The USA Science & Engineering Festival’s 6th X-STEM Symposium, sponsored by NCR Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense, was held on March 19, 2019, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC.  X-STEM DC 2019 featured over 20 speakers representing top science universities, high tech, and life science corporations, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies who spoke to an audience of middle through high school students in a “TED-style” format. This all-day event featured multiple presentation sessions given by some of our nation’s most respected individuals in science and engineering who engaged with students during and after their talks. Students asked questions, posed for pictures and had their speaker trading cards signed by their favorite presenters.

X-STEM speakers included delegates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Sony PlayStation, NCR Corporation, Duke University, University of Maryland, Intel, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Florida A&M University, George Mason University, Columbia University, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium and National Geographic, in addition to many other elite speakers.

Here is a sampling of X-STEM DC 2019 speakers and their topics:

Justin Shaifer Saying, “Kids are more likely to do something when they see someone who looks like them doing it,” this well-known science educator and Executive Director of Fascinate, Inc., is using the same principle to attract more underrepresented students to STEM careers through his exciting outreach program on wheels called the ‘Magic Cool Bus”.

Gabriela A. González – As a teen growing up, this Deputy Director of the Intel Foundation and chair of the National Science Foundation’s STEM Education Panel, faced and overcame significant challenges of her own, giving her unique insights and fervor into motivating today’s young women in STEM.

Tyler Allen, Ph.D. – Named in 2018 to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for his groundbreaking research into how certain cancer and tumor cells exit the bloodstream to form new tumors, this rising young scientist at Duke University is playing a key role in developing next-generation cancer therapies.

Bill Schindler, Ph.D. – This archaeologist at Maryland’s Washington College is internationally known for his unique hands-on approach to immersing students in prehistoric life, including the diet of our ancient ancestors, and for his co-starring role in National Geographic Channel’s 2016 series, “The Great Human Race.”

Serena McCalla, Ph.D.From coaching her students at Jericho High School to championships at renowned international science fairs, to being featured in Sundance Film Festival’s award-winning documentary, Science Fair, Serena shares her secrets for guiding young learners in science fair pursuits.

Erin Macdonald, Ph.D. – In her must-see stage show demonstrating the “science behind science fiction,” this aerospace engineer combines her childhood love of sci-fi with her seasoned experience in science to ignite the excitement of kids about STEM!

The complete list of speakers can be found here.



Thank you to all of our X-STEM speakers and volunteers for making this day a great success! And thank you to all who attended, we look forward to seeing you all again in 2020!

View more photos from X-STEM DC 2019 here.