News & Events to Inspire STEAM Education

GREEN

A Brief History of Climate Change and the First Giant Step in History to Fight It

Posted by on Jun 7, 2014

For centuries people have known about the dangers of global climate change. Yes, centuries. Ancient Greeks and 19th century Americans debated about how cutting down our forests...

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INNOVATE

CMTA Hosted It’s First Champions of Manufacturing Summit 2014

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014

California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) hosted its first inaugural Champions of Manufacturing Summit with more than 150 people in attendance and 300 watching...

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TECHNOLOGY

bioDensity Inventor Dr. John Jaquish Workshop Leader at Evo Kids Science Space Program | Evolution Expo 2014

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014

Dr. John Jaquish PhD is the Inventor of bioDensity system that rapidly enhances bone health for individuals that are affected by the bone disease osteoporosis and helps Astronauts...

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SCIENCE

Spitzer Space Telescope Team selected to receive the 2014 AIAA Space Science Award | AIAA Space Forum 2014

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014

The Spitzer Space Telescope team has been selected to receive the 2014 AIAA Space Science Award during the AIAA Space and Astronautics Forum August 4-7 in San Diego, California at...

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Spitzer Space Telescope Team selected to receive the 2014 AIAA Space Science Award | AIAA Space Forum 2014

Spitzer Space Telescope Team selected to receive the 2014 AIAA Space Science Award | AIAA Space Forum 2014

Jul 24, 2014

The Spitzer Space Telescope team has been selected to receive the 2014 AIAA Space Science Award during the AIAA Space and Astronautics Forum August 4-7 in San Diego, California at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. This award was originally established in 1961 and is given to an individual for demonstrated leadership of innovative scientific investigations associated with space science missions. The citation for the award reads: “For outstanding science producing over 2,000 papers, 50,000+hours of observation, and significant findings such as the first telescope to directly detect light from extrasolar planets.” The award consists of an engraved medal and a certificate of citation.

spitzer space telescope Image Credit: NASA/JPL-CalTech/SSC

The Spitzer Space Telescope is designed to detect infrared radiation, which is primarily heat radiation that allows scientists to peer into cosmic regions that are hidden from optical telescopes, including dusty stellar nurseries, the centers of galaxies, and newly forming planetary systems. Spitzer’s infrared eyes also allows astronomers see cooler objects in space, like failed stars (brown dwarfs), extrasolar planets, giant molecular clouds, and organic molecules that may hold the secret to life on other planets. Recently NASA’s Spitzer and Kepler Space Telescopes has helped scientist with the most precise measurement ever of the radius of a planet beyond our solar system. Their discoveries confirm Kepler-93b as a “super-Earth” that is about one-and-a-half times the size of our planet. Although super-Earths are common in the galaxy, none exist in our solar system. To learn more visit: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/

Join this year’s AIAA SPACE Forum: This event will give you a 360-degree view of the impacts of space activity on society. Focused on “Connecting, Protecting, and Enhancing a Global Society,” this forum will connect you with the researchers, engineers and experts who are driving our industry forward.

Attend & Register Here

AIAA

bioDensity Inventor Dr. John Jaquish Workshop Leader at Evo Kids Science Space Program | Evolution Expo 2014

bioDensity Inventor Dr. John Jaquish Workshop Leader at Evo Kids Science Space Program | Evolution Expo 2014

Jul 16, 2014

Dr. John Jaquish PhD is the Inventor of bioDensity system that rapidly enhances bone health for individuals that are affected by the bone disease osteoporosis and helps Astronauts that spend long periods of time in zero gravity. After completing many years of research on osteogenic and neurological function/response, John developed the initial prototype of bioDensity. His doctoral dissertation in biomedical engineering research is from Rushmore University. He conducted 4 years of testing with human subjects focused on user comfort biomechanics and optimal bone muscular stimulation for individuals. This device can greatly benefit de-conditioned elderly populations, high performance athletes and Astronauts living in space – for stronger bone tissue and increased muscular strength.

John was one of the Workshop Leaders for the Evo Kids program at Evolution Expo 2014 in Oakland, Ca. Check out video and hear what John had to say about the family fun event and inspiring kids in science, technology, engineering, arts and math fields.

