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Frequently Asked Questions - Attendee FAQ

FAQs - Attendee FAQ

Thursday, April 24 X-STEM Speakers: Ticketed event - 9:00am to 3:00pm

Friday, April 25 Sneak Peek Friday: Pre-registration required - 9:00am to 3:00pm

Saturday, April 26Sunday, April 27 Expo: Free event - 9:00am to 6:00pm

Wednesday, April 23 – Friday, April 25 US News STEM Solutions Conference: Registration required - for more information click here

Yes, the Expo is free of charge. No tickets are required. Pre-register via our homepage for a chance to win an IPad 2, T-shirts and some behind the scenes meet and greets with Science Celebrities!

In Washington, DC, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (www.dcconvention.com)
801 Mt Vernon Place, NW, Washington, DC 20001.
Get Directions

Closest Metro Stop:
Mt. Vernon Sq/7th St-Convention Center

Download a printable Expo Map- COMING SOON

We expect over 350,000 visitors throughout the four days.

We strongly recommend that you use public transportation!

The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is located at 801 Mount Vernon Place (between 9th and 7th Streets NW on L Street NW). The Green and Yellow line Mt. Vernon Square/7th St Convention Center Metro Stop exits into the Convention Center. Click here to download the Metro map.

Go to http://www.wmata.com/rail/maps/map.cfm to view the Metro map.

Click on the Google Map icon in the upper right hand corner to view the Metro map overlaid on DC's street map. Zoom into the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Metered parking is extremely limited and expensive. (7 min per $0.25 with 2 hr limit)

No event parking is provided.

To make parking for the Festival easy and stress free, we have partnered with Parking Panda, the nationwide leader in online parking reservations, to allow visitors to purchase guaranteed parking near the Festival. Click here for more information. 

Inventory is limited and garages will fill up before the festival, so it is strongly recommended that you purchase Parking Passes for the Festival if driving.

A few public parking locations are listed below, but check closing hours so that your vehicle is not locked in overnight. Also be aware of vehicle height restrictions. This list is not all-inclusive and you may find better parking on your way to these locations. 

Public Parking Lots near the Walter E. Washington Convention Center

Renaissance Washington Hotel
999 Ninth Street NW Washington, DC
(202) 898-9000

PMI Parking
915 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, DC
(202) 785-9191

Quick Park
Grand Hyatt Washington
1000 H Street NW Washington, DC
(202) 582-1234

PMI Parking
610 Massachusetts Ave. NW Washington, DC
(202) 785-9191

Marc Parc
500 K Street NW Washington, DC
(202) 464-2900

Handicapped Parking

There are twelve metered public parking spaces designated for the handicapped requiring the display of a disability parking permit or license tag.
7th Street between L and Mt Vernon Streets (3 spaces)
9th Street between Mount Vernon Place and L Street (3 spaces)
9th Street between L Street and M Street (3 spaces)
9th Street between M Street and N Street (3 spaces)

The X-STEM Symposium is a unique opportunity for students interested in STEM to get up close and personal with science and technology role models in a conference-style setting. X-STEM attendees can attend talks and workshops from 60 STEM mentors and industry leaders. Registration is restricted to approximately 3,000 attendees. Click here to register, advanced registration is required.

Sneak Peek Friday is a day when students and teachers from the community, homeschoolers, military families, government officials and their staffers, and the press can come to enjoy the Festival before it opens to the general public. Click here to register.

As you walk among the booths, you'll find over 3000 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!

To view a list of our exhibitors click here.

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. Click here for more information.

Then check out the over 100 stage shows on 3 different stages. Be amazed by science magicians, shout and dance with the science cheerleaders, sign along with They Might Be Giants, tap your feet to science songs, learn about amphibians, meet Bill Nye the Science Guy and much, much more!

Click to view all exhibits and build and print your personal "must-do exhibits" list.

Click to view all stage shows and build and print your own schedule!

Click to view STEM Career Pavilion.


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.

Click here to view all exhibits.

