Georgia Tech @ 2018 Atlanta Science Festival

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Spring in Atlanta is just a few weeks away, and with it arrives science festival time. The 2018 Atlanta Science Festival (2018ASF) shifts the annual festivities to fifth gear with two major innovations: two weeks of science fun – March 9-24, 2018 – instead of one and the designation of an honorary chair.

“The festival has grown tremendously and has become a mainstay in the city,” says Meisa Salaita, cofounder and codirector of the Atlanta Science Festival. “It was time to expand it and to showcase the important people who have helped make this dream a reality. With a high-profile event to launch the festival, we have a highly visible platform for an honorary chair to speak and be recognized for their association with the festival.”

The festival’s board of directors selected College of Sciences Dean and Sutherland Chair Paul M. Goldbart to serve as inaugural honorary chair.

“Dean Goldbart exemplifies the spirit of curiosity that we hope to kindle among all festival-goers,” Salaita says. “He has championed the festival since its inception; he is a strong advocate for science education, public engagement with science, and scientists’ engagement with the public.”

“I’m delighted and honored to participate in this year’s festival in this novel capacity,” Goldbart says.  “With astronomer Carl Sagan, I see science as one of humanity’s candles in the dark, furnishing us with bright light that helps guide us to a better tomorrow, through the improvements in medicine, computing, architecture, and other technologies that greater scientific understanding brings.

“I admire and applaud the Atlanta Science Festival for bringing science to the Atlanta community in engaging, enthralling, and empowering ways that say to the not-yet-scientists, ‘Come on in. This is for you. What do you think?’ And for showing that science is fun, that there is joy and fulfillment in uncovering the workings of the natural world.”

By doing these things, Goldbart says, the Atlanta Science Festival is “helping ensure a bright future for science, drawing in future scientific talent from all quarters, as we must, as well as building support from our fellow citizens, who benefit from science and also decide how much stock society places in science and the rational, data-driven approach to problem solving.”

As Goldbart waits in excited anticipation for the 2018ASF to commence, he thanks the companies, organizations, institutions, and especially the people driving the festival’s success. “Your contributions, whether measured in days, calories, or dollars – all are important, all are treasured.”

[T]he Atlanta Science Festival is “helping ensure a bright future for science, drawing in future scientific talent from all well as building support from our fellow citizens, who benefit from science...."

Georgia Tech participation in 2018ASF is stronger than ever, with two new events from the College of Sciences.

Following are events taking place in the Georgia Tech campus, sponsored or presented by Georgia Tech units, or featuring Georgia Tech faculty, students, and staff:

