USA Science and Engineering Expo, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC, April 26-28, 2012

The University of Florida participated as a Titanium-level partner in the USA Science and Engineering Expo held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC on April 26-28, 2012. Our booth showcased programs in the Department of Astronomy, the College of Engineering (CoE), and the Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences (IFAS). You can see photos taken by the official Expo photographer here.

This is our booth before the start of the Expo. The first day was designated Sneak Peek Friday when various special groups got a chance to see and experience the booths before the general public.

The gyro-chair was an enormous hit with the public. Here we see graduate students Dante Buckley (left) and Moises Rivero (right) helping a volunteer experience the gyro-chair, which demonstrates angular momentum and torque.

IFAS graduate student Eric Schultz describes some of the tools used to study plant growth and development in space. Some of the tools used are a visualization apparatus (behind the Gators sign), synthetic Martian and Lunar regolith used for plant growth in extraterrestrial conditions, and plants grown in a variety of substances.

Eric Schultz demonstrates the clinostat, which simulates low gravity for plant systems. Also visible is a small growth chamber previously used in spaceflight trials, with plants grown on rock wool.

The gryo-chair was sure to draw the huge crowds. Here we see just a few of the estimated 10,000 people who attended our expo booth during the 3 days of the event.

Graduate student Hali Jakeman is describing UFs involvement in the Gran Telescopio Canarias and the other exciting research that the Department of Astronomy is involved in.

Eric Schultz was constantly busy explaining his research to expo attendees.

Some members of the UF Expo group with Bill Nye, the Science Guy! We were all very excited.

Stefan O'Dougherty (left) and Hali Jakeman (right) describe the inner workings of the Gran Telescopio Canarias to several interested students during Sneak Peek Friday.

Former UF student Stefan O'Dougherty is assembling a Galileoscope and describing how a telescope makes an image of a celestial object to a few of the approximately 10,000 visitors at our Expo booth.

Here is the view from one side of our booth toward the gyro-chair and the Astronomy exhibit.

Eric Schultz explains the use of marker genes in biological research, a powerful tool that can help us understand specific gene function.

Lindsey Parker was our admissions office representative in the College pavilion. This was a great opportunity for prospective UF students to learn about our academic programs and the admissions process.

This is an overhead shot of a portion of the Walter E. Washington Convention center graphically illustrating the large number of people who attended the Expo. It is important to note that the Expo was free for the general public.

Click on this image to see a cool time lapse video of our booth and the Expo floor made by Stefan O'Dougherty.

At the inaugural press conference held on Friday morning, we see several VIPs who have been instrumental in organizing, funding, and promoting the 2012 USA Science and Engineering Expo. They are from left to right- Larry Bock, Billy Nye, Ray Johnson of Lockheed Martin, Brigadier General Burke Wilson, United States Air Force, and Carrie Houtman from Dow Chemical Company.

Ata Sarajedini explaining the workings of the Gran Telescopio Canarias.

Dante Buckley showing the contents of the Engineering portion of our expo booth, including SwampSat in the far left.

We would like to thank the University of Florida Provost's Office, Department of Astronomy, Florida Space Grant Consortium, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and the Office of Admissions for their generous support of our participation in this event.