots-led Pacific Northwest Science & Engineering Festival (PNWSEF) initiative has been launched to celebrate science as a satellite partner with the USA Science and Engineering Festival that will be held in Washington DC October 10-24. The national Expo on October 23-24 at National Mall will feature over 750 exhibits spanning aerospace, green energy, medicine, biotechnology, climatology, robotics, nanotechnology, botany, neuroscience, genetics, and many other scientific disciplines (see www.usasciencefestival.org). The festival and its 25+ satellites across the nation promise to be the ultimate multi-disciplinary celebration of science and engineering that has ever taken place in the US. Over one million people are expected to participate nationwide. Details on the PNWSEF satellite initiative and partnering opportunities can be seen at www.pnwsciencefestival.org.
The PNWSEF initiative is the first broad scale effort of its kind in this region to support educational experiences that will connect people of all ages with the vast array of science and technology enriching their lives today. The PNWSEF initiative seeks to begin a yearly celebration of the sciences throughout the Oregon-Washington region and to provide a portal to initiate new and leverage existing educational outreach. The primary goal of this initiative is to unite the educational and business communities throughout this region to answer the call to help cultivate a more knowledgeable society, workforce and citizenry. A comprehensive information package about the PNWSEF is available at (1).
Adriana Vela, NanoTecNexus Founder and Pacific Northwest Initiative Director, was an active partner in last year's highly successful inaugural San Diego Science Festival. Ms. Vela said, "We are seeking participants in Oregon and Washington who will join with PNWSEF to present exciting, engaging and understandable science and engineering experiences that will help us inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers." She went on to explain the great need to engage people of all ages in the festival, "The USA faces a national crisis because we have fallen woefully behind in science education. Already our industrial leaders are concerned about the shortage of American scientists and engineers. It is time to get creative and determine better ways to inspire our youth to pursue careers in science."
Partnering is essential for the PNWSEF initiative to succeed. Colleges & Universities, Schools (K-12), Professional Associations/Societies, Government Agencies, Corporations, Informal Science Outreach and Community Organizations in the Pacific Northwest are invited to showcase existing programs/events and encouraged to contribute new ones.
A sampling of regional events and programs sponsored by various organizations include:
* Biotech Days seminar series - Nov
* Nifty Fifty Program (matches speakers with school assemblies) - Oct-Nov
* The Science of Beer - Seattle & Portland - Oct
* The Science of Wine - Nov
* Special Screening of Emmy award winning "When Things Get Small" - TBD
* Innovation Showcase - Nov 2
* Life Science Research Weekend - Pacific Science Center - Nov 5-7
Inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers is a big reason these festivals are taking place. A report by the National Science Board (NSB) says that in 2007 foreign students on temporary visas earned 50 percent or more of all doctoral degrees awarded in engineering, physics, mathematics and the computer sciences. It will take local, grassroots-led partnerships such as the PNWSEF initiative to bring together all members of the citizenry to meet the science and engineering challenges and help strengthen America's competitiveness.
Global security company Lockheed Martin, which employs approximately 71,000 engineers, is the festival's national host and has a strategic purpose for its support. "Lockheed Martin is deeply concerned about the shortage of American scientists and engineers in our country," says Dr. Ray O. Johnson, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Lockheed Martin. "The U.S. needs to reinvigorate future generations to pursue careers in science and engineering. It is a national imperative that we as a nation must address."
Another compelling reason to excite and engage families in the Pacific Northwest about science and engineering is that many of today's and tomorrow's jobs will be in these professions. The U.S. science and engineering workforce is now at more than 5.5 million and averages a 3.2% growth rate, about double that of the American workforce as a whole, reports the NSB.
NanoTecNexus (NTN) is a leading non-profit organization headquartered in San Diego with offices in Tucson, AZ, San Jose, CA and Vancouver, WA. NTN is dedicated to catalyzing collaboration and knowledge exchange in the nanotech field by connecting people, technology, industry and investment. NanoTecNexus was a partner in the highly successful, inaugural San Diego Science Festival in 2009; a short video of that is at www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUeXwkgL_vE
NanoTecNexus enables constituents worldwide to keep up to date on the developments of cutting-edge nanotechnologies. Nanotechnology involves manipulating matter on an atomic or molecular scale smaller than 100 nanometers (1 nm=1 billionth of a meter) and taking advantage of properties that are present at that scale. Nanotechnology is used in thousands of applications in medicine and health, energy, water, defense and many others.
On the Net: www.nanotecnexus.org.
For more information, please click here
PNWSEF Initiative Director:
Sandra Kay Helsel
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