Attendance for Eight-Day Series of Events Grew
By 50 Percent
ATLANTA – April 29, 2015 – In just its second year, the Atlanta Science Festival engaged more than 45,000 people with the excitement of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). With 140 events occurring throughout the region on March 21-28, Atlanta was alive with science fun and learning. At the week’s end, approximately 17,000 people swarmed Centennial Olympic Park for the Exploration Expo, Atlanta’s biggest interactive family science day.
“We’ve simply been blown away with the excitement and engagement that the Festival generated,” said Meisa Salaita, Ph.D., Festival co-founder and executive co-director. “We set out to make this year’s event bigger, better and more impactful, which was somewhat of a tall order when you take into consideration the success that came with our inaugural year. The attendance figures across the board as well as the feedback we received from sponsors, partners and festival goers all show that we met these goals.”
Aside from The Exploration Expo, the festival’s marquee event, other programs during the week drew big audiences. More than 375 people sold out the “Stuff You Should Know” live podcast at SCADShow; 500 people visited the Georgia State University campus to take part in Discovery Day; 1,100 attended the DESIGNORAMA hosted at Drew Charter School; and more than 1,200 celebrated Science at the Center at the DeKalb County School District’s Fernbank Science Center. The Festival coordinated 91 K-12 classroom visits by local STEM professionals, inspiring 5700 students to imagine themselves addressing tomorrow’s challenges through STEM careers.
David Hartnett, Festival board chair and vice president of Economic Development, Industry Expansion, at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, was proud to see organizations from across metro Atlanta and the region collaborating on such an important event. “Working together we can raise awareness of the impact science and technology has on our personal lives, our communities and our economy as a whole. The Festival’s programs and partnerships provide unique opportunities to showcase everything that’s possible when science is involved.”
At The Expo, visitors explored the relationship between wing shape and lift forces in Delta Air Lines’ wind tunnel, zeroed in on their neighborhood levels of obesity and food access with American Cancer Society, and made their own paper with Georgia-Pacific. The “Hair-raising Science” exhibit sponsored by HowStuffWorks had kids lining up all day long at the giant 3-D hair model to dye their own hair. Families clamored to dig up fossils, control robots, explore magnetic fluids, stay afloat in a non-Newtonian fluid dance pit, and meet the local scientists behind it all.
“Being a part of the Atlanta Science Festival this year was fantastic,” said Jason Hoch, Chief Content Officer at HowStuffWorks. “The interaction we had with an amazing group of young minds from kindergarten through high school who were interested in how stuff works in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, showed that we have some really smart and imaginative students in the Atlanta-area.”
The Festival awarded bus vouchers to 29 organizations to bring students to the Expo. While enjoying the interactive exhibits, students entered a contest for a chance to win $400 for their schools to enhance science education in the classroom. The 10 schools and their teachers selected for the awards were:
John Wesley Dobbs Elementary, 5th Grade, Shelante Patton
Lake Joy Elementary, 3rd Grade, Jessi Anderson
Mossy Creek Elementary, 3rd Grade, Avery Kendall
Venetian Hills Elementary, 5th Grade, Tara Pitts
Mill Springs Academy, 7th/8th Grade, Martha Muir
Rex Mill Middle, 6th Grade, Mirna Romero
Unidos Dual Language, 6th Grade, Nancy Lopez
Vickery Creek Middle, 6th Grade, Carrie Beth Rykowski
Dunwoody High, Biology, Tanisha Rodgers
Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High, Biology, Marcia Pecot
About the Atlanta Science Festival
The second annual Atlanta Science Festival is a weeklong celebration of local science and technology that culminates with an all-day interactive Exploration Expo at Centennial Olympic Park. Scientists, experts and educators from local schools, colleges, universities, museums and corporations will uncover mysteries and explain discoveries in hands-on activities, facility tours, stimulating presentations, and riveting performances at venues across the city. Our mission is to celebrate the inherent integration of STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) in our lives today, share the impact they have on our community, and inspire us all to wonder about our future. The Festival, which will return in 2016, is produced by a collaboration of science, cultural, and educational institutions, led by Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology and the Metro Atlanta Chamber. To learn more, visit AtlantaScienceFestival.org or call (770) 322-4992.