MTSU links to STEAM Festival with trio of October ...

MTSU links to STEAM Festival with trio of October activities

An MTSU Art and Science art crawl-related event and two separate “October Sky” activities are the university’s contributions to the 2018 statewide STEAM Festival starting this Friday, Oct. 12.

The Tennessee STEAM Festival is a celebration of STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art and math — across the state. It’s a community festival that will raise awareness and build interest in learning across different ages, neighborhoods and educational levels.

STEAM festival logoTo learn more about the Tennessee STEAM Festival, visit For an event listing, go to

A community event, the ’Boro Art Crawl with MTSU Science and Art activities, will start at 6 p.m. Friday at the Murfreesboro Public Square.

"The art crawl will be held in cowidth=”401″ height=”246″ njunction with the STEAM event and will offer participants the opportunity to visit downtown businesses taking part in the crawl. These venues will be hosting local art, cuisine, live events and science and art activities sponsored by various MTSU departments, including the Department of Art and Design and the Department of Aerospace.

A group of local artists founded The ’Boro Art Crawl in 2015 to help foster the artistic community in their hometown.

Erin Anfinson, professor, Department of Art and Design

Erin Anfinson

Sisavanh Houghton

Sisavanh Houghton

An event for adults, “October Skies at Arrington Vineyard,” will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the vineyard near Triune, Tennessee. The MTSU Department of Physics and Astronomy, the School of Agriculture and the Department of Art and Design will present a night of art projects, wine-tasting and star-gazing.

The event is open to the public. Wine will be available for purchase from Arrington Vineyard. Attendees must be 21 and older, and the event is limited to 150 adults.

Sisavanh Houghton and Erin Anfinson, associate professors of art and design, and two painting alumni will present “painting with a twist” and branded coaster creations.

Dr. John Wallin

Dr. John Wallin

Dr Tony Johnston, School of Agriculture

Dr. Tony Johnston

Professor Tony Johnston, director of the Fermentation Science Program, will give a short talk about different wines. Astronomy professor John Wallin will briefly discuss the night sky, and guests will be able to look through telescopes and investigate our planet’s surroundings.

At 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, multiple MTSU departments will present “October Sky” at October Sky Family Movie Night in the Science Building’s Liz and Creighton Rhea Atrium. To find event parking and the Science Building, visit

The movie is free and open to the public. There will be space-themed activities for all ages, and concessions will be available for a fee.

The movie, showing at 7 p.m., is the tale of Homer Hickam, an author and a former NASA engineer who, as a teenager in rural West Virginia, collaborated with friends to build small rockets that earned him a trip to the 1960 National Science Fair, where he won gold and silver medals in propulsion.

Following the movie, artisans from the MTSU Department of Art and Design will create STEAM-themed medallions using a metal pour technique.

— Randy Weiler (