- March 31, 2016
- Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
Representatives and volunteer members of the International Society of Automation (ISA) and its umbrella organization, The Automation Federation, will demonstrate fundamental processes of automation to young people at the fourth biennial USA Science & Engineering Festival, which will be held 15-17 April 2016 in Washington, DC. It is also the largest STEM celebration and education event of its kind in the U.S.
The free event, to be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, will feature more than 1,000 participating corporations and organizations and more than 3,000 hands-on exhibits and stage shows.
The USA Science & Engineering Festival plays an important role in encouraging young people to pursue learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and in expanding awareness about the virtues of STEM-related career fields, including automation. Through their participation and exhibition at the festival and other events like it, ISA and the Automation Federation broaden awareness and understanding of automation careers—a foundational step in cultivating the next generation of automation professionals.
More than 325,000 people, mostly primary and secondary students and their families, attended the 2014 USA Science and Engineering Festival—making it the largest event ever in the history of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Stop by the ISA/Automation Federation exhibit #1144 to learn more about automation, witness a fun demonstration of automation technology
A select group of practicing automation professionals—volunteering on behalf of the ISA Baltimore-Washington Section and the Automation Federation—will greet visitors and participants and festival family members at exhibit #1144 to answer questions about automation, explain the value and significance of automation careers, and outline common educational and training paths leading to occupations in the automation field.
In addition, exhibit staff and volunteers will demonstrate a gaming system based on programmable logic controllers (PLCs)—small digital computers used for automating typical industrial electromechanical processes, such as control of machinery on factory assembly lines, amusement rides, or light fixtures.
The display to be featured at the exhibit contains a PLC-5 controller, 96 lights and approximately 2,500 feet of wire. It required more than 400 hours to design, build, program, and test; and features eight games to choose from: Breakout, Maze, Memory, Pong, Snake, Space Invaders, Stacker, and Whack-A-Button!
The gaming system—built using salvaged parts from plant training equipment—demonstrates: how control circuits are wired for lights, switches, and buttons; how the switches use binary math for game selection; how the programs are structured; and how mathematics plays a key role in computer game programming. It also has been used to illustrate panel design concepts to college students.
Sneak Peak Friday
Sneak Peek Friday, to be conducted on Friday 15 April, is a special event open to school groups, homeschoolers and military families to preview and experience the festival exhibits before they open to the general public on Saturday and Sunday.
Attendees will have access to interactive activities offered by leading science organizations from around the nation. Imagine chatting with Albert Einstein, flying a simulated jet fighter, being a crime scene investigator, building an underwater robot, taking a vacation in space or watching a science magician. These are just a few examples of the types of interactive activities and exhibits you will find at Sneak Peek Friday.