FAQ

Many of the 500 plus participating organizations exhibiting at the Expo will be prepared to talk about internships, scholarships, mentorships, after school programs and clubs, university programs, job opportunities and much more. Also, they can visit the Career Pavilion designated for high-school students. 

Expo maps and schedules will be available on site at information booths and from Festival Representatives who will be placed throughout the Expo grounds.  You can also download an Expo Map (Click here) or you can build your own Exhibit List via our website. Simply go to the Exhibits page and select the exhibits you are interested in. Then print your personal schedule.

 

Either search the exhibit page on our website or ask at one of the information booths at the Expo. The long list of exhibits is searchable by organization name or keyword on our website. Once you find the exhibit you are interested in, make note of its booth number and then locate it on the Expo map. To make it easier for you to find your way around, we have divided the Expo area into different sections. The individual booths are numbered within each section.

Coming soon is this year’s line up!

Past celebrity performers have included They Might Be Giants, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Mike Rowe, Apollo Robbins, the expert panelists from hit shows The Big Bang Theory, Breaking Bad and many others! 

In addition, several exhibitors will have stages set up in their exhibit areas and will feature interactive games, Q&A with scientists and engineers, and other cool science demos. 

 

There will be all kinds of exhibits, from flight simulators, virtual reality environments and surgical robots to making virus structures with marshmallows and toothpicks. The Expo is not a Science Fair static poster session but rather a dynamic, hands- on, interactive, fun and entertaining set of activities, displays and demonstrations. There is more stuff than you can do in one day so plan to come for both days as there will be different stage shows on each day.

Thank you for your interest in volunteer at the Festival Expo. Click here to learn more about our volunteer outreach program. Groups and students are welcome!

There are lots of ways to join the fun right now!

Follow us on social media and join the conversation! We are on Facebook and use @USAScienceFest for Instagram and Twitter. Our hashtag is #SciFest (and #XSTEM for the X-STEM Symposium and #NiftyFifty for the Nifty Fifty Program). 

You can also join our Volunteer Outreach Team to spread the word about the Festival.

As you walk among the booths, you’ll find over 3,000 different hands-on activities, experiments, and lots of scientists and engineers to talk to. Most hands-on activities will take about 15 minutes to complete. This is not show and tell… it’s show and do! 

Back by popular demand is our STEM Career Pavilion with over 50 colleges and universities in the College Fair and over 20 companies showcasing STEM internships, mentorships and afterschool programs.

 

The USA Science & Engineering Festival has partnered with onPeak to provide you with affordable hotel options for your trip to Washington, DC. Available only through onPeak, rooms at the discounted group rate are limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Click here to access the reservation site.

As you walk among the booths, you’ll find over hundreds of different hands-on activities, experiments, and lots of scientists and engineers to talk to. Most hands-on activities will take about 15 minutes to complete. This is not show and tell… it’s show and do! And don’t miss the exciting stage shows!

 

Visit our media kit here.

Contact Shawn Flaherty directly for media questions, [email protected].

No! There are exhibits for all ages and scientific knowledge, from the science professional to just the curious.

We strongly recommend that you use public transportation!

By Metro:  The Convention Center is easily accessible by the following Metro Stations:  Mt. Vernon Sq/7th Street/Convention Center Metro Stop, Gallery Place – Chinatown and Metro Center.  View the interactive Metro map here.

By Car: Traveling by car or van, you will need to park at one of the public parking facilities surrounding the Convention Center.  Car and van drop offs are not permitted at the Convention Center. Please park your vehicle first and then walk to the Convention Center from your parking location.   To access a list of public lots click here.

Parking: To reserve your parking spot, visit the USA Science & Engineering Festival SpotHero Parking Page and book a spot near the Washington Convention Center with rates up to 50% off drive-up.

New to SpotHero? Click here to download the SpotHero app.

By Bus: Bus drop-offs are permitted at the Convention Center in designated areas only.  Buses are not permitted to stage at the Convention Center during the event.  If you are planning on traveling by bus, Festival planners will contact you to coordinate drop-off and pick-up details.

The Expo will be held inside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C.

801 Mount Vernon Place, NW
Washington, DC 20001

There is no charge for the Festival Expo, however, we ask attendees to offer a donation here.

