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2014 USA Science and Engineering Festival (Image 16)

"Survive the Wave" exhibit at the 2014 USA Science and Engineering Festival

At the 2014 USA Science and Engineering Festival, future engineers excitedly watch as a giant wave approaches (then crashes down on) structures they built at the Purdue University Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) exhibit "Survive the Wave." Visitors were challenged to design and build structures that could withstand a tsunami in a 16-foot-long wave tank. The exhibit was one of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) exhibits and stage shows at the festival that took place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on April 25-27.

The 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean may have broken records but the most destructive tsunamis have occurred along the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. Earthquakes centered on the ocean floor are the ones that most often generate a tsunami and the first wave can reach a beach in minutes. The festival provided a fun and engaging opportunity for NEES to reach out to the community and inform them of the risks of earthquakes and tsunamis to populated areas and the research that is occurring to mitigate those risks.

NSF was a partner in the festival, the nations largest celebration of science and engineering, where visitors eagerly engaged in hands-on activities and were amazed by the breadth of research and education projects supported by the agency. The festival expo provides an opportunity for NSF to showcase the innovation the agency supports throughout the U.S. and the projects and programs selected to represent NSF benefit from the opportunity to demonstrate the value of their activities and outcomes to a large national audience.

The goal of the festival is to reinvigorate the interest of the nations youth in science, technology, engineering and math by presenting these areas in an exciting, compelling, educational and entertaining manner. Now in its third year, the festival attracted an estimated 320,000 attendees.

A complete list of NSFs exhibits and stage shows is available Here. Images from the festival can also be viewed on NSF's Flickr site Here. (Date of Image: 2014) [Image 16 of 67 related images. See Image 17.]

Credit: Susan Pell, National Science Foundation

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