From pre-schoolers to grandparents, Metro Atlanta residents and visitors will be in for a fascinating scientific adventure that will span eight days during March 2015, culminating with the Exploration Expo in Centennial Olympic Park.
The Festival will happen March 21-28 and will offer more than 100 activities during eight days at more than 50 locations across Atlanta. Experiments, performances, lectures, workshops, tours, tastings and more will connect scientists, teachers, and entrepreneurs with area communities of young people, families and adults who are interested in the role science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) plays in today’s world.
Festivities will conclude on Saturday, March 28, at Centennial Olympic Park with a family-friendly, all-day event jammed packed with hands-on activities; super-sized experiments; pop-up interactive exhibits; mind-boggling games; and a full lineup of science-oriented live performances―plus so much more. The Exploration Expo is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free.
“Atlanta has been a worldwide leader in core STEM-related industries,” said David Hartnett, Festival board chair and vice president of Economic Development, Industry Expansion, at the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “For eight days, we want to use the Festival to immerse people in science and highlight the incredible resources and boundless opportunities we have in our region in terms of related education, careers, and business prospects.”
The Atlanta Science Festival has been a collaboration of scientific, educational, corporate, civic, cultural and community organizations led by founding partners Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology and the Metro Atlanta Chamber.
The event also has support from more than 100 organizations that have signed up to be festival partners, among them Georgia State University (Gold Sponsor), Cancer Treatment Centers of America (Silver Sponsor), Mercer University and Mercer Health Sciences Center (Silver Sponsor), and Delta Air Lines, Inc. (Silver Sponsor)
“Because last year’s inaugural Festival was such a huge success, we were immediately challenged from Day One’s planning for 2015 to develop an even-better schedule of programs,” said Meisa Salaita, Ph.D., Festival co-founder and executive co-director. “However, I think we’ve bested ourselves. Thanks to the unbelievable support, valuable feedback, and creative ideas from all our sponsors and partners, we’ve been able to put together a mind-bending array of events that we hope will touch and inspire the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers, artists, and mathematicians.”
According to Salaita, the Festival offers “a well-thought-out and full schedule of programs and activities with something for everyone.” In addition to the Exploration Expo, below is a sample of the types of events already scheduled:
─ Roob & Noob, Theatre for the Very Young
Saturday, March 21, 12:15-1:15 p.m. (Black Box Theatre, Alliance Theatre)
Meet Roob & Noob: two overly curious scientists who love nothing more than discovering something new. Join them on an interactive adventure, as they build machines from simple objects and explore the wonder and sensations of each of the four seasons. Inspired by the magical Rube Goldberg machines, this unique theatrical performance combines science and the arts, proving that sometimes the most profound discoveries are achieved by simply playing.
─ Cosmic Camp In
Friday, March 27, 9 p.m.-Midnight (DCSD Fernbank Science Center)
Do you like rockets and space missions? Then you will love The Cosmic Camp In. Grab your sleeping bag and your friends and get down to the exhibit hall at Fernbank Science Center to see the Apollo 6 Command Module, launch rockets and prepare liquid nitrogen marshmallows. Watch demonstrations of smart material resistance. Examine a sample of the layers arranged for protective suits. Design and assemble fabric into a space suit model. And walk away with your own Cosmic Camp In T-shirt!
─ The Outbreak Game
Saturday, March 21, 1-3 p.m. (The Emory University Quadrangle)
Investigate a mock outbreak on the Emory campus, using real-world tools employed by Emory and CDC scientists. Players will study the environment, perform a lab test, interview mock patients, investigate vaccine and drug development and attend a mock press conference to get to the bottom of this mysterious outbreak.
─ Science on the Screen: “Cancer: Emperor of All Maladies”
Thursday, March 27, 7-9 p.m. (Georgia Public Broadcasting Studio C)
Attend an exclusive preview of “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” a film directed by Barak Goodman and executive produced by Ken Burns based on Siddhartha Mukherjee’s 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer”. The preview event will be followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee and other cancer experts.
─ Not Just Nuts. Bring Chestnuts Back to ATL
March 21, 24 and 27, 10-11:30 a.m. (The Confluence Trail)
Discover one of Atlanta’s hidden treasures on a South Fork Conservancy Trail Excursion. For the past five years, the conservancy has worked to reconnect Atlanta with the South Fork of Peachtree Creek by restoring its riparian environment and building low-impact creekside trails. Now a thriving citizen science project is overcoming the perils of urban re-forestation to return a majestic tree to its home. Let a Conservancy expert show you creek restoration in action and apply your newly acquired knowledge by helping us reintroduce the American Chestnut to its native environment during a group chestnut plant tending.
A complete list of events can be found at AtlantaScienceFestival.org. For the latest information on the Atlanta Science Festival activities, please follow the event on Facebook at AtlantaScienceFestival, Twitter at @ATLSciFest and on Instagram at @atlscifest.