Wednesday October 26, 2022 | Dulles Expo Center


Plan a Field Trip That Will Ignite Your Students' Curiosity About STEM
Emcee Maynard Okereke
"Hip Hop M.D."

What to Expect at X-STEM

X-STEM NOVA is a FREE in-person CONFERENCE-STYLE event for middle and high school students designed to empower and inspire kids about careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  Attendees will be inspired by presentations from leading STEM role models, participate in Q&A sessions, learn by doing in hands-on workshops, interact with students from all over the county, and have fun while learning about exciting career opportunities in STEM!

Registered attendees and school groups will be assigned to view multiple speaker presentations and one hands-on workshop until workshop capacity is reached.  There may be an option to participate in a late-session workshop from 2:15-3:15pm for attendees who are able to stay on after the main event ends.

X-STEM NOVA is presented by Airbus and the U.S. Air Force.  Workshops are sponsored by Amazon Web Services, Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment (IBAS), and the U.S. Space Force.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022  |  9:30am to 2:00 pm ET  |  Dulles Expo Center

Emcee Maynard Okereke
"Hip Hop M.D."
Presented by



Middle and High School Students in grades 6-12


Free in-person conference featuring presentations and hands-on workshops given by STEM role models


Wednesday, October 26, 2022, 9:30am to 2pm, at the Dulles Expo Center

Speakers & Workshop Presenters
Research Entomologist and Explorer Scientist

Matt Buffington

He’s a research entomologist who studies invasive insects like the Asian giant hornet to determine if these insect invaders will cause us trouble. Hear about his work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Smithsonian and see how the road to finding your passion can be full of pitfalls, dead ends, amazing successes and fortunate events.

Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence

Dr. Stacey Dixon

Hear opening remarks from one of America’s top intelligence officials about how her passion for engineering and science, the role it plays in national security, and how your love of STEM can make a big difference to our nation and the cutting-edge work of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Environmental Engineer and Research Scientist

Dr. Tracy Fanara

This environmental engineer and research scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is on a mission to extend humanity’s time on earth by making it safe for all living things. Her diverse background includes storm chasing, designing aquaponics for wastewater treatment in space, serving as a science communicator, and so much more.

Forensic Scientist

Prof. Kelly Knight

From launching rockets in her backyard to dissecting pig brains in her “top secret” laboratory at home as a child, she always knew she was destined for a STEM career but had no idea she would one day use her love of science to help solve crimes. Join Kelly Knight, forensic scientist and professor, as she shares her journey to becoming a “science crime fighter”.

Ionosphere Physicist

Capt Sophia Schwalbe

Capt Schwalbe is the Section Chief, Magnetospheric Impacts Section and the Program Manager for a passive HF receiver instrument at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate.  She’ll discuss some of the coolest things she has gotten to do as a physicist and early career-scientist in the military!



Meet Snowball! Join Airbus and Common Objects for a live demonstration of Snowball to learn what robots are used for, who builds them, and how you can join this exciting and innovative field. See firsthand how these intelligent machines help with safety missions and more.

Alex Nataros, Common Objects CEO
Morgan Keese, Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. Chief of Staff

Planetary Defender

Dr. Thomas Statler

He’s a NASA planetary scientist working to defend our planet from asteroids!  Learn about his work on the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission — humanity’s first attempt to change the motion of a natural celestial body in space and the first full-scale test of an asteroid deflection technology.



Escape from Measurement Island

Students are stranded on Measurement Island and the only way to escape is through metrology! Join Airbus & Flight Works Alabama to gain an understanding of the work of a metrologist. Attendees will work in teams to practice using precision measurement instruments, while paying attention to cumulative error. Use logic to determine the sequence of Reggie’s events, locate escape items, and calculate the distance between each set of points to determine a total distance. Teams must be within a tolerance level of two inches in order to Escape from Measurement Island.


The Wonderful World of Satellites!

Join the Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. team to learn all about satellites! Attendees will have a chance to craft their own satellite while learning about what satellites are, what keeps them in space, what we use them for, and the different types of orbits satellites travel. If you think space and technology are cool, come join our session and get some space socks swag!


Mission H 2.O: Operation Water Purification

Calling all chemists and engineers! Join Dr. Yasmine Daniels (aka The Classy Chemist), with assistance from the STEM hub – a group of professionals with diverse backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math, – and be challenged to take on a critical mission to address the water crisis by designing a chemically-inert device that can regenerate “clean” water. They will incorporate the STEM principles of chromatography and engineering design in building their devices.


Sea Turtle Snacks

Join the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to study how humans impact sea turtles and our oceans!  Students will become sea turtle scientists and investigate the stomach contents of a stranded sea turtle to determine if the turtle was consuming the right foods.  Student groups will discuss ways we can keep our oceans, and the creatures who live there, healthy.


Spark-E's Last Minute Flight Workshop

Students will experience engineering design and manufacturing with the goal of sparking an interest in meaningful manufacturing careers that protect our national security interests. Students will work in teams to prototype, test, and manufacture model planes to solve a real-world problem.

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