Saturday, April 25, 10:00am-6:00pm

Sunday, April 26, 10:00am-4:00pm

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The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is committed to accommodating the needs of individuals with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A curbside drop-off for wheelchairs and sidewalk curb cut-outs is located at each corner of the Convention Center perimeter. There are also ramps leading from the 9th Street and 7th Street corners to the doors at the Mount Vernon Place entrance. Automatic doors are located at the Mount Vernon Place, L Street and Metro (7th and M Streets) entrances. Inside the Center, meeting rooms, exhibit halls and public areas are all served by conveniently located elevators. Telephones, drinking fountains and restrooms throughout the building are wheelchair accessible. The taxi curbside cut-out located at Mount Vernon Place is available for wheelchair drop-off/transfers. ADA ramps are accessible from either end of Mount Vernon Place.

For more information click here.

For minor emergencies, please take the sick or injured person to an Info Booth or first aid location, in each Hall. Maps will be available on site which identifies the Info Booth and First Aid locations. For major emergencies, please send someone to the nearest Info Booth or alert a staff member, wearing a Festival t-shirt. Each staff member has a radio which connects them to emergency personnel. Please try to relay as much information about the situation as possible.

Yes, items can be taken to, or found at, the Info Booth in Hall A.

All lost children should go to an Info Booth where attempts to contact family will be made. All lost children will be escorted to the Lost Child Waiting Area should immediate attempt to reunited prove unsuccessful. Should you find a lost child, or lose a child, please contact the nearest Info Booth to radio for assistance.  Maps will be available on site which identifies the Info Booth locations. Parents/Guardians will be required to show ID when identifying a missing child.

We also offer the following advice and tips to prevent being separated from your group:

  • We recommend one adult chaperone per ten (10) child attendees.
  • Fasten your name and cell phone number to the clothing of any child aged 7 or younger; this can be anything from a sticker to a small card they have in their pocket.
  • Determine a meeting place and communicate that location to your children in advance, in the event that you/they are separated from your group.
  • If you plan to split up the group, be sure to pre-plan and communicate meet up times and locations.

Upon entering the Washington E Washington Convention Center, guests will undergo appropriate security-based screening. These procedures help ensure all guests have a safe and enjoyable event experience.  We recommend guests only carry small personal bags (i.e. purses, baby or diaper, etc.) These items are subject to inspection entering.

Bags larger than 12″ x 12″ x 12″ are discouraged.

Please make sure that ALL students have their school and contact information with them at all times.

The Walter E. Washington Convention Center has several protocols in place to handle incident management. The building is equipped with monitored surveillance cameras and an in-house security firm, which provides officers at the main entrances and throughout the building. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) are on site to assist with emergency situations. The Convention Center also has a 24-hour manned Control Center in direct communication with the Department of Homeland Security, Division of National Fusion Centers, Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies and DC Fire EMS. 

For the 2020 Festival, additional crowd management and access control staff will be present throughout the building, as well as, at main entrances. An Event Command Center will also be in place to monitor activity.  Representatives from MPD, DC Fire EMS, Security, Office of Public Safety and Transportation, as well as, Festival management will be present in the Event Command Center during Festival hours.

You can log in to attend SciFest All Access from your account dashboard.

Log in to your SciFest account dashboard here:  https://usasef.configio.com/accountdashboard

Click on Join Session from the main menu.

You can add additional days to your registration from your SciFest account dashboard.
Log in to your SciFest account dashboard here:  https://usasef.configio.com/accountdashboard
From the main menu select:  Start a Registration
Click on:  Individual Registration
Select the date you’d like to add. (your attendee information will automatically populate so you won’t have to fill out the form again)
Click:  Register (blue box at bottom of page)
A pop-up window will ask you to Confirm or Add More Days.
Continue to add days as needed, select Confirm when you are done.
Follow the remaining steps to finalize.
You will receive a new confirmation email for each day that you add.

If you have created an account and selected the date(s) you will access the virtual platform, you will receive an email reminder with a link to access SciFest on the day you have confirmed access.

You can also access the SciFest platform on your confirmed date from your account dashboard.

Performances on the virtual STEM Stage will be available on-demand for the entire event.  The only exception to this is the debut of some exclusive Impossible Science at Home stage shows which will air one per day beginning on Sept 27 and will be available on-demand for the rest of the event.   You can access a listing of stage show performers here:  https://usasciencefestival.org/scifest/.

