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Upcoming 10th Annual San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering Announces Schedule

March 3-11, 2018: The 10th annual San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering is presented by Illumina Foundation with more than 50 STEM events on the schedule, including free EXPO DAY at PETCO Park
Saturday, March 3

San Diego CA—More than 65,000 San Diego County science fanatics are expected to participate in the 10th annual San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering presented by the Illumina Foundation. This year, festival organizers are busy organizing dozens of new and returning special events and interactive activities for local K-12 students and adults 21 and up to engage in all things science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The festival is March 3-11, 2018, and most events are free and open to the public.

More than 26,000 children, parents, and STEM enthusiasts descended on PETCO Park in 2017, for the one-day EXPO DAY, breaking attendance records from previous years. Similar attendance is expected in 2018 at EXPO DAY on Saturday, March 3, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., which kicks-off the week-long festivities. Thousands of local families, children and students will again enjoy a full day of free STEM fun provided by hundreds of San Diego area businesses, schools, libraries, and museums who will provide hands-on learning activities and experiments to inspire students of all ages. Additionally, there will be two main stages with free STEM-inspired performances by crowd-favorites The Music Notes, Fleet Science Center, Ms. Smarty Plants from the Water Conservation Garden, Ecovivarium, Qualcomm, Mad Science, General Atomics and TEDxKids@ElCajon.

After EXPO DAY at PETCO Park, the fun continues with Festival Week (March 4-11) – eight days of learning, interaction and behind-the-scenes opportunities for students in grades K-12, adults and families to ignite their passion for STEM education. By hosting events and activities throughout the county, the science festival demonstrates how STEM opportunities can be found in your own “backyard” and are for science fans of all ages. In fact, the community-driven STEM in Your Backyard series will now be accessible in areas all over San Diego County, including San Marcos, Chula Vista, Lakeside and Barrio Logan. Festival organizers also expanded the 21 and up series for adult science enthusiasts to continue, and share their passion for STEM with others, proving STEM education doesn’t stop after school. Visit www.lovestemsd.org for schedule updates and to register for individual events.

A program of the nonprofit Biocom Institute and presented by the Illumina Foundation, the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering is one of the largest nonprofit science festivals in the U.S. The week-long event aims to encourage and engage kids and adults in STEM education, and to increase our region’s reputation of being a leader in the science industry.

Over the years, San Diego County has earned a reputation as a hotbed of STEM activity; however, with a shortage of students entering STEM fields in the workforce, there was a growing need to engage students early on. Inspired by the vision of local entrepreneur, Larry Bock, in collaboration with UC San Diego faculty, the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering was created a decade ago to get kids excited about STEM as well as demonstrate why science and engineering are important in their lives. The inaugural festival in 2009 included more than 500 free events and drew more than 50,000 visitors for the first EXPO DAY. Now, 10 years later, these numbers have grown exponentially and the festival continues to ignite excitement for STEM all around the county.

In the last few years, science jobs in the area have grown by more than 20 percent, making San Diego one of the nation’s major destinations for people seeking science careers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment in STEM jobs is expected to grow to more than 9 million by 2022. It is because of this many of the region’s leading STEM companies support the festival, as they see the value in fostering the love for science, technology, engineering, and math as well as building the pipeline for a local workforce.

Anticipated EXPO DAY Features/Highlights for 2018:

  • *NEW* U.S. Air Force Rapid Strike Simulator: Ever wonder what it’s like to soar the sky on a down-range Air Force mission? Well look no further! EXPO DAY and Festival Week will feature the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service’s Rapid Strike Simulator. Rapid Strike is a state-of-the-art flight simulator that showcases the intricacy and capability of modern American airpower. Take around in the sky and experience what it’s like to be an airman.
  • *NEW* Healthy Lifestyles Area: New year,new you! Visit this booth area in Park at the Park to learn more about the science of healthy living. From exercise to healthy eating habits, this new area will teach festival-goers all they need to know about living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Pre-K Zone: Inspire even the tiniest innovators to ignite their love for science! Presented by STEAM Maker Workshop and Children’s Discovery Museum, the Pre-K Zone will give children under 5 an opportunity to participate in STEAM-related activities. Visit the Pre-K Zone to excite your tiny future innovators. Let their imaginations run free, they just might change the world.
  • TEDxKids@ElCajon Take the Stage: TEDxKids@El Cajon will join us for a second year for TEDx kids talks starting at 11 a.m. on the Dugout Stage. Hear some inventive ideas from some of tomorrow’s future movers and shakers. You’ll laugh, smile and be proud of the skills these students are learning in public speaking, and leadership. Organized by the Cajon Valley Union School District, these TEDx talks offer a unique platform for students to share their ideas. Connect with our future leaders and leave inspired.
  • Bright Idea Society Alley – Powered By ViaSat, Inc.: No need to scour the map, our Bright Idea Society award winners will all be gathered together in their own row inside Park at the Park! The Bright Idea Society recognizes individuals (new this year) and groups at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Winners will be awarded stipends, t-shirts, and a free booth space at EXPO DAY to showcase their ideas to thousands of festival attendees of all ages. This year’s winners will be announced Jan. 26, 2018. Visit their activity booths and let these fascinating young minds, teach you about science!
  • League of Extraordinary Scientists (LXS): Join some of the brightest minds in San Diego County at the Mercado area in PETCO Park. Have questions about Entymology, Nano Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Genomics, Oceanography, Science or Astronomy? Listen and engage with scientists from San Diego companies and organizations who are active in their industries at a Fireside Chat. Be sure to also stay for the LXS Science Tour, which offers hands on activities for scientists of all ages.
  • Extra Credit Adventure: Teachers, encourage your students to explore STEM by rewarding extra credit for attending EXPO Say! Download the Expo Day Extra Credit worksheet in advance or stop by the booth presented by UCSD Begs Outreach located near the Fireside Chats in the Mercado area.
  • EXPO DAY Stage Performances: Everyone’s favorite math rappers – The Music Notes – return to Expo Day this year. Through rhythm and rhyme they break down math concepts from simple addition to advanced algebra. Fleet Science Center, General Atomics, Mad Science and others captivate audiences with explosive STEM fun. The experts at Ecovivarium give guests an up close and personal experience to reptiles who call Southern California home. Additional acts will be added as Expo Day approaches.

San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering Festival Week Features/Highlights for 2018:

  • Co-hosted by the Fleet Science Center, the ever-popular 21 and up series returns this year, giving adults an opportunity to share their passion for science education. Chat over a glass of wine about hot button science topics, learn about the science of distilling, grab a mimosa and talk to a STEAM maker, and play a science-filled game of Cards Against Humanity, and enjoy a local brew with like-minded science enthusiasts. Events will be held throughout San Diego County during Festival Week, making it easy for anyone to participate, especially for parents who need a well-deserved date night out!
  • The STEM in Your Backyard series includes free events that are mini versions of the science festival EXPO DAY, held in diverse communities across San Diego County, including Escondido, Chula Vista, Lakeside and Barrio Logan. Each STEM in Your Backyard event will feature 20 to 25 hands-on STEM activities led by educators and working STEM professionals. Through these four events, more families from neighborhoods all over San Diego will be able to experience the festival’s STEM exhibits in their own communities.
  • The science festival will celebrate International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 8 with an interactive evening filled with several remarkable women in STEM. In addition to an all-woman STEM panel moderated by former KUSI News reporter and anchor, Kristen Cusato, attendees will have an opportunity to network with several women in the STEM field to learn more about the work they do and hear advice on how to encourage other women and girls to pursue STEM careers.

Sponsors for the 2018 San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering include:

Presenting: Illumina Foundation

Gold: City of San Diego, U.S. Airforce, Qualcomm Foundation, ViaSat

Silver: Fleet Science Center, Hologic, San Diego County Board of Supervisors, San Diego County Office of Education, San Diego Padres

Copper: Cubic, Cymer, LiveWell San Diego, Millipore Sigma, Northrop Grumman, Thermo Fisher Scientific, UTC Aerospace, Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Krypton: BP America, Celgene, Heron Therapeutics, Pfizer, Inc., San Diego County Credit Union, Solar Turbines

Titanium: Conatus Pharmaceuticals, General Atomics, KOOV, NanoImaging Services, Point Loma Nazarene University, Raytheon, San Diego National Defense Industrial Association and Systra

Schedule of events on Page Two–>>