To learn more or purchase John’s book, please visit:

bioDensity

Evolution Expo

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Evo Kids “Think Tank” with NASA Astronauts Wendy Lawrence & Joe Edwards | Evolution Expo 2014

Evo Kids “Think Tank” with NASA Astronauts Wendy Lawrence & Joe Edwards | Evolution Expo 2014

Jul 9, 2014

NASA Astronauts Wendy Lawrence and Joe F. Edwards presented and interacted with kids at Evolution Expo 2014 – Evo Kids program talking with them up close and personal about their experiences in the pursuit of space exploration. They also discussed new technologies like having 3D printers in space that will manufacture tools on demand or even food and the challenges for future space exploration missions. The program was enjoyable for everyone as kids asked questions to both Joe and Wendy after panel discussion and soon after in the breakout session, they worked together in groups of teams called the “Think Tank.”

Astronaut Joe Edwards is also an aviator, combat Navy fighter pilot and experimental test pilot of the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world. In the Space Shuttle – Mir Space Station program he set world records for flying the largest mass in Earth orbit, the most humans in space simultaneously and he flew the closest flying maneuvers in the history of manned space flight in the Orbiter Endeavour.

Astronaut Wendy Lawrence former U.S. Navy Captain and helicopter pilot. She received a bachelor of science degree in ocean engineering from U.S. Naval Academy and a master of science degree in ocean engineering from MIT and WHOI. She was selected as an astronaut mission specialist and worked at NASA for 14 years. Her technical assignments included serving as the Director of Operations at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. She is a veteran of four shuttle missions (STS-67, 86, 91 and 114) and has logged over 1225 hours in space.

Hear from both Joe and Wendy at Evolution Expo about what inspires them and advice to others in following their dreams:

For more information, visit:

Astronaut Wendy Lawrence

Astronaut Joe Edwards

Evolution Expo

EVO-graphic

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EVO Kids Program with Tony Leavitt NASA Ames STEM Education Specialist | Evolution Expo 2014

EVO Kids Program with Tony Leavitt NASA Ames STEM Education Specialist | Evolution Expo 2014

Jul 2, 2014

At Evolution Expo in Oakland, Ca this past weekend Tony Leavitt, NASA Ames STEM outreach specialist & founder of The STEM-Space project worked with the Evo Kids program along with Astronauts Wendy Lawrence & Joe Edwards also including scientist: Liz Warren (NASA Scientist); Chris McKay (Planetary Scientist & Mars Expert); Dr. John Jaquish (BioMedical Engineer); Pascal Lee (NASA/SETI Institute Planetary Scientist & Mars Expert) and Celeste Yarnall (Doctorate in Nutrition). The Evo team first presented about the challenges currently facing our ability to reach Mars and other manned space operations. Next, families and kids settled into groups in a classroom setting called the “Think Tank” as they tried to come up with their own solutions to these issues. Once the kids were in their groups, a scientist sat with them while they brainstormed ideas to see how they were able to take their ideas to another level.

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Pictured (starting left): Astronaut Joe Edwards, Celeste Yarnall, Tony Leavitt, Liz Warren, Dr. John Jaquish and Astronaut Wendy Lawrence.

QGITS had a chance to chat and interview Tony Leavitt at Evolution Expo with Nora Allstedt, California Educator for Exeter Unified Schools. Check out video to hear what he had to say about the Evo Kids Program and his new project the STEM-Space project:

At the EVO kids program at Evolution Expo,Tony Leavitt presented to kids and families “Exploring the Surface of Mars: Searching for Clues of Life: Past & Present” the exploration of Mars and how the “Follow the Water” strategy has lead to evidence of water both in ancient oceans and rivers on Mars and ways to engage students with this quest for life on other planets.