So that all attendees have an opportunity to access the virtual platform, registrants will be asked to confirm the date(s) they wish to access the platform and will have access to the event for the full 24 hours on the date(s) selected.  You will have the opportunity to add additional days to your registration.

We are pleased to offer SciFest worksheets and other resources for educators to utilize as class assignments or activities HERE.

SciFest All Access is designed as an individual experience, however, teachers would be able to show videos from the STEM Stage on a screen for the entire class.  Other components of SciFest, such as the portal containing 100+ exhibit booths and the scavenger hunt, would be better accessed as an individual.  Students would need to participate as an individual in order to accumulate points and be eligible for prizes.

All attendees will need to enter a unique email address, screen name, password, and attendee name (attendees under 18 will be directed to enter last name initial only).

We do understand the issue with school-issued email addresses.  In order to access the virtual platform, each student will need to enter a unique email address. If your students are unable to use their school email for this purpose, we recommend requesting a parent/guardian email on your permission slips that can be used to enter SciFest.  You cannot use one school email address for all students, unfortunately.  Teachers will not be able to register all of their students with their own email address, as each email address can be used only one time to sign up an attendee. Please temporarily allow [email protected] into your edu email accounts so you don’t miss any important updates.

SciFest All Access will launch September 26 at 5:00AM Eastern Time and will be available 24/7 between September 26 and October 31.  Registrants will select the date(s) they wish to access the platform and will have access to the event for the full 24 hours on the date(s) selected.  The link to select date(s) and create a screen name/password will be sent by email to registered attendees in the days leading up to the event.

When attendees visit your booth, they can:

  • Click on the actual booth banners to visit website links (homepage, videos, etc.) that you’ve chosen to link to each banner
  • Send a chat or leave a question
  • Download documents or watch videos you’ve added to the bottom menu bar
  • Visit Social Media sites you’ve added to the bottom menu bar
  • Earn points for everything they click on or interact with on your booth

Booth Example (circle indicates 1 of 6 banners):

If an attendee sends an inappropriate message, please notify the vFairs Tech Support that you need a post deleted or an attendee blocked from future chats.

Yes. Exhibitors can leave a message that will appear at the top of the chat screen to let attendees know when they are available or if they are away at the moment.

We suggest creating a schedule within your team of booth reps so that someone is available to answer chats. You can post the schedule on your booth chat so that attendees know when to expect you.

If no booth reps are available for a time, you can leave an “Away” message, such as: “I’m away for lunch, will be back in an hour.” Or: “Someone from our team will be available at 12pm EST.”

Attendees are still able to leave messages in the Q&A feature that can be answered at a later time.

Yes. Instead of live chat, attendees also have the option to leave a question at your booth that you can answer at a later time.

Yes, from the chat screen you will see icons to initiate a video or audio call.

Yes, you can see that attendees are being helped or responded to by a different booth rep.

Yes, there will be both individual and group chat available during the LIVE event dates (October 18th – October 24th).

Live chat will be turned off during the On-Demand portion of the event (October 25th – November 25th).

Yes, your booth setup form includes a link for email tech support. You will receive a response from VFairs within 12 hours. For immediate assistance, please contact Carter Chambliss at [email protected].

Yes, you can make edits prior to and after the live event dates. However, your initial booth design must be submitted by Friday, September 24th.

Up to 50 videos and documents can be uploaded to your booth.

The USA Science & Engineering Festival has partnered with onPeak to provide you with affordable hotel options for your trip to Washington, DC.  Available only through the official hotel reservation page, rooms are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

Click here to view the official hotel reservation page. 

Warning:  We have received reports that other companies are posing as official travel vendors for the USA Science and Engineering Festival. They are NOT affiliated with the Festival in any capacity. For your own protection, we ask that you exercise caution when making your hotel and travel arrangements. The Festival only guarantees hotel room rates or availability during the show dates for reservations made through onPeak, the official hotel provider.

If you choose to book with a vendor not endorsed by USA Science & Engineering Festival, we strongly encourage you to verify their credentials before doing business with them, and then independently confirm that your reservations have in fact been made and will be honored by directly contacting your chosen hotel.

