ASBMB Science on the Mall Challenge

National MallDecember 8, 2009--Would you like to come to Washington DC to participate in the first ever USA Science and Engineering Festival in 2010? Take the ASBMB UAN Science on the Mall Challenge! 

The festival will take place during the month of October in 2010 and will culminate in a 2 day expo on the National Mall.  According to the festival organizers, “the Festival promises to be the ultimate multi-cultural, multi-generational and multi-disciplinary celebration of science in the United States. The culmination of the Festival will be a two-day Expo in the nation’s capital that will give over 500 science & engineering organizations from all over the United States the opportunity to present themselves with a hands-on, fun science activity to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.”  Learn more about the festival. 

The ASBMB UAN Science on the Mall Challenge 

Show us your creative side!  Design a fun hands-on biochemistry and/or molecular biology themed activity to take to the festival.  It can be a dance, a song, a show-and-tell about your favorite subject in biochemistry or molecular biology.  The goal is to create an interactive science outreach activity that is both informative and engaging. 

Some suggested categories to consider:

  • "The Molecules of Life" -- The complexities of life arise from the interplay of a few different types of molecules, nucleic acids, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates. Explore the shapes and interactions of these "molecules of life"
  • "From Molecules to Medicine" -- From drug design to individualized medicine, understanding the molecular basis of disease offers the potential for more effective treatments. See how the genomics revolution is leading to individualized treatments of various diseases.
  • "The Green Revolution: from Sunlight to Biofuels" -- Plants capture the energy of sunlight- learn how the molecular life sciences are being used to convert sunlight to everyday useful forms of energy without producing the pollutants associated with fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
  • “Molecular Machines" -- From muscle contraction to the movement of molecules within a cell, molecular machines play a critical role in the molecular life sciences. This exhibit will illustrate how molecular machines efficiently utilize chemical energy for mechanical purposes.
  •  Or come up with your own!

Who May Participate:

Anyone interested in science, science education and outreach.  Only student contestants (undergraduates or high school) will be eligible to win prizes. UAN student finalists will even win a pizza party for their entire chapter. 

The Prize:

Submit your idea/skit/demonstration to ASBMB for the Challenge.  We will select the best ones to take to the 2010 USA Science and Engineering Festival.  Top finalists who are undergraduates or high school students will receive travel stipends to come to Washington DC to attend the Science Expo! 

Criteria for judging:

All submissions will be judged by the ASBMB UAN Committee.  Entries will be judged based on the following:

  • Creativity
  • Engagement
  • Interactivity
  • Content
  • Fun
  • Safety

Submission format:

  • Short video clip
  • Written description with illustrations
  • Sound recording
  • Other

How to submit:

Submissions are accepted now through June 30, 2010. 

Questions?  Contact Weiyi Zhao at or 301-634-7352.

 Let your inner geek shine!