SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 2, 2009
Inspired by international science festivals that draw crowds in the hundreds of thousands, the goal of the San Diego Science Festival is to increase community awareness of science and inspire youth to consider entering science-related careers. The Festival is the first and largest celebration of its kind on the West Coast of the United States.
Celebrating this year's theme, "The Science of You," the Festival will provide more than 500 free and entertaining science outreach activities to Greater San Diego County throughout the month of March. Programs include on-site activities at local schools, field trips, and science workshops at local businesses and research facilities suitable for all ages.
The Festival will conclude with Expo Day, a day-long celebration on Saturday April 4, 2009. Science will take over the museums, cultural centers, and the central corridor of Balboa Park with more than 300 hands-on activities, demonstrations, experiments, contests, and performances.
Agilent Nifty Fifty Speaker
Darlene Solomon, Agilent chief technology officer and vice president of Agilent Laboratories, was selected as one of the San Diego Science Fair’s Nifty Fifty speakers. The Nifty Fifty program recognizes prominent scientists in San Diego. What started with an elite group of 50 has now grown to 100 science role models whose experience and passion will inspire today's students to become tomorrow's scientists. The speakers will visit San Diego County middle and high schools to share their career paths and to introduce science opportunities and career ideas to young people. Members of the Nifty Fifty were nominated by the San Diego Science Festival and its network of more than 125 collaborators, including leading science businesses, major colleges and universities, research institutes, major school districts, school science clubs, and various military and community organizations.
“It’s not every day that middle and high school students get a chance to meet, hear, and interact with some of the world’s top scientists—from researchers in biofuels, heart disease and stem cell research to robotics, engineering, rocket science and endangered species,” said Larry Bock, an entrepreneur and the inspiration behind the San Diego Science Festival. “Visits by our Nifty Fifty in March will give students an opportunity to meet some of these researchers, to be inspired by them as role models, to learn about their cutting-edge work, to hear about the rewards and stumbling blocks in their careers, to learn about the emerging opportunities for young people in the sciences, and to receive further information about the exciting activities students can expect to experience at the Science Festival.”
Agilent Science Exhibit
Scientists from Agilent’s Stratagene Division will present the “Molecular Copy Machine" at the Expo Day, April 4. This free, hands-on exhibit will begin with the question, “Could you make ten million copies of something in one minute?” Biology can do that. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) lets you multiply the tiniest bit of genetic material. From the DNA in a piece of gum you find under your desk, you can identify the chewer, his parents, his bacterial and viral passengers and even if he has a tendency towards daredevil behavior. Attendees will learn how to get a lot of something from almost nothing using PCR, the technique that has revolutionized biotechnology.
Agilent Foundation Support
“Excellence in science education is key to success for companies that rely on rapidly changing technology – such as Agilent – and also crucial to worldwide economic growth, global progress and continual improvement in quality of life,” said Karen Lewis, executive director of Agilent Technologies Foundation. “Support for events like the San Diego Science Festival, which engage and inspire students, is one of the ways Agilent partners with others to invest in everyone’s future.”
In addition to Agilent Technologies Foundation, other corporate and individual donors include Larry and Diane Bock; Alexandria Real Estate Equities; Inc.; Legler Benbough Foundation; Biogen Idec Foundation; Farrell Family Foundation; Genentech; Gen-Probe Incorporated; Illumina, Inc.; Invitrogen Foundation; Lockheed Martin Corporation; QUALCOMM Incorporated; Applied Molecular Evolution, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company; Avalon Ventures; BioBridge; Celgene; Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation; Nanosys & Cenco Physics; Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc.; Oceans and Beyond Educational Foundation (Kimmich Family); Think Blue; WuXi PharmaTech; Accelrys, Inc.; Amgen Inc.; BIOCOM Institute; General Atomics Sciences Education Foundation; Merck Research Laboratories; Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Howard C. Birndorf, Nanogen, Inc.; Cooley Godward Kronish LLP; Lux Capital; NuVasive, Inc.; Prometheus Therapeutics & Diagnostics; ScholarNexus; SEQUENOM; UC San Diego Extension; K&L Gates; and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Sponsorships are still available.
About the San Diego Science Festival
Designed as a multifaceted, multicultural event modeled on art, movie and music festivals, the 2009 San Diego Science Festival features the following:
Science Month, March 2009
Science Week, March 28-April 3, 2009
The Science of You Expo, April 4, 2009
Part of an international network of science festivals, the San Diego Science Festival has developed strategic partnerships with the highly successful East Coast Cambridge Science Festival – a joint effort between a number of leading institutions including MIT and Harvard – and the long-running Science Festivals in Cambridge, England and Australia. The Advisory Board of the San Diego Science Festival includes nine Nobel Laureates as well as chief technology officers from many multi-national firms and world-renowned translational scientists and educational leaders.
Organizations and entities collaborating with the San Diego Science Festival include Action Sport Innovators, UC San Diego BioBridge, Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Biocom, Burnham Institute for Medical Research, California Science Center, Connect, Expanding Your Horizons, General Atomics, Girls Incorporated, Girl Scouts, High Tech High, Mad Science, NanoBioNexus, NanoBusiness Alliance, NanoTumor Center, PowerfulLatinas.com, Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, San Diego Science Educators Association, San Diego Science Alliance, San Diego Supercomputer Center, ScholarNexus, UC San Diego Division of Biological Sciences, UC San Diego Division of Physical Sciences and the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.
About the Agilent Technologies Foundation
The Agilent Technologies Foundation focuses on advancing pre-university science education around the world by creating and supporting strategic initiatives linked to change and improvement in student learning and engagement. It also funds university research at the frontiers of measurement in electronics, chemical and bio sciences.
About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 19,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $5.8 billion in fiscal 2008. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at www.agilent.com.
# # #
Mary Lou Simmermacher