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To Learn more visit:

The STEM-Space Project

Evolution Expo

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CMTA Hosted It’s First Champions of Manufacturing Summit 2014

CMTA Hosted It’s First Champions of Manufacturing Summit 2014

Jul 1, 2014

California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) hosted its first inaugural Champions of Manufacturing Summit with more than 150 people in attendance and 300 watching the live broadcast online hosted by comedian and manufacturing enthusiast Adam Carolla helped recognize seven Champion companies for their commitment to California, their workers and innovation. The honorees covered a spectrum of specific industries and different regions: Vista Metals from Fontana; Keystone Engineering from Long Beach; Sierra Nevada Brewing from Chico; California Steel Industries from Fontana; California Custom Fruits & Flavors from Irwindale; FATHOM from Oakland; Parallax from Rocklin. View more about the Champions.

CMTA
Photo by CMTA: Adam Corrolla with Intel and Fathom -3D Printing & Advanced Prototyping for Product Development.

QGITS last met with Board of Director Chairman and Executive Committee member of CMTA & President of Bishop-Wisecarver Group Pamela Kan at the Automation Technology Expo and recently caught up with her again to chat about the Champions of Manufacturing Summit in Sacramento June 18th, here’s what she had to say:

QGITS: How important is it for Bishop-Wisecarver to participate in events such as the Champions of Manufacturing Summit?

Pamela Kan: Anytime we can get a positive message around manufacturing out, it’s a win for anybody involved, it’s a win for employees, it’s a win for the manufacturers and a win for our state economy. I am starting to get a sense that the tide is starting to turn back in support of manufacturing and I find that really exciting. I think it’s important not just for a business but for a state in general to really understand the importance of manufacturing and technology in a state economy as well as our country’s economy.

PK Blog

QGITS: During the summit, Adam Corolla talked about more hands on learning education in our schools, what did you think about what Adam had to say?

Pamela Kan:  Everything Adam was talking about was really music to my ears. I think it’s been a real disservice to our kids that we have taken out those opportunities in High School. For kids that really are more kinesthetic learners who really love to create and make things, it’s a real injustice. Most schools now don’t have the opportunity of having industrial arts, wood shop or auto shop the type of things that give kids that applied learning…the hands on learning experience. I also think it’s not realistic that every kid is suited to go to a four year college and I think Adam was really spot-on in that comment. The reality is not every kid is suited to go to college and not every kid wants to go college. Our economy needs kids and needs people that want to be making things. As our aging employee population start to retire out, we have a real skill set brain drain happening in our companies and I am bit fearful for our state, to be honest. The supply chain around skilled labor is really lacking in our state and we need to figure out how to get these kids opportunities to start learning technical skill sets and keep them engaged and give them opportunities in the class environment to have them want to go to school and at least graduate high school. That it’s ok if they want to make things. The trades are important and they are vital, on average they earn around $20K more for jobs in manufacturing. It’s a very liveable salary and viable career for kids and they do not get that message in our school system right now. The message shouldn’t just be about that in order to succeed in life that you have to go to a four year college because that’s not the case and maybe they go back later when they really have a clear path but they do not have to be pushed into going to college right after high school.

QGITS also had the chance to talk with CMTA Vice President, Communications Gino DiCaro.

CMTA Adam Corolla Photo by CMTA: (Left) Gino DiCaro), Mike August and Adam Carolla.

QGITS:  What’s different about this year’s CMTA Champions of Manufacturing summit compared to other events you have put together?

Gino DiCaro: We thought it was time to start highlighting the wide range of the very innovative manufacturers that California does have, as well as highlighting the incredibly talented workers these companies employ. There is more than 1.2 million manufacturing workers in California and we would like the companies that employ these workers to certainly continue to operate here and find ways to grow even more in the golden state. We met with countries manufacturing investment members over the last couple years and in 2013 California received only 1.5% out of the countries manufacturing investments, so its clear that while we are a great manufacturing state, we do have a job to do to make sure that were making California a competitive place to operate and attract that growth. We have been doing a lot of complaining for a long time and we really needed to show the legislative community, the regulatory community and the media that there’s a reason why we got to fight for California manufacturing because these companies are great, there workers are incredible, they are the most innovative in the country, they are the most efficient in the country in terms of energy consumption, and we got a find a way to help make these great companies stay here and grow here.

QGITS: I asked Pamela same question, what did you think about what Adam had to say about education in our country?

