A week ago, on Sunday 10/24, I woke up early, walked to Baltimore’s Penn Station, and got on a train to Washington, D.C. The moon was out as I walked in both cities.
In DC, I walked around exploring and sightseeing for a bit. As they started to arrive and set up for the day along the National Mall, I talked with some of the mathematical groups represented at the first ever United States Science and Engineering Festival. I was wearing my NCTM shirt, so some of them thought at first that I was the NCTM rep. I got a pi temporary tattoo from the MAA. [Check out the MAA’s photos and field guide to math on the national mall here!] Later in the day, I took this photo of a mathy pyramid sculpture from the sculpture garden near the National Mall and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.
I met up with 35 students and three teachers from my high school, and we all had a great time playing with science and engineering at the interactive exhibits. The soccer-playing robots were great! And I enjoyed the rare-earth magnets which, placed in a line along a ruler with stops, were powerful enough to send the last one shooting at high velocity off the edge of the ruler! Many universities, associations, and companies that deal with the STEM fields were represented. The day was a huge success, fun for me as well as for the students. I hope the Science and Engineering Festival becomes an annual tradition!
I’ll leave you with two other cool sights: a chunk of glacier ice that had traveled all the way from Alaska to be there, and a marimba-playing robot that was featured this spring on the Colbert Report: