What do smart windows and biofuels, climate models and gravity accelerators all have in common? They’ll all be part of the Energy Department's exhibits at the inaugural USA Science and Engineering Festival on the National Mall this weekend. The festival overall will feature more than 1,500 fun, hands-on activities and over 75 stage shows. The Energy Department, along with a number of our National Labs will be participating.

The Department will host interactive exhibits built around the theme of “Science and Technology: Working Together to Create a Better Future, For Energy and the Environment.” It will showcase several science and energy exhibits including a bike that produces energy, a gravity accelerator, solar powered gadgets, a 3D virtual ride on a beam of light and a wind blade crosscut.

Improving science, technology, engineering and math education is a national concern and has been for some time. Last year, President Obama launched the ‘Educate to Innovate’ campaign, which aims to inspire students in science and math. Earlier this week, President Obama was joined by Secretary Chu at the White House Science Fair to celebrate the winners of a wide variety of STEM competitions.

As Dr. Steven Koonin, the Department's Under Secretary for Science said recently at the preview of this event: “Science is the foundation of discovery and innovation that provides the platform to tackle many problems facing our world today. This two-day Expo will be an excellent opportunity for teens, children and their families, and anyone with a curious mind, to learn more about natural resources and new technologies that will benefit this and future generations.”

So please join us at the Mall this weekend, for the inaugural USA Science and Engineering Festival. You can find us at the booth on 3rd and Jefferson – I’m planning on stopping by on Saturday morning. Bring your kids and your curiosity...and be prepared to be inspired.

For more information on the USA Science and Engineering Festival, please go to: http://www.usasciencefestival.org/

Bill Brinkman is the Director of the Office of Science