Starting March 22, Tech, Emory University and the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the founding groups, are presenting the first annual Atlanta Science Festival (ASF), which is an eight-day event with over one hundred events that celebrate science and technology in the surrounding Atlanta area and associated campuses.
“[The] events…include everything from the science of beer for adults at Monday Night Brewing Company to a superhero science night at the Children’s Museum,” said Meisa Salaita, from the Center for Chemical Evolution.
The mission of ASF is the recognition and celebration of STEM fields, and the festival aims to highlight Atlanta as leader in innovation, connect the public, institutions and local scientists, strengthen the bonds between science and humanities and expand the community of science enthusiasts.
“Atlanta has so much to celebrate in terms of science and engineering. Our universities and local companies are doing cutting edge research that we are excited to share with the community,” Salaita said. “In addition, we think it is so important to help instill a strong foundation and love of science in our young children to create the next generation of scientists, as well as show Atlanta adults how science is connected to everyday life.”
Salaita believes that Atlanta has the potential to shine and exhibit its potential as a scientific community, and, through this festival, many events will be held off of campuses at different locations where participants can learn and engage in STEM related events.
“I think this Festival is a real chance to see the city shine in terms of what it has to offer related to science,” Salaita said. “Attendees can watch a screening of Contagion and hear from the scientists who were involved in the creation of the film at the CDC, see a concert by an amputee drummer using a robotic arm developed at Georgia Tech and visit an in-town organic farm and learn about the science.”
The ASF is funded by a variety of organizations that include the founding partners and over 25 other partners, such as the Center for Chemical Evolution, the Mercer Health Sciences Center and other institutions, corporations and individual donors.
Salaita also mentions that children, as well as students and adults, are welcomed to the event because science is an integral part of our lives.
“Children will have countless opportunities to meet real scientists, learn about what they do, and actually get to do some science themselves,” Salaita said. “There are so many events and so many reasons to attend events that it is impossible to pinpoint just one reason. Mostly that they should come out to the week’s events and see the science that Atlanta has to showcase and how that science is connected to their everyday lives.”