Gino DiCaro: I really appreciated his comments on that stuff as well, Adam Corolla really kind of found a way to his own success through working with his hands. The biggest problem in California is the state, public high schools have all but given up on vocational and career technical education in our high school curriculum and we got a find a way to prioritize those classes and extend those classes. We find out to often that within the manufacturing communities that these companies just can’t find skilled workers. The lack of skilled workers is a grand problem for the manufacturing community so we got to find a way to instill those courses back into the schools but also maybe work on the perceptions of these types of classes and jobs. These are very rewarding skills and jobs…on average they pay $77,000 a yr in California. We really hope that this event Champions of Manufacturing will help underscore the need for that focus of skilled workers in California.

cmta_logo

CMTA invites you to join the only statewide organization dedicated to protecting manufacturers ability to operate competitively in California.

Interview with Vocademy’s Founder Gene Sherman at the 1st-ever White House Maker Faire DC 2014

Interview with Vocademy’s Founder Gene Sherman at the 1st-ever White House Maker Faire DC  2014

Jun 24, 2014

Congratulations to our friend and one of QGITS favorite local Entrepreneur, Maker and Inventor -Vocademy - The Makerspace founder/CEO Gene Sherman received an official invitation as an honored maker to attend the first-ever White House Maker Faire on June 18th. In 2011, he did a TEDx Talk titled “The Importance of Making Things” and it felt very surreal to him that he was at the White House listening to President Obama saying the exact same thing. He represented Vocademy and their mission to promote “education-focused” makerspaces. He was one of the 80 Makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs selected to attend the first White House Maker Faire.

QGITS spoke with Gene via phone to ask him about his incredible experience at the White House Maker Faire and what it meant to him to be at the forefront in celebrating a nation of makers that day.

Maker Faire DC
Photo by: Vocademy

QGITS: What is it like to be there in DC for the 1st-ever Maker Faire Summit and to hear the President speak in person?

Gene Sherman: The amazing thing is that they are doing this. The White House is finally acknowledging how important making things are for this country. To hear the President use the same words I have been using for years is really very reassuring. It was very cool to see him in person,  I was about 20 ft away in a room full of maybe 120 people and he spoke at the State Floor in the East Room of the White House. He has a great sense of humor, he said some really nice things, he made a lot of sense, he wasn’t very political and what he said was very common sense.
Click here to watch or hear President Obama speak at the White House Maker Faire.

QGITS: As a Maker, Innovator & Entrepreneur what were some of your favorite highlights from the Maker Faire event?

Gene Sherman: Everyone at this event, really felt that this whole maker movement is about to go big. For years I have been trying to teach people about the term “Makerspace” and what it means and now the President actually used it in his speech and then in his proclamation. He also just announced June 18th is the official Day of Making and to be just a part of that – was just incredible. Most of the people attending were the leaders of the Maker Movement and to be around that and smiling at each other that this is about to go mainstream..is very special. The goal is getting more adults and kids involved into hands on making things.

Gene Sherman & Bill Nye Photo by Vocademy. Cool snapshot of Gene Sherman and Bill Nye the Science Guy at the White House Maker Faire.

QGITS: Anything else you would like to mention that you took away from the Maker Faire?

Gene Sherman: We all realize how important this is too our country, we all realize that is goes beyond just entertaining ourselves by tinkering. That as a country we need to have more Makers and Innovators. Almost everyone agreed that we need to get our kids using their hands whether they are going to college or not..if they want to be a doctor, a mechanic or anyone else we need to start letting them play. We also thought that schools are becoming very boring and rigorous and we agreed that playtime also becomes your passion eventually in life. Until middle and high schools bring back hands-on shop classes, we would like to fulfill that role and offer our facility to everyone.