Yes, there are ATMs located inside the Convention Center.  Look for the ATM signs or check the map while at the Festival.

Concession carts will be available inside the Convention Center offering a wide selection of food and beverage options for purchase. All food must be consumed in the designated lunch areas and attendees must dispose of their own trash. If you have any food allergies or special dietary restrictions, we recommend you bring your own packed punch to avoid any on-the-day issues.

There are also numerous restaurants in the immediate surrounding area. Explore the Shaw Neighborhood Map to see restaurants close by.

Yes, Festival t-shirts will be for sale in both youth and adult size. Please bring a check or credit card, cash will not be accepted for office Festival merchandise. Food vendors and other retails may accept cash.

Yes, we encourage you to bring your camera. Make sure you post some to the USASEF Facebook page, on Instagram and Twitter @USAScienceFest! Use #SciFest and #STEM! 

No. Pets are not permitted inside the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, unless they are a service animal. Service dogs must have proper identification (vest, documentation, etc.) to enter.

Strollers are permitted but due to the large crowds, NO student backpacks will be permitted inside the Convention Center. Small cinch packs and lunches are acceptable for students. Adult chaperones may carry a standard backpack.

Please note there will NOT be a secured location to leave any personal belongings. All attendees are responsible for their own belongings. Strollers will not be available for rent at the venue. There is no place to store personal belongings at the Convention Center.

Your curiosity!!!

Many of the 500 plus participating organizations exhibiting at the Expo will be prepared to talk about internships, scholarships, mentorships, after school programs and clubs, university programs, job opportunities and much more. Also, they can visit the Career Pavilion designated for high-school students. There you can find out about colleges, scholarships, internships and meet scientists and engineers to get all your career advice.

Groups may purchase up to 25 tickets in a single transaction.  For groups with over 25 attendees, you will need to purchase your tickets in separate transactions in increments of 25.   Each person in your group will need to present a ticket to enter the Expo.  If your group is arriving separately, please ensure your tickets have been distributed appropriately.

No, we do not offer group discounts.

We hope that everyone who values the Festival will pitch in.  But we do not want to exclude anyone. A number of adult tickets have been set aside for financial assistance. Please complete this form must be completed for consideration for financial assistance.

Note: Only adults attending the Festival with children will be considered for financial assistance. We do not provide any assistance for travel, parking, food, etc.

Visit showclix.com/my-tickets to log in to your ShowClix account to view your ticket purchase. 

Locate your confirmation email from ShowClix and log in to your account to edit the name on your ticket. If you can’t locate the email, visit showclix.com/my-tickets

All guests will be required to present either a digital or printed ticket for admittance into the Festival.  We strongly encourage guests to either print their tickets at home, screenshot and/or add their electronic ticket to their apple wallet in advance of arrival.

    • Mobile tickets will receive a single ticket that will be valid for all tickets on the order. 
    • Printed tickets will create a unique ticket for each ticket purchased. Please print out each individual ticket.

Ticketed guests should proceed directly to the pre-purchased ticket check-in lines for entry into the Halls.    Please have your ticket ready to present to the Festival staff for scanning.  Upon check-in, all guests will receive a hand stamp granting them one- day access to the Festival, with the ability for re-entry into the Halls for the duration of that day only.

Ticketed guests who purchased a 2-day pass to the Festival will be required to go through the pre-purchased check-in lines on both days.

A ticketing solutions desk will be available onsite to assist with any issues.

All sponsors and exhibitors will receive wristbands for their employees and volunteers working in their booths. In addition, sponsors will receive a set amount of tickets to distribute at their discretion for adult attendees. Please check with the internal contacts at your company to determine if there are tickets for you.

Media must have a city-issued credential to enter the Expo Halls.  Visit our media kit for more information.

No, all ticket sales are final.

ShowClix will also issue an event reminder email 10 hours prior to the Expo start. This email will include details about the Festival and a copy of your ticket(s). You may also access your ShowClix account to view your ticket. Log in here: showclix.com/my-tickets

Parking

We recommend booking convenient and affordable parking in advance through SpotHero, the nation’s leading parking reservation app.

To reserve your parking spot, visit the USA Science & Engineering Festival SpotHero Parking Page and book a spot near the Washington Convention Center with rates up to 50% off drive-up.

New to SpotHero? Click here to download the SpotHero app.

 

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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