A report delivered to Congress last fall finds that the U.S. now ranks 48th in terms of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. The Department of Labor has identified U.S. students' lackluster performance in math and science, as well as an increase in global competition, as a new economic and technological vulnerability comparable to a military or terrorist threat. To help reverse this trend, a festival highlighting the world of science is preparing for its second year.

The country's largest celebration of science and engineering, the USA Science & Engineering Festival, returns to Washington, D.C., April 28 to 29, 2012. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, hosts of the Discovery Channel's TV series MythBusters, and Bill Nye the Science Guy are among the science superstars joining the event. The festival, hosted by Lockheed Martin, aims to encourage the next generation of engineers and scientists, and to increase public awareness of the importance of science and math education.

The 2012 festival, supported and sponsored by many of the country's largest scientific and technical organizations and universities, will include a book fair, STEM career pavilion, science celebrities and entrepreneurs, and special events. For more information, visit usasciencefestival.org.