Vocademy  summer pack 2014

www.vocademy.com

Vocademy logo

Entrepreneur Video Game Mogul & Private Astronaut Richard Garriott at the National Space Society Conference | ISDC 2014

Entrepreneur Video Game Mogul & Private Astronaut Richard Garriott at the National Space Society Conference | ISDC 2014

Jun 18, 2014

Entrepreneur, Adventurer, Online Video Game Mogul – Richard Garriott followed in the footsteps of his father, NASA Astronaut Owen Garriott paying $35 million dollars for the opportunity to go into space. On October 12, 2008 he launched from a Russion Soyuz TMA-13 rocket to the International Space Station for 10 days as the 1st second generation American Astronaut and the sixth private astronaut client of Space Adventures. Growing up in the space community, his passion and dream has always been to go to space, as he devoted from an early age his own personal investing towards the privatization of space travel. Richard is also an Investor and Vice-Chairman of Space Adventures, the world’s premier private space exploration company and he hopes to see the cost of getting private citizens into space come down dramatically.

QGITS had the chance to catch up with Richard at the National Space Society ISDC conference after the opening reception and his presentation talk “Opening the Floodgates to Entrepreneurial Space Exploration.” Here’s what he had to say:

To learn more visit:

Richard Garriott

Richard in Space

Space Adventures

Apogee of Fear Film made in Space

International Space Development Conference (ISDC)

Finding Space Treasures on Earth-an exclusive Interview with the Science Channel’s Meteorite Man | ISDC 2014

Finding Space Treasures on Earth-an exclusive Interview with the Science Channel’s Meteorite Man | ISDC 2014

Jun 8, 2014

QGITS had the opportunity of being the media present for the the 2014 ISDC National Space Convention.  This astronomical annual convention was filled with many innovators in space and many who had been to space to explore our mostly unknown universe and beyond.

Geoffrey Notkin and QGITS Staff Andrea Kuipers

Geoffrey Notkin and QGITS Staff Andrea Kuipers

There was one man, whoever, who explores space in his own backyard-Geoffrey Notkin, also known as the Meteorite Man and host of the Science Channel’s Meteorite Men.  Notkin is not only a television celebrity, appearing in shows for PBS, Discovery, NASA, National Geographic, and the History Channel, but he is also an award-winning author and owner of Aerolite Meteorites LLC, a company that provides meteorite and other spatial specimens to collectors and institutions worldwide.  While Notkin himself has never been to space, he knows more about it than most from the treasures he finds around the world and many in his own backyard in Tuscon, Arizona.

I had the joy of interviewing this well versed Meteorite Man and picking his brains on these extraterrestrial objects.  See video below.

Check out Geoffrey’s Stem Journals at:
Stem Journals

Also check out the Meteorite Men at:

Meteorite Men

And Geoffrey Notkin’s Official Page:

Notkin.net

A Brief History of Climate Change and the First Giant Step in History to Fight It

A Brief History of Climate Change and the First Giant Step in History to Fight It

Jun 7, 2014

For centuries people have known about the dangers of global climate change.

Yes, centuries.

Ancient Greeks and 19th century Americans debated about how cutting down our forests could impact our fragile ecosystem and climate.  The first to officially propose the idea of the greenhouse effect was in 1896 by famous Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius.  This was long before cars or cell phones or any industry that we know today.

In the 1930s scientists realized that the US and North Atlantic region had warmed significantly during the previous half century but this was soon dismissed as a mild natural cycle.

As the decades progressed, people, civilians and scientists alike, began to take notice of our shifting climate and by the 1970s, curiosity about climate change turned into an anxious concern with the rise of environmentalism.  It was during this time that an analysis of Northern Hemisphere weather statistics showed a cooling pattern that had begun in the 1940s.

In 2001 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) cautiously established a consensus that stated “…although the climate system was so complex…it was much more likely than not that our civilization faces severe global warming” (aip.org).

Rising Sea Levels

What our beaches will be like.

Now, thirteen years later, there is little debate that we are on the brink of a global catastrophe, with sea levels rising by the centimeter each year and sound predictions that say in fifty years, sea levels will start to rise by the meter, putting many of our beloved coastal cities at great risk.  This is just some of the horrific problems are world is destined to face without immediate action.

After decades of evidence and debate, one man has decided to rise above and make the first big move to combat this inevitable crisis.  On Monday, June 2nd, President Obama announced to reduce the nation’s biggest source of pollution blamed for global warming-carbon emission from power plants.  It proposes a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that would reduce such emissions by 30% by 2030.  According to the EPA, the proposed new rules would reduce carbon pollution by the same amount as removing two-thirds of all the automobiles from American streets.

