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Family Festivals

Discover Engineering Family Day

February 18, 2012

The Museum welcomed 9,596 participants to explore all things engineering – from the science of bridge construction to why popcorn kernels actually pop – and we just might have inspired a few future engineers. The array of media coverage included FOX News, Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine, and Telemundo. Building Zone and LEGO® Architecture: Towering Ambition tickets were sold out all day long and the museum shop sold many model airplanes and engineering toys. This was all possible with the help of more than eighty volunteers.

Major support for Discover Engineering Family Day 2012 was provided by the National Engineers Week Foundation, IEEE-USA, the National Building Museum, and ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). Additional support was provided by the National Science Foundation, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, and the Semiconductor Industry Association. Local support provided by American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers Nation’s Capital Chapter, American Society for Engineering Education, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics National Capital Section, and the National Nanotechnology Initiative. Media sponsor is Washington FAMILY Magazine.


National Cherry Blossom Festival Family Day

March 24–25, 2012

For the centennial celebration of cherry blossom season, the Museum welcomed 13,000 visitors to the annual family festival. The Postmaster General and Japanese Ambassador unveiled the beautiful official USPS Cherry Blossom Stamp. Throughout the weekend Daiko drummers, the Howard University Jazz Ensemble, and the Washington Ballet performed to packed crowds while children and their caregivers greeted Snoopy, made origami houses and created mini-Shoji screens. The festival was featured on FOX News, had a great blurb in the Washington Post, and an article in WJLA. We were lucky to have 131 volunteers to help hand out programs, staff the membership table, and greet visitors.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival® Family Days were sponsored by Safeway and supported by The Washington Examiner and media partner WMZQ.


The Big Build

A Hands-on Family Festival of Tools, Trucks, and Building Arts

September 22, 2012

With a 51% increase over last year’s attendance, the Big Build hosted 4,550 people. Children and their caregivers built brick walls, sat in construction equipment, and hammered nails with Miller & Long; they helped build a log cabin, donned hard hats, and took home trees to plant provided by ASLA. Among several new activities were painting screen masks and decorating with electric paint. Everyone got the chance to help build a geodesic dome. The Blue Blocks made an appearance helping to encourage the anticipation of PLAY WORK BUILD. Three memberships were sold, including a $250 renewal, and the shop sold over $4,000 in business.

The Big Build was sponsored by the Associated General Contractors; International Masonry Institute; International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers; Washington Family Magazine; Baltimore/Washington Brick Distributor Council: Frederick Block, Brick & Stone, General Shale, Glen-Gery Corporation, L.C. Smith, Inc, L & L Supply Corporation, Potomac Valley Brick & Supply Company; the Electrical Alliance; WETA Kids; Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT). With special thanks to an anonymous donor.


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