Dartmouth STEM Studies on Stage in Washington


By Nancy Serrell Dartmouth was well represented last weekend at the nation’s largest celebration of science and engineering, the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. A contingent of 33 faculty members and graduate students from Dartmouth’s departments of physics and astronomy, computer science, chemistry, earth sciences, and Thayer School of Engineering provided visitors with a taste of the research and innovation taking place at Dartmouth, from a Greenland ice core containing tiny bubbles of air trapped before the Industrial Revolution to a robot that can tie complicated knots.

Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences Erich Osterberg, left, and graduate student Ross Lieb-Lappen show aspiring polar scientists how glaciers flow using “flubber” at the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. (Photo by David Kotz)

“The energy and excitement was tremendous,” says David Kotz, the Champion International Professor in the Department of Computer Science and the associate dean of the faculty for the sciences. “Dartmouth had five booths of science, a brief stint on the NSF stage, and a booth from the admissions office.”

The two-day festival in the Washington Convention Center included more than 3,000 hands-on activities and more than 150 stage shows for science enthusiasts of all ages. The expo drew approximately 325,000 visitors.

“What a weekend! The whole experience—working with different departments, traveling from woodsy Hanover to D.C., seeing all of the neat STEM exhibits—was an amazingly wonderful mix of science, fun, and friends,” says Gifford Wong, a graduate student in the Department of Earth Sciences.

(view the slideshow below, or on Dartmouth’s Flickr channel)

The USA Science & Engineering Festival is a national grassroots effort to advance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and energize the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Dartmouth mathematics professor Peter Winkler, who was named one of the “Nifty 50” most inspiring role models in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, visited schools in the D.C. area as part of this year’s festival.

See slideshow on Dartmouth’s flickr site.

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