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Inaugural Arkansas Science Festival is Oct. 3-11


JONESBORO – With the Arkansas Science Festival coming to Arkansas State University and Jonesboro starting Friday, Oct. 3, organizers are expecting it to be a "party for the mind" and enjoyable for everyone. 

The festival's purpose is promoting a greater understanding and appreciation for science among students, adults, special interest groups, and underserved populations.

The week of events, from the presentations by ArcAttack on Friday, Oct. 3, through the Science Expo Day on Saturday, Oct. 11, promises to be both educational and exciting.

"Our goal for the Arkansas Science Festival is for attendees to celebrate science in informal community settings like local libraries, restaurants, museums, parks, and performance halls, as well as the A-State campus," said Dr. Amy R. Pearce, project director and professor of psychology at A‑State.  "We believe our varied programming offers something for every age and interest. We welcome Northeast Arkansans to join in on this party for the mind!"

The Science Expo Day will be the week's major participation event.  Scheduled for 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Centennial Hall in the Carl R. Reng Student Union, the Expo will emphasize hands-on and educational STEM activities that will be fun for all ages.  The acronym comes from the first letters of what are known as the STEM disciplines -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is helping support the festival financially as a result of a grant proposal from Pearce and two other A-State professors.

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

The Arkansas Science Festival will be the first formal science festival to be organized and hosted in the state.  The A-State faculty organizers believe they will reach more than 2,000 people through the various educational activities, performances, demonstrations and displays.

The festival operates 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 also has provided financial support, particularly through the College of Education and Behavioral Science, College of Sciences and Mathematics, and the Arkansas Biosciences Institute.

This week's activities include:

Science Café

Godsey's Grill, 226 S. Main St. in Jonesboro | 6:30-8:30 p.m.  Pre-registration is recommended.

Join us in a casual setting for an evening of juicy burgers, crispy fries, a refreshing drink, and rocket science! Four panelists will journey from the far reaches of our state to share their star-flung encounters.

Arkansas Biosciences Institute Fall Symposium

Tuesday, Oct. 7.

This one-day annual symposium will be packed with updates and highlights of just a small portion of the agricultural and biomedical research supported with Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI) funding. Investigators from all five member institutions will attend and present, providing them with a great opportunity to meet with potential research collaborators.

Tink Tank

ASU Museum, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 5:30-7 p.m.

Science and engineering go hand-in-hand during Tink Tank. Join us on the following dates in ASU Museum’s Tinkering Studio for learning that is disguised as fun! Free to the public.

Good Vibrations: The Science of Music

Thursday, Oct. 9, Round Room of the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library, 5-7 p.m.

Come to the library for an evening of songs and science! From 5:00-6:00, we will host a workshop where participants can make and decorate their own musical instrument. At 6:00 p.m., a scientist and a musician will pair up to teach the audience about the science of music with an interactive presentation. Play with various musical instruments and measure sounds with scientific ones. All ages welcome. No registration required.

Playing with Science, Short Play Experiment

Saturday, Oct. 11, Reng Student Union, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Watch a series of short science plays that made the cut from a national playwright competition. Each play will be less than 15 minutes. The best plays will be performed by the Rough Magic Shakespeare Company and high school students at the festival. Awards will be given for Best Script as selected by our panel of judges, and Audience Favorite based upon votes from the audience.

Nano 2.2

ASU Museum, Tuesday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

Nano 2.2 is a hands-on exhibit that presents the basics of nanoscience and engineering, introduces some real world applications, and explores the societal and ethical implications of this new technology.

For additional details, individuals may visit the Science Festival website, http://www.astate.edu/asf/, or  contact Pearce at apearce@astate.edu or (870) 972‑3282.

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