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Feb. 3, 2017

Chandler SciTech Festival Continues Its Journey

By Councilmember René Lopez
 

Arizona designates the month of February to the exploration of science and innovation. Through this wonderful statewide initiative, various events take place focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM).

The sixth Annual Chandler Science Spectacular event continues its successful journey in providing hands-on activities related to science and technology. This family-friendly, free event offers us all an opportunity to explore the discoveries of science and technology in our own backyard. 

The two-day event kicks-off with a “Family Flick” night on Friday, Feb. 17 at the monthly Art Walk in downtown Chandler, from 6-10 p.m. In addition to local artists showcasing their products, attendees should bring a blanket or comfy lawn chair and head to the grassy lawn of Dr. A.J. Chandler Park to enjoy the original “Ghostbusters” movie. Special guests from Arizona Ghostbusters will be present and the East Valley Engineering Kids will provide a green slime activity. Murphy’s Law will be serving green apple cider for free while supplies last.

On Saturday, Feb. 18, the Chandler Science Spectacular event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in downtown Chandler. It continues to grow with more than 60 participants providing interactive demonstrations. Residents will learn about rocket launching, forensics, gardening, robotics and the opportunity to take a look at the Waymo self-driving Lexus vehicle.

Intel has graciously offered to be the main sponsor of this event for the fifth straight year. New in 2017 is a Science Event Competition for those participants who have already expressed their commitment. Orbital ATK offered to be a sponsor of this competition by providing sponsorship funding to the science club of the winning schools.

This is a fun opportunity to celebrate STEAM and learn how it relates to everyday life situations. Providing hands-on activities shows kids the “how” something works. It provides an experience that they will remember and can relate to, instead of just reading about it. Kids become more engaged and more excited about learning. The most rewarding part of hosting events like this, is watching the kids interactions and expressions while witnessing science in motion.

Former Councilmember Rick Heumann had a vision about ways to offer educational opportunities for the youth in our community. He founded the Chandler Education Coalition and through its efforts, the Chandler Science Spectacular event was created. The Coalition is represented by educational institutions, non-profits, various City departments and businesses. I am looking forward to being a part of the Chandler Education Coalition and continuing to work with Rick as we take this event to the next level.

The Science Spectacular event would not be successful without the continued dedication and support from Intel, Orbital ATK, members of the Chandler Education Coalition and all the participants at the event. I want to thank everyone for making this event possible. Chandler definitely has the sense of community! 

I encourage you and the whole family to learn something new. For information on schedules, program details, and event maps, visit our website at chandleraz.gov/science. For more information on statewide events, visit azscitech.com.