Atlanta Science Festival brings 150-plus events to 80 locations throughout metro area
By Hannah E. Jones
Want to touch a human brain, learn the mechanics behind animation or attend the “nerdiest fashion show of the year”? At the Atlanta Science Festival, you can.
The Atlanta Science Festival (ASF) is back for its 10th edition from March 10 to 25. ASF is an annual celebration of learning, science and STEM career opportunities around the Atlanta region. This year, the line-up features 150 events across 80 locations in the city and metro area.
Throughout the two-week slate of events, the ASF team hopes to bring folks together through the wonder of science and encourage an increased appreciation for the world around us.
“Some people have negative feelings towards science — like they didn’t do well at it at school or the politics around a lot of things these days can bring some negativity towards the idea of science. [We aim to] create a real appreciation and value of science,” Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director Meisa Salaita said. “We want people to have that curiosity about the world around them and to appreciate and value the role that science plays in their lives.”
ASF is hosted by its parent nonprofit Science ATL, with major support from founders Emory University, Georgia Tech and the Metro Atlanta Chamber, along with presenting sponsor Delta Air Lines and 80-plus community partners.
The festival’s line-up includes a wide variety of events — ranging from exploring the natural world, Atlanta’s infrastructure, artificial intelligence, art and more — but they are all rooted in science. There are events for all age groups, from young children to adults, and some programs are free while others require a ticket.
For example, folks can learn about the region’s waterways through the South River Rendezvous, join a guided walk through local urban parks, learn about the science of coffee or check out the adults-only scientific comedy show.
ASF will kick off with Destination Science, a panel with three scientists who will showcase the places where science can take you.
“We’re bringing in three remarkable field researchers, deliberately chosen as all women, so girls can see, ‘Hey, you can be a badass scientist and study sharks in Australia or become an expert of wildlife in Africa,’” Salaita said.
The two-week festivities will culminate on Saturday, March 25 at the Exploration Expo in Piedmont Park, which is free and open to the public. The expo will feature 100 booths with hands-on activities, including drones, a jet engine from Delta and a bionic prosthetic arm.
After nearly a decade of ASF, Salaita and the team are proud of the role it plays in connecting people to science, career opportunities and efforts around the city. Salaita remembers the first year, which had a few hiccups as it rained unexpectedly and the Expo had to be moved indoors. She was unsure that anyone was going to show and, instead, around 18,000 people arrived and were “beating down the doors to get in and do science,” she recalled with a chuckle.
“It completely blew my mind,” Salaita said. “It was like this hunger and need for this in the city and to provide this opportunity for families, kids and grownups who are interested and excited about science [but] don’t have a place to explore that. Even talking about it now makes me feel choked up.”
To learn more about ASF and check out the schedule in closer detail, click here.
See Kelly Jordan’s photos from the 2022 Atlanta Science Festival!
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