There will be 3 major stages throughout the Expo grounds. We are so excited to have celebrity performers like the They Might Be Giants, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Mike Rowe, Apollo Robbins, the expert panelists from hit shows the Big Theory, Breaking Bad and many others! You can filter the Performances page by age range and subject area and build and print your own, personal schedule.

Click here to view all performances/stage shows.

The 2014 Festival will Celebrate Science and Engineering! The Festival floor plan will be organized by pavilion categories to allow guests easy navigation and exploration. Some of the pavilions will include:

• Natural Sciences

• Earth Sciences

• Astronomy/Space Exploration

• Engineering

• Health and Medicine

• Energy

• Social Sciences

• Math/Computer Sciences

• High Technology

• Kids Pavilion (for children under 7 years of age)

With over 3000 fun, interactive activities and 100 stage shows, there is more than enough variety of topics and activities to excite attendees from toddlers to adults, from science professionals to just the curious. You can filter the exhibit page by age range.

Download printable Expo Map!- COMING SOON
When you arrive at the Expo, you will receive a detailed map of the Expo grounds, including a Performance Schedule.

Print an Expo Map COMING SOON
View all exhibits
View all stage shows
View STEM Career Pavilion

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, keyword and pavilion 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 pavilion. The individual booths are numbered within each section.

Expo maps and schedules will be available on site at information booths and from Festival Ambassadors who will be placed throughout the Expo grounds. You can also download an Expo Map. Or you can build your own Exhibit List or Stage Show Schedule via our website. Simply go to the Exhibits or Stage Shows pages and select the exhibits and shows you are interested in. Then print your personal schedule.

No. Registration is not required to attend any performances and they are open and free to the general public, just like the Expo. However, seating is limited and is first come and first serve. 

Your curiosity!!! We recommend leaving valuables at home and only bringing essentials.You will want your hands free to be able to explore all the interactive experiences.


Concession carts and food courts will be available inside the convention center. There is variety of options to choose from.

With the large crowds, we encourage guests to limit extra bags and personal items. Strollers are permitted. Please note there will not be a secured location to leave any personal belongings. Strollers will not be available for rent at the venue.

All lost children should go to a Guest Service Center where attempts to contact family will be made. All lost children will be escorted to the Lost Child Waiting Area should an immediate attempt to be reunited prove unsuccessful. Should you find a lost child, or lose a child, please contact the nearest Guest Service Center to radio for assistance. Maps will be available on site which identifies the Guest Service 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:
If you have young children we highly recommend giving the child something with your contact information on it JUST IN CASE they get separated from the group. This can be anything from a sticker with your contact number to a small card they have in their pocket. Have your group pre-plan meet up times and locations if you plan to split up.

Yes, items can be taken to, or found at, the Guest Service Center in Hall A.

For minor emergencies, please take the sick or injured person to a Guest Service Center or first aid location, one is located in each Hall. Maps will be available on site which identifies the Guest Service and First Aid locations. For major emergencies, please send someone to the nearest Guest Service Center or find a staff member, wearing blue Festival tee 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.

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

Yes, festival tee shirt will be available 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 exhibitor may accept cash. You can also purchase your festival gear in advance, visit WEBSITE.

Yes, there are ATMs located in convenient locations in the Convention Center. Look for the ATM signs or check the map while at the festival

Yes, we encourage you to bring your camera. Make sure you tweet your photos using the #Scifest hashtag and @USAScienceFest handle and post some to the USA Science & Engineering Festival Facebook page!

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

Participate in one of our many contests, like the Kavli Science in Fiction Contest, National Kidwind Challenge and Who Wants to be a Mathematician. Visit our website for student resources like our Role Models in Science & Engineering. Also, X-STEM School Program is a wonderful way to promote STEM in your schools and communities.

And of course you can also join our Volunteer Outreach Team to spread the word about the Festival.

We would love to have you tweet and post all about your experiences at the Festival! Follow us on twitter @USAScienceFest and use the #Scifest hashtag. You can post your photos to our Facebook wall by clicking here and stay tuned for details on our Instagram page! 

You can also find us on Google +, LinkedIn and Pinterest

Contact us at info@usasciencefestival.org and by phone at 202-459-0880.

Yes, room 143B is a dedicated area for nursing mothers.