Who Knew There Was a Plant Pathologist?

Sign for NASA at 60


I went to the U.S. Science and Engineering Festival this weekend, at the Washington Convention Center.

The festival was focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), and more particularly on drawing girls into the sciences.  And it was packed with lots of kids checking out the displays.  This was a huge facility, and people kept coming and coming.  There’s definite interest in science, despite what feels to me like we’ve veered away from it with big companies influencing the results of studies like in the food industry.

Some highlights:

Most popular section:  NASA and space travel.  This was more crowded than anywhere else.  Maybe we’ve got some future scientists who will figure out how to get us off the planet with artificial gravity.  Right now, to leave our gravity well, we have to put a lot of explosives under our space craft.

USDA’s job table was pretty cool.  They had jobs like:

  • Plant Pathologist: They figure out causes and controls of plant diseases.
  • Remote Sensing Specialists: Analyzes satellite images
  • Marine Scientists: Researches problems facing Marine life

I was grabbing those up, and it also told me that I could check on some of the government job listings in the science areas for research.

Probably the most interesting was a visit to a table of a man who had been out in the Arctic three times.  He had on display the boots he had to wear “Big Red,” which was the coat.  The boots were very heavy–you’d get a good workout just from them.  I was also able to put on “Big Red,” which was a goose down coat they wore.  It also was quite heavy.  Between those two, you’d get quite a workout!

Military was also there as well.  This is from the Air Force:

Air Force Plane on display

It was a lot of fun!