  • Friday, March 9, 7-8:30 PM Rise Up Robots, featuring introductory remarks by College of Sciences Dean Paul Goldbart as the festival’s honorary chair, a robotic jokester, a robotic marimba player, and a bionic arm; Ferst Center for the Performing Arts at Georgia Tech, 349 Ferst Dr NW, Atlanta, 30332; admission $15; purchase tickets
  • Saturday, March 10, 10-11:30 AM Stem Gems: Giving Girls Role Models In Stem Careers, featuring Georgia Tech alumnae Becky Yao and Marissa Connor; Goizueta Business School at Emory University, 1300 Clifton Rd, Room 234, Atlanta, 30322; admission $5 (free for parents attending with children); purchase tickets
  • NEW! Saturday, March 10, 12-4 PM Taste of Science, featuring live demonstrations, food samples, and fascinating facts that tie science, culture, and food together; hosted by College of Sciences’ Ed Greco, Michael Evans, Jennifer Leavey, Enid Steinbart, and their students in the STEMcomm VIP class; Kessler Campanile at Georgia Tech, 350 Ferst Dr NW, Atlanta, 30332; admission $5 (free for students with ID); purchase tickets on site
  • Sunday, March 11, 3-4:30 PM, The Golden Record, featuring aerial arts, modern dance, and live music exploring the themes in Carl Sagan’s time capsule called The Golden Record – two phonograph records of sounds and images – which Sagan intended for future life forms so they can one day look back upon our existence; sponsored by Georgia Tech Astrobiology; The Space, 4620-A S Atlanta Rd SE, Atlanta, 30339; admission $18 ($12 for students); purchase tickets
  • Tuesday, March 13, 7-8:30 PM, The Power of Connected, a Honeywell Sponsored Panel & Customer Experience Tours, featuring CEISMC Executive Director Lizanne DeStefano and Georgia Tech Research Scientist Bill Eason; Honeywell Atlanta Software Center, The Event Center, Suite 600, 715 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, 30308; free admission with advance registration; register in advance
  • Saturday, March 17, 9 AM-12 PM, K.I.D.S. Club, a CEISMC event where kids can explore hands-on STEM activities, work with LEGO Mindstorms EV3 in LEGO Robotics, or create their own mobile app or game; Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons at Georgia Tech, 266 Fourth St, NW, Atlanta, 30332; admission $45-$65 per child depending on age; purchase tickets
  • Saturday, March 17, 9 AM-2:30 PM, Latino College & STEM Fair, a CEISMC event featuring bilingual workshops, hands-on activities for the entire family, a college fair, a majors fair, and an inspirational panel with Latino college students, parents, professors, and other professionals; Georgia Tech Student Center, 350 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, 30332; free admission
  • Saturday, March 17, 11 AM-2 PM, Nerdy Derby, a CEISMC event where participants kids build their own cars and race them down a 30-foot track; M. R. Hollis Innovation Academy, 225 Griffin St NW Atlanta GA 30314, Atlanta, 30314; free admission
  • Saturday, March 17, 11 AM-3 PM, G4C Game Jam, a CEISMC event where participants create digital games about issues affecting their communities; Historic Academy of Medicine, 875 W. Peachtree St, NW, Atlanta, 30309; free admission with advance registration; register in advance
  • NEW! Saturday, March 17 12:30-3:30 PM; Sunday, March 18 12-2 AM, Silver Scream Science Spookshow, featuring a screening of “It Came from Outer Space” with live theater and music by Leucine Zipper (aka Jennifer Leavey) and the Zinc Fingers; Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, 30306; admission $10 adults, $7 children 12 years and under; purchase tickets on site
  • Sunday, March 18, 1-2:30 PM, 3:30-5 PM, Science of the Circus, hosted by the Georgia Tech Graduate Association of Physicists; participants can immerse themselves in circus arts while learning basic scientific principles that make amazing feats of strength and balance possible; Circus School of Atlanta, 575 Boulevard SE, Atlanta, 30312; admission $10 early bird, $15 regular; purchase tickets
  • Wednesday, March 21, 7-10 PMEvolution Animated, featuring Jon Perry, creator of the hugely popular Stated Clearly animations; presented by the Georgia Tech-based NSF/NASA Center for Chemical Evolution; Monday Night Garage, 933 Lee St NW, Atlanta, 30310; free admission
  • Wednesday, March 21, 7:30-9:30 PM, Science Improv, featuring Georgia Tech mathematician Lew Lefton; Whole World Improv Theater, 1216 Spring Street, Atlanta, 30309; admission $10 regular, $5 students; purchase tickets
  • Thursday, March 22, 7-10 PM, Science Trivia, featuring rousing rounds testing your knowledge of science trivia; presented by the Georgia-Tech based NSF/NASA Center for Chemical Evolution; Manuel's Tavern, 602 North Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, 30307
  • Thursday & Friday, March 22-23, 8 AM-3 PM, STEAM Leadership Conference, a CEISMC event for STEAM decision makers, featuring two days of interactive, educational sessions, STEAM-focused work groups, inspiring TED talks, and panel discussions with experts; Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons at Georgia Tech, 266 Fourth St, NW, Atlanta, 30332; admission $200; purchase tickets

Festivities culminate at the Exploration Expo on March 24, 11 AM- 4 PM in Piedmont Park. 

Complete information about 2018ASF is available at


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