Washington DC was flooded this past weekend with science enthusiasts from near and far, and the oneTesla team is very happy to have been part of the fun. The US Science and Engineering Festival attracted 180,000 students from the DC area as well as 325,000 visitors for a two-day exhibition that showcased everything wonderful about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
We were amazed at just how large this festival was. The photo above shows a small portion of Hall A, where oneTesla's booth resided, and there were FIVE entire halls of this size! It was crazy! There were also three stages where a variety of speakers gave different presentations about the importance of STEM in the modern world. Some highlights include Danica McKellar's presentation on encouraging girls to pursue mathematics and Mike Rowe's presentation on the necessary collaboration between skilled trades and engineering. No matter what your particular interest, there was truly something for everyone at the STEM Festival.
oneTesla was situated in the Engineering section of the festival (right next to the oobleck pool). Our booth drew in some pretty large crowds, but that's not surprising when you're showcasing a singing Tesla coil! People came from all over Hall A to figure out what that noise was, and many stayed to chat (or take videos of the coil) once they saw it.
Over the course of the event, we talked to thousands of people. Some of the people who stopped by the booth had never heard of a Tesla coil before, so we got to experience the joys of teaching as we demonstrated the coil's abilities and discussed basic theory. We also had the pleasure of meeting lots of fellow coilers and bonding over our shared love of lightning and coiling experiences.
We were actually pleased to discover that some of our customers were at the event! One gentleman was exhibiting the awesome projects that his university students got to build, including our coil.
While a lot of business got conducted during our time at the festival, there was also time for fun.
We got to see some pretty cool robots at the exhibition, including the Dow bot. He even stopped by for a photo with the coil.
We talked to some of the other exhibitors in the Engineering section who were selling similar DIY kits. One of these exhibitors, MaKey MaKey, loaned us their kit so that we could control our coil with a banana.
We also shared some candy with our fellow science enthusiasts...
...we taunted our intern a little bit (that's what interns are for, right?)...
...and, best of all, WE MET BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY!!!
All in all, this weekend was long and hectic but we enjoyed spending time with 325,000 awesome lovers of science. We're now back to our regularly scheduled programming of monitoring supplier shipments, responding to inquires, and packing kits. While this can sometimes seem tedious, it's totally worth seeing the look on peoples' faces when we first turn on our coil.