The Smithsonian Museum of American History hosted the third ACCelerate Festival on April 8-10. The festival is “a celebration of creative exploration and innovative research happening at the intersection of science, engineering, arts, and design from across the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Smithsonian Institution.”

ZSR Dean, Tim Pyatt, has led the WFU contingency to all three festivals, and this year, two of the ZSR Library’s first-year seminars taught by, Rosalind Tedford, Amanda Kaufman, Meghan Webb, and Hu Womack and a biology first-year seminar, on viral outbreaks, taught by Dr. Pat Lord,  were chosen to represent WFU at the festival. 

The WFU teams consisted of 8 students (from our FYS classes) and 3 librarians from the ZSR Library team, 11 students, and one professor from the biology team, plus Dean Tim Pyatt and Martha Allman, as our steering committee, with Rosalind Tedford as our primary investigator.

After months of recruiting students, planning travel logistics, and designing, building, and shipping our booth, we traveled to DC for the festival! We were told to prepare for 15K visitors on Saturday alone! (We had around 11K visit the museum that day, and we promise it felt like 20K) We all took shifts working the booth and by the end of each day, we were both exhausted from the work and energized by the wonderful interactions we had with the visitors- including the ZSR Board of Visitors and several WFU alumni. We were pleasantly surprised by how many people visited the booth. 

The Old Gold & Black and the WFU News Bureau both published excellent articles on this event! We’ve also posted some photos from the event on the ZSR Flickr site!