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Washington, DC – When Escape Velocity roars to life Friday through Sunday, May 24-26 at the Gaylord National Resort in Fort Washington, MD, science fiction and popular culture fans will certainly enjoy their fill of opportunities to revel in their favored genres spanning the universes of Star Trek, Star Wars, Alien, Dr. Who, Battlestar Galactica and others; but for many of the attendees, it’s actually pure science that’s serving as the main attraction.

Sure, there will be ample opportunities to get a photo taken inside the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon; get up close and personal with an eight-foot-long full-scale replica of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek: The Motion Picture and meet Dominique Tipper who plays Naomi Nagata, the Belter engineer of the Rocinante from the SyFy original series The Expanse; but that’s only part of the excitement.  During all three days of the show, Escape Velocity offers programming designed to demonstrate to attendees the power and vitality of real-world math, science and engineering through breakout sessions scattered throughout the venue.

Examples include:

  • Afterschool Universe — a highly personalized look at a freely-available hands-on astronomy curriculum created by NASA for afterschool programs, summer camps, and other platforms, focusing on the benefits of teaching astronomy in out-of-school time settings. The workshops lead participants in a series of hands-on activities focusing on the chemical elements, how they are created in stars, and how light is used to determine which elements exist in distant objects. 
  • Creative Writing Workshops for Teens — An interactive creative workshop for students aged 11-17 led by published and speculative science fiction authors.  The session will emphasize writing techniques and story development followed by a Q&A session focusing on writing and publishing sci-fi literature.
  • Electricity and Magnetism Before the Electronic Revolution – A historical look at the emergence of electrical science in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • The Ethics of AI – An in-depth discussion of the way machine systems work (and don’t work) and the impact they have on our human values.

“Our mission here at the Museum of Science Fiction is to create a center of gravity where art and science are powered by imagination,” says Executive Director Greg Viggiano.   “Through sessions such as these at Escape Velocity, the Museum furthers our mission of using science fiction to attract individuals with an emerging interest in science, math, engineering and technology.  The programs we will showcase are designed – specifically – to excite, educate, entertain, and create a new generation of dreamers.”

Escape Velocity features a variety of programming throughout the open hours of the show.  Friday sessions run from 10:00 a.m. until past Midnight; Saturday show hours start at 9:00 a.m. and conclude with a Midnight film showing of Plan Nine from Outer Space and Sunday runs from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.   For a full schedule of hours and events, please visit https://escapevelocity.events/programs. Three-day weekend pass tickets, priced $30 for youths (aged 11-16), $50 for adults and $100 for the full VIP treatment, are available through the Escape Velocity website or onsite at the Gaylord Convention Center.  Ten-dollar PAY IT FORWARD tickets allow patrons to donate a single-day admission for an underserved youth in the Washington, DC metro area.

For tickets or additional information, please visit https://escapevelocity.events.

About the Museum of Science Fiction

The nonprofit Museum of Science Fiction will be the world’s first comprehensive science fiction museum, covering the history of the genre across the arts and providing a narrative on its relationship to the real world. The Museum will show how science fiction continually inspires individuals, influences cultures, and impacts societies. Also serving as an educational catalyst to expand interest in the science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) areas, the Museum uses tools such as mobile applications and wifi-enabled display objects to engage and entertain. For a full press packet on the Museum of Science Fiction’s vision and other information, please visit: www.museumofsciencefiction.org/presspacket

About Escape Velocity 2019

The Museum of Science Fiction and NASA are partnering to bring Escape Velocity 2019 to Washington, DC. The event is a futuristic world’s fair to promote informal STEAM educational activities within the context of science fiction using the fun of comic cons and fascination of science and engineering festivals. Escape Velocity 2019 seeks to make a measurable positive impact to boost informal learning on the more conceptually challenging academic areas. Escape Velocity’s mission is to attract young people to science, technology, engineering, art, and math by producing and presenting the most compelling, exciting, educational, and entertaining science festival in the United States using science fiction as its primary engine. Escape Velocity will achieve orbit on May 24-26, 2019 at the Marriott Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC.

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