Atlanta Science Festival launches with explosive programming

Two-week science celebration promises more than 100 events March 9-24

Cue the rocket boosters. In less than a month, the fifth annual Atlanta Science Festival (ASF) launches with more than 100 events spread across Metro Atlanta March 9-24. Delta Air Lines serves as the Festival’s presenting sponsor.

The action begins March 9 with the Atlanta Science Festival’s signature launch event. This time humans should prepare to bow down to the ‘bots. “Rise Up, Robots!” puts the spotlight on a droid comedian, a robot musician, a bionic arm, and more. Guests can arrive at 6 p.m. to experience an interactive Robot Petting Zoo. (7 p.m. March 9. $15. Ferst Center for the Arts, Georgia Institute of Technology, 349 Ferst Drive, Atlanta.)

Proud to be hosting the launch event at Georgia Tech, Paul Goldbart, honorary Festival chair said, “As Dean of the College of Sciences at Georgia Tech, I lovingly champion the Atlanta Science Festival and all it has to offer.”

The offerings continue for two weeks as guests of all ages explore science and technology with more than 100 engaging events, ranging in cost from free to a nominal fee. These include hands-on activities, facility tours, presentations, and performances at a variety of locations. Expect drones and robots, comics and comedy, farms and orchards, nature walks, ice cream tastings, art, trivia, curling, superheroes, beavers, newts, and bees. And that’s just the tip of the telescope. The full schedule of events can be found here: atlantasciencefestival.org/events.

The Atlanta Science Festival culminates in the Exploration Expo, Atlanta’s biggest family science event. Thousands of curious kids and adults descend upon Piedmont Park to witness the wonder of science with 100 hands-on interactive science booths, live science demos, and shows from local organizations, universities, and companies. Attendees can experience everything from touching a human brain to driving an undersea robot. (11 a.m.-4 p.m. March 24. Free. Piedmont Park, 1071 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta. This is a rain or shine event.)

“In the language of physics, I’m excited to observe the acceleration of the Atlanta Science Festival and the momentum of the enthusiasm found in participants and organizers alike,” Goldbart added.

The Atlanta Science Festival Announces 2018 Programming and Launch Event

Place your seat backs and tray tables in their upright positions. The Atlanta Science Festival soars to new heights in 2018 with its presenting sponsor, Delta Air Lines. Atlanta Science Festival representatives have now unveiled the schedule for this annual scientific celebration, taking place March 9-24, 2018.

“Sharing the magic of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with the community is more important than ever,” said Jordan Rose, executive co-director of Atlanta Science Festival. “Our goal is to do this in fun, compelling, and accessible ways. With Atlanta being a global leader in scientific innovation, our city is the perfect backdrop.”

The Atlanta Science Festival begins with its signature launch event at the Ferst Center for the Performing Arts at Georgia Tech. This time humans should prepare to bow down to the ’bots on March 9. “Rise Up, Robots!” puts the spotlight on droid comedian, a robotic musician, bionics in action, and a squad of interactive robots. ($15 plus fees)

The featured “Rise Up, Robots!” speakers include:

Heather Knight

Assistant Professor of Robotics at Oregon State University

Perhaps best known for her popular TED appearance, Knight brings Data, the world’s first robotic

jokester, to the “Rise Up, Robots!” stage. Knight will explain how she injects charisma into her creation, and give a live demonstration of Data’s interactive quips. Among her accolades, Knight has graced the cover of Wired UK magazine and was named to the 2011 Forbes List for 30 under 30 in Science. Her current research involves human-robot interaction, non-verbal machine communications, and nonanthropomorphic social robots.

Gil Weinberg

Professor and Founding Director of Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology

Yep, robots rock. Weinberg proves the point in the literal sense with Shimon, a marimba playing robotic musician. Shimon, seen on NBC’s “Today” show, uses machine learning for jazz improvisation, and Weinberg will show the “Rise Up, Robots!” audience how it’s done. Weinberg’s other projects include a prosthetic robotic arm, which restores and enhances human drumming abilities for amputees. He’s presented his work worldwide at venues such as The Kennedy Center and the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, and for the TED-Ed online lesson series. Weinberg’s research focuses on developing artificial creativity and musical expression for robots and augmented humans. Professor Weinberg’s appearance is supported in part by the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival.

Stewart Coulter

Engineering Manager at DEKA Research & Development

A prosthetic, bionic arm with a hand that can pinch, grip, and conform to the objects it holds? Sounds like science fiction, but it’s science fact. Just ask Coulter. The LUKE arm can do all of that and more. Coulter served as the project manager for the LUKE arm, which stands for Life Under Kinetic Evolution. At “Rise Up, Robots!,” Coulter will give a demonstration and provide live evidence of how it changed someone’s life.

After the “Rise Up, Robots!” launch event, the following two weeks will find guests of all ages exploring science and technology with more than 100 engaging events, ranging in cost from free to a nominal fee. These include hands-on activities, facility tours, presentations, and performances at a variety of locations throughout Metro Atlanta. Expect drones and robots, comics and comedy, farms and orchards, nature walks, ice cream tastings, art, trivia, curling, superheroes, beavers, newts, and bees. And that’s just the tip of the telescope.

The Atlanta Science Festival culminates in the Exploration Expo on March 24 at from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Atlanta’s biggest family science event. Thousands of curious kids and adults descend upon Piedmont Park to experience the wonder of science with 100 hands-on interactive science booths, live science demos, and shows from local organizations, universities, and companies. Attendees can experience everything from touching a human brain to driving an undersea robot.

“We’re excited to take the 2018 Festival into new and exciting territory, and blend it with our time-honored events and signature spirit,” said Meisa Salaita, executive co-director of Atlanta Science Festival. “Joining forces with Delta Air Lines gives us the ability to do it all.”

Start planning your Atlanta Science Festival experience today: http://atlantasciencefestival.org/events-2018.