EPA administrator Gina McCarthy stated, “For the sake of our families’ health and our kids future, we have a moral obligation to act on our climate.  When we do, we’ll turn risks on climate into business opportunity.  We’ll spur innovation and investment, and we’ll build a world-leading clean energy economy”.

President Barack Obama

Obama addresses the nation.

Thank you, Obama.  It is about time.

For more information, check out:

The History of Global Climate Change

President Obama’s Climate Action Plan

The Future of Rising Sea Levels

NSF On Rising Sea Levels

The First-of-Its-Kind Evolution Expo Science & Sci-Fi Event June 27-29 2014

The First-of-Its-Kind Evolution Expo Science & Sci-Fi Event  June 27-29 2014

May 31, 2014

The first-of-its-kind Evolution Expo 2014 is coming to the Oakland Marriott City Center this June 27-29 for a three-day event full of science and science fiction-related exhibits, workshops and presentations, it was announced by Science Fiction Entertainment, Inc. (SFE). Keynote speaker Mayim Bialik, a neuroscientist and star of the hit show “The Big Bang Theory,” and U.S. Astronauts Joe Edwards (pilot, Space Shuttle Endeavour) and Wendy Lawrence (mission specialist, Space Shuttle Endeavour, Atlantis and Discovery) headline the star-studded list of celebrities, astronauts, engineers and the next generation of space exploration innovators who will be on hand to discuss “putting the Science back into Science Fiction.” The program schedule and tickets are available now at www.EvolutionExpo.net.

evolution-expo-2014-30

Joining Bialik and astronauts Edwards and Lawrence at the event for onstage panels, autograph signings, photo opportunities and more are such stars as: Katee Sackhoff (“Longmire,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Oculus,” “Longmire”), Jason Momoa (“Game of Thrones,” “Conan,” “Stargate: Atlantis,” “The Red Road”), Amanda Tapping (“Stargate SG-1,” “Sanctuary,” “Stargate: Atlantis”), John Rhys-Davies (“Lord of the Rings,”, “Indiana Jones,” “Sliders,” “Apocalypse Pompeii”), Tim Russ (“Star Trek: Voyager”), Kevin Sorbo (“Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” “Andromeda,” “God’s Not Dead”), Tom Skerritt (“Alien,” “Top Gun,” “MASH”), Veronica Cartwright (“Alien,” “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “Resurrection”) and Garrett Wang (“Star Trek: Voyager,” “Star Trek: Of Gods and Men,” “Star Trek: Renegades”).

Mayim-BialikWendy Lawrence

joe edwards

Also confirmed to participate in workshops and onstage presentations to date are: Dr. Pascal Lee, planetary scientist and founder of the Mars Institute; Dr. Chris McKay, planetary scientist; Dr. John Jaquish, bio-medical engineer; Dr. Jenn Fletcher, molecular biologist; Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D. and Blaze Sanders, engineer.

About Evolution Expo: Development began in 2011 by SFE founders mother and son, Julie and Dustin Brown, who then brought Oakland’s famed Chabot Space and Science Center, on board as a strategic partner. Chabot, which will be a direct beneficiary of the inaugural SFE Charity Gala on Saturday, June 28, also will host the Gala at the Center. A 30 person stand-up planetarium and other interactive exhibits also will be provided by the Center for the three-day Evolution Expo event. “Evolution Expo is the next generation of events, bringing our audience a chance to learn about the real science behind the science fiction they love,” observes Julie Caitlin Brown, CEO of Science Fiction Entertainment (SFE). “We are committed to inspiring our attendees to know more about STEM outreach, (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and to create opportunities for greater learning in the Bay Area.”

As a result of their commitment to education, Evolution Expo has garnered the support of Tony Leavitt, Educational Specialist for NASA Ames and will feature a specific educational program named Evo-Kids. Evo-Kids is open to general attendees all three days, and also will welcome 900 fourth- and fifth-grade students from the Oakland Unified School District, who are sponsored guests of the Expo.

Evolution Expo

Register & Attend Here