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AASM exhibits at the USA Science and Engineering Festival

Filed in
  • CDC Healthy Sleep
  • Healthy sleep habits
  • School

By Corinne Lederhouse  |  Aug 29, 2018
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In April the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) took part as an exhibitor at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC. The festival is the largest conference of its kind promoting and celebrating science and technology in the United States. It hosted more than 350,000 attendees including students, educators, and the public.

The Festival Expo was founded in 2010 by Larry Bock, an American entrepreneur and science education advocate. The festival is organized by Science Spark, a nonprofit science outreach organization. It is free, open to the public, and features thousands of hands-on exhibits from corporations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher learning. The festival’s mission is to stimulate and sustain the interest of the nation’s youth in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

This year was the first time the AASM joined the hundreds of exhibitors who presented a variety of educational and entertaining materials to eager learners. The exhibit booth was manned by AASM members Dr. Catalina Castillo-Pedraza and Dr. Aleksandra Kwasnik, with help from AASM Membership Coordinator Brittany Bersano. The AASM’s exhibit featured interactive games as well as materials aimed at promoting healthy sleep habits for all ages.  


“The USA Science and Engineering Festival was a great opportunity to educate both students and adults about the importance of healthy sleep,” said Bersano. “I was surprised to see how many people were struggling with sleep but didn’t think twice about it until they spoke with our members and learned how their lack of sleep could affect them long-term. The students were engaged in the opportunity to really ‘see’ what it’s like to be sleep deprived, and more than 500 students took the pledge to get more sleep.”

The younger kids loved guessing how long a sloth sleeps, while adolescent visitors had a great time using Drunk Busters’ “snooze goggles,” which simulate extreme fatigue. Parents and educators stopped by and shared their own experiences with sleep deprivation and sleep problems. Individuals with specific questions and sleep concerns were provided with education and online resources.

Large-scale events like the festival provide a valuable opportunity for the AASM to spread information about sleep health and awareness of sleep medicine. To learn more, visit