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First Arkansas Science Festival Coming to A-State in October 2014, with Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Support


JONESBORO – Science explains our world, but few can explain science . . . in a way most people can understand and appreciate.

Nationally, the need to improve science education has been well documented.  Three professors at Arkansas State University are stepping forward to recognize its crucial role in economic development and job creation, while bucking a trend toward declining appreciation for science.

This summer they submitted a successful grant proposal and were awarded funds from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to conduct the first Arkansas Science Festival.  The festival will be organized in conjunction with the Science Festival Alliance, a group of professionals who work to develop new festival initiatives and share best practices in science festival creation and implementation.

A-State has also provided financial support, particularly from the College of Education and Behavioral Science, College of Sciences and Mathematics, and the Arkansas Biosciences Institute.

Dr. Amy R. Pearce, associate professor of psychology, is project director.  She already is out seeking matching funds from those who share her enthusiasm for improving public understanding of what’s frequently called the STEM disciplines -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“A science festival can be considered a ‘celebration of science’ or a ‘party for the mind,” she explains.  “The Arkansas Science Festival will emphasize hands-on, enjoyable, and educational STEM activities for audiences of all ages.”

To be held at A-State and the surrounding community next fall, the festival will feature outreach activities for students, adults, special interest groups, underserved populations, and much more, she continued.

Joining Pearce on the team as co-directors are Dr. Karen L. Yanowitz, associate professor of psychology, and Dr. Anne A. Grippo, professor of biology and associate dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics.

They selected the harvest-season month of October as part of their strategy to get more people involved.  Their goal is to have 2,000 people of all ages and backgrounds participating in some phase of the festival, which is Thursday, Oct. 2 through Sunday, Oct. 5.

“The Arkansas Science Festival will be a public event showcasing a variety of STEM-related activities, such as demonstrations, workshops, speakers, and laboratory tours that capture the unique fabric of Arkansas and the Mid-South Delta region,” Pearce continued.

For additional details, or to express interest in participating or supporting this event individuals may contact Pearce at apearce@astate.edu or (870) 972‑3282.

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Brain Awareness Day,
a science outreach event
at A-State




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