STEM Festival Outside the White House

Exhibitor Information, Policies, and Regulations

Important Dates

April 24 – Deadline to provide information for review by National Parks Police.

Information needed:

  1. Exhibitor company name

  2. Staff first and last name

  3. Description of your demonstration

  4. Complete list of items to be used in your demonstration



Science Outside the White House will be held on the Ellipse, just south of the White House. Water and electricity are not available.


Each exhibitor will receive a 6-foot table, two chairs, and a wastebasket. Science Outside the White House will also provide a sign to identify your company or organization.




May 13, 2017:

10:30am – Load-in and set-up

12 – 4pm – Science Outside the White House event

4 – 5:30pm tear-down and load-out



Parking at The Ellipse is not permitted. We are working to provide parking for STEM festival exhibitors. We will contact you with details closer to the date.



Contact us if you require access to unload equipment from your commercially-owned vehicle. Loading access is available to commercially-owned vehicles only. Privately-owned vehicles are not permitted. This access is for loading and unloading only. You must find parking elsewhere.


All equipment must be hand-trucked or –carried onto the Ellipse from the parking lot at Constitution Avenue and 16th Street.


Advertising and Sales

Advertising your product / service

NPS regulations generally prohibit Federal park land from being used for business solicitation. Therefore, no commercial advertisements may be placed, posted, or distributed at the event.


Give-away items are permitted only if they can be used at the event or can be used to recognize the event.


Only items that contain a message directly related to the event may be sold. No other merchandise may be sold or offered for sale.


T-shirts, posters, patches, jewelry, hats, license plates, coffee and drink mugs, flags, records, compact discs and tapes, photographs and decals are among the items prohibited for sale.






Items/Materials Not Allowed in Exhibitor Displays, Demonstrations, or Activities

  1. Living animals

  2. Soil, sand, rock, cement and/or waste samples.

  3. Taxidermy specimens or parts

  4. Preserved vertebrate or invertebrate animals

  5. Human or animal food as part of the exhibitor demonstration of the project.

  6. Human/animal parts or body fluids (for example, blood, urine)

  7. All chemicals including water

  8. All hazardous substances or devices (Example: poisons, drugs, firearms, weapons, ammunition, reloading devices, and lasers)

  9. Items that may have contained or been in contact with hazardous chemicals

  10. 3-D Printers

  11. Dry ice or other sublimating solids

  12. Sharp items (for example, syringes, needles, pipettes, knives)

  13. Flames or highly flammable materials (including magnified light sources). A Fresnel Lens cannot be used in conjunction with a light source - it becomes an open flame. 

  14. Batteries with open-top cells or wet cells

  15. Glass or glass objects unless deemed to be an integral and necessary part of the project (for example, glass that is an integral part of a commercial product such as a computer screen)

  16. Any apparatus deemed unsafe by the Organizers.


Electrical Regulations

  1. Science Outside the White House provides no electrical power. If your display requires electricity, plan to supply your own battery power.

  2. Electrical devices must be protectively enclosed. Any enclosure must be non-combustible. All external non-current carrying metal parts must be grounded.

  3. Energized wiring, switches, and metal parts must have adequate insulation and over-current safety devices (such as fuses) and must be inaccessible to anyone other than the exhibitor. Exposed electrical equipment or metal that possibly may be energized must be shielded with a non-conducting material or with a grounded metal box to prevent accidental contact.

  4. Decorative lighting or illumination is discouraged. If used, lighting must be as low a voltage as possible and must be LED lighting that does not generate heat. Light bulbs are prohibited. When Exhibitor is not at the exhibit, all electrical power must be disconnected, or power bars must be switched off.

  5. When an Exhibitor is not at exhibit, all electrical power must be disconnected, or power bars must be switched off. 

  6. An insulating grommet is required at the point where any wire or cable enters any enclosure.

  7. No exposed live circuits over 36 volts are allowed.

  8. There must be an accessible, clearly visible on/off switch or other means of quickly disconnecting from a power source.


Laser Requirements

Any Class 1 or Class 2 lasers, along with only Class 3A or 3R lasers, are allowed to be used provided an exhibitor avoids indiscriminate exposure to judges, or visitors (except if passed through magnifying optics such as microscopes and telescopes, in which case they may not be used). No other lasers may be used or displayed. 

  1. Any laser must be labeled by the manufacturer so that power output can be inspected. Lasers without labels are not permitted.

  2. LED's that consume over 1 watt, unless they are in a commercial light bulb/fixture or otherwise shielded, will not be allowed.

  3. Lasers will be confiscated with no warning if not used in a safe manner.

Fire Safety

  1. Materials used in displays and demonstrations must be fire retardant.

  2. Operation of any heat-producing or smoke-emitting device requires written authorization of the National Park Service.

  3. Pressurized containers housing flammable propellants are prohibited.

  4. All compressed gases, flammable liquids, and aerosol cylinders must be approved by the National Park Service in advance.

  5. A fire extinguisher is required if compressed gases, flammable liquids, or aerosol cylinders are present in an exhibitor booth.


Other Safety Regulations

  1. Any inadequately insulated apparatus producing extreme temperatures that may cause physical burns is not allowed.

  2. Any apparatus with unshielded belts, pulleys, chains, or moving parts with tension or pinch points must be for display only.

  3. Science Outside the White House Organizers and National Park Service reserve the right to remove any project for safety reasons.

  4. Project sounds, lights, odors, or any other display items must not be distracting.

  5. Hazardous chemicals and materials including but not limited to pesticides, herbicides, poisons, flammable or combustible liquids, hazardous gases, pressure cylinders or tanks, and hazardous chemicals including oxidizers are discouraged. Permission to use any such items must be granted in writing by the National Park Service prior to Science Outside the White House.

STEM Festival Outside the White House

Exhibitor Information, Policies, and Regulations

Download the PDF here