In the last couple of years STEM organizations from across the nation have come together in an effort to engage the next generation in potential science and engineering careers.

Gaining in popularity rapidly, local and national science firms have created some very cool exhibits to showcase the work they do.

So if you're a scientist or engineer and you want to show your kids what you do - these are the events to do it at. You're likely to find everything from a toddler structuring a DNA model with toothpicks and marshmallows, to an exhibit where kids can climb into the cockpit of a virtual reality space shuttle and fly it.

A recent article in USA Today quoted Ben Wiehe, manager of the Science Fair Alliance, on what's coming in the next few months. Cambridge Science Festival Cambridge is home to Harvard and MIT, so this celebration can draw on a lot of talent. It includes more than 200 activities in its nine-day run April 21-29. Events in restaurants, grocery stores and bars include the science of the perfect steak, for instance. A "Lunch with a Laureate" series lets you bring a brown bag to a casual discussion with a Nobel Prize winner.

USA Science and Engineering Festival This festival, which will fill the Washington, D.C. Convention Center with hundreds of hands-on science activities and demonstrations April 28-29 includes appearances by MythBusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Colorado Springs Cool Science Festival This week-long festival and runs Oct. 15-22. Highlights include crime lab tours, a beer science event and visits to high-tech labs in the area.

Las Vegas Science Festival From a Rubik's cube competition to nature walks in the southern Nevada wilderness, this festival, running April 29 to May 5, aims to show that there's more to Vegas than the Strip.

Philadelphia Science Festival This celebration made national news last year when it arranged for a robot to throw out the first pitch at a Phillies baseball game.

North Carolina Science Festival This April 13-19 festival stretches from the Blue Ridge to the Outer Banks, spanning the state. Events this year include "The Truth about 2012" in Elizabeth City, which examines the Mayan prophesy regarding the end of the world,

Bay Area Science Festival Halloween offers an excuse for a zombie lecture and fashion show at this big regional festival Oct. 29- Nov. 6. Other festival highlights include a science pub crawl around the Mission District with nerd speed dating and cocktail science.

San Diego Festival of Science&Engineering This eight-day festival, March 17-24, kicks off with family-friendly activities throughout Balboa Park and ends with 150 displays and demonstration booths at Petco Park, the downtown baseball stadium.

World Science Festival New York draws on celebrities and entertainers to help promote science. One session last year had performer Bobby McFerrin leading the audience in song while a neuroscientist explained what was happening at a cognitive level. Memorial Day weekend next year, May 30- June 3.

Seattle Science Festival Timed to the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World's Fair, this new festival, which runs June 2-10, will start with a bash at the base of the Space