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Imagine: an all-day interactive Festival symposium for elementary through high school students featuring some of the most exciting leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) – and all dedicated to inspiring students through storytelling and live demonstrations!

Hang on as we turn up the excitement meter for the Festival Expo just a bit higher with the launching of the X-STEM Extreme Symposium, a program of Science Spark, on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC.

Note: Act now to obtain limited tickets to the event by reading information at the bottom of this article.

Don't miss this truly unique educational opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the nation's leading STEM professionals and role models, representing such hot cutting-edge areas as space exploration, green technology, storm chasing, oceanography, nanotechnology, computer science, the science of social networks, the physics of superheroes, music and the brain, mathematical puzzles and much, much more!

Throughout the day, students will have the opportunity to sit in on multiple engaging presentations, live demonstrations and hands-on workshops. Here are just several exciting symposium presenters who are sure to wow audiences:

09 GCEC SpeakBernardHarrisBernard Harris, M.D. – This physician served as a NASA astronaut from 1990 to 1996, including flying aboard STS-55 (Spacelab D-2), Columbia, and as Payload Commander on STS-63 in 1995 (in which he became the first African American to walk in space). Learn of his perspective on the future of space flight, and of his career transition to Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a venture capital firm focused on early-stage companies in medical informatics and technology.


holdren pres-sealJohn Holdren, Ph.D. – Ever wonder what it's like to be the Chief Science Advisor to President Obama? This aeronautics engineer and plasma physicist holds this noted position and will shed light on advising the President on matters ranging from space exploration to biofuels.


Nifty Fifty STEM speaker J Craig Venter 2014 USA Science  Engineering FestivalJ. Craig Venter Ph.D.  – He's called one of the most influential scientists today. Meet and hear this biologist and biotech entrepreneur who played a seminal role in the first sequencing of the human genome, and who founded the J. Craig Venter Institute!


NF BIO PHOTO -Kevin-Kinsella-2Kevin J. Kinsella – The career of this venture capital powerhouse has not only seen him launch a bevy of successful biotech firms, but also start the video game company Zynga (maker of the phenomenal game Farmville), and win the coveted Tony Award for producing the hit musical Jersey Boys.


full-KathrynThorntonKathryn Thornton, Ph.D.  As a NASA astronaut she logged more than 16 million miles in orbit and became the second American woman to walk in space. Now discover how this noted physicist and university professor continues to bring science exploration to students in unforgettable ways!


marc abrahamsMarc Abrahams – This nationally-known mathematician and funnyman will leave you in stitches! He's editor-founder of science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research, and the founder and emcee of he annual (and irreverent) IgNobel Prize Ceremony held at Harvard!

For a rundown on all X-STEM presenters, click here

How to Attend the X-STEM Symposium

Interested in attending an extreme day of STEM? Students, educators and STEM enthusiasts can participate by:

Option 1: Buy a ticket (seats for purchase are limited and offered by invitation only)

  • General Admission: $25 per person (early bird rate)
  • K-12 Students and Educators: $15 per person (early bird rate)

Note: The X-STEM Registration Form is coming soon! Please sign up here to be added to our interest list.

Option 2: Sign on to be an X-STEM Ambassador to the Festival and attend at no cost!

The Ambassador program is appropriate for middle and high school-level students and their educators, as well as for STEM professionals. Ambassadors play a critical role in increasing awareness for the 2014 Festival through marketing and outreach efforts.

For more information on the X-STEM Ambassador program, and to register click here

For more information on the X-STEM program and symposium click here