Science Festival set to highlight STEM diversity

A volunteer assists a young attendee at a previous year’s festival. Tech helped to found the festival back in 2014 and continues to have a strong presence at the annual event. // Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Science Festival

After a two-year break due to the global pandemic, the Atlanta Science Festival is back this year in full force. With over 100 events, there truly is something for everyone. Kicking off this Saturday, March 12, the rest of the month is full of fun activities, talks, events and experiences. 

According to their website, the Atlanta Science Festival was founded with the purpose of “expanding access to science learning opportunities for all of metro Atlanta.” Expanding every year, the festival now features educational and career-building opportunities. 

Additionally, a heightened emphasis has been placed on diversity in both the scientific community and in the Atlanta community. Run by Science ATL, a nonprofit dedicated to spreading science literacy and science communication, the festival has taken on a life of its own and become an inclusive place for people of all ages and backgrounds. 

The festival includes over 100 events, spread out between March 1226. Most events are geared toward all ages, while some cater more toward younger kids or college students or adults. Topics also vary wildly and cover the entire STEM spectrum, so whatever festival-goers may be interested in, the Atlanta Science Festival probably includes it. 

Events are spread out throughout metro Atlanta, so on top of being informative and fun, attending the festival is a great way to get in touch with the Atlanta community and see everything the city has to offer. 

The Atlanta Science Festival website, atlantasciencefestival.org, has a detailed list of all the events, as well as ticketing information and other opportunities. Additionally, this year, many of the events are available in a virtual format, and the festival’s website has those details as well, along with other COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations. 

Since the beginning of the Atlanta Science Festival, the Institute has played a leading role in the festival. In conjunction with each other, Tech, Emory University and Metro Atlanta Chamber founded the festival back in 2014. In the years that have followed the festival has grown exponentially and has become a source of community outreach, learning and fun for Metro Atlanta. 

In this year’s festival, there are many events orchestrated by Tech groups and faculty. 

The Institute’s STEM Communication and Outreach Group has organized a “Science of Crafting” event (March 12), the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences will be leading an all-ages welcome exploration of Earth’s weather, along with other phenomena including earthquakes and volcanoes (March 12), and Tech will once again be holding the Guthman Musical Instrument Competition, a nationally recognized competition to construct musical instruments with an expo preceding the event (March 12). 

In addition to the many fun activities organized by members of the Tech community, there are more official networking and science educational opportunities. The Institute is hosting a “Science and Engineering Day,” on March 19th in which visitors will tour our state-of-the-art facilities, meet with lecturers and researchers and do all sorts of fun activities, as well as a Latino College and STEM Fair that same day. 

Also on the docket is a “Tech Talks” event in which Tech faculty and students share experiences and exciting developments in their respective fields (March 17), as well as a discussion on the science of marijuana with Tech professor and comedian Dr. Pete Ludovice (March 18). 

Be sure to check out all the events hosted by the festival this month and support science literacy in our community. For more information, visit atlantasciencefestival.org.