MTSU plays a major role in the upcoming Tennessee STEAM Festival, which aims to attract youngsters to the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.
Events that are open to the public will occur at on- and off-campus venues during the third annual festival, scheduled Oct. 10-21.
The state festival, which has events and activities spread across East, Middle and West Tennessee, was founded by the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring in 2017.
MTSU’s College of Basic and Applied Sciences and College of Liberal Arts are proud to be partners with the Discovery Center in the Tennessee STEAM Festival, said Bud Fischer, dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.
“The STEAM Festival is about innovation, imagination and having students and their families explore the critical fields of science, technology, engineering, art and math in a fun, exciting and informal way through hands-on experiences, demonstrations, and activities,” Fischer said.
“We hope the activities that will occur over the week will educate, inspire and excite the people of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County about the science present in our everyday lives.”
MTSU-related events include:
• “Science on Tap: The Social Science of Rock ’N Roll” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, at Mayday Brewery, 521 Old Salem Road, in Murfreesboro. At this free event with food and beverages available for purchase, Paul Fischer, a now-retired 22-year MTSU professor in music business whose students called him “Doctor of Rock ’n Roll,” will offer insights on the music and story that captured the 1960s on film.
• “Foldable Flight: Presented by MTSU,” a free event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, on the terrace at the Discovery Center, 502 SE Broad St., in Murfreesboro. The MTSU Department of Aerospace will help attendees experience the thrill of flight by making a paper airplane, with provided supplies, to test-fly.
• “Decorative Concrete and Building Construction Tour” from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14, on campus in the new Academic Master Classroom in the building next to the Stark Agriculture Center, 651 Founders Lane, and also accessible from Blue Raider Drive to the proposed 1755 MTSU Blvd. School of Concrete and Construction Management Director Heather Brown and alumnus Aaron Bertrand of Turner Construction will host a free decorative concrete sculpture class, along with a behind-the-scenes look at a current construction project for the newest MTSU building. This event is limited to 25 participants and is open to all ages.
• “Making STEM Learning Meaningful and Authentic for All Students: A Teacher Event” from 4 to 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, in the Tom H. Jackson Building, 628 Alma Mater Drive. A free event, this Tennessee STEM Education Center interactive expert panel will discuss making STEM learning meaningful and authentic, how it’s different from traditional education, and finding career opportunities to make positive change in the world, along with a Q&A session.
• “Virtual Reality Demo: Presented By MTSU,” a free event from 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, at Linebaugh Library, 105 W. Vine St., in Murfreesboro. MTSU’s Department of Computer Science will provide virtual reality demonstrations, and attendees can wear virtual reality glasses and use touch controllers to experience and interact with the synthetic world. This event is best for school-age children and older.
• “Communicating Science Through Storytelling with Andrei Codrescu,” a free public event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, in Science Building, Room 1006. An acclaimed storyteller and past commentator on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” Codrescu will demonstrate how to put the “A” —arts — in STEAM with a discussion that will integrate the cultures of art and science.
• “Communicating Science Through Storytelling with Andrei Codrescu — A Workshop for Faculty and Students from a Scientist’s Perspective,” a free event from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, and 4:30 to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, in the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building, Room 106.
• “October Skies: A Multisensory Evening at Hop Springs,” a free event from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 17 at Hop Springs Brewery, 6790 John Bragg Hwy., in Murfreesboro. MTSU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, Department of Art and Design, and the School of Agriculture’s Fermentation Science Program will present a night of beer tasting, sensory testing, painting and stargazing. Adult beverages will require a separate purchase.
• “STEAM Medallions: Metal Pour,” a free event from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Todd Art Building Sculpture Foundry, 542 Old Main Circle. This event will be be limited to the first 20 participants and is open to all ages.
• “MTSU MTeach ‘Charlotte’s Web’ Activity and Family Movie Night,” a free event Oct. 18 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the MTSU Science Building. The College of Basic and Applied Sciences, MTSU MTeach program and the School of Agriculture are inviting families to explore the beloved classic book and film, “Charlotte’s Web,” with interactive connections between literacy and science. The movie will be screened at 7 p.m.
For more information, call the Discovery Center at 615-890-2300.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)