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Posted on: October 9, 2019

Tennessee STEAM Festival Oct. 11-20

TNSTEAMFest 2019

Science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) will come to life at more than 100 events across the state during the 3rd annual Tennessee STEAM Festival,  Oct. 11 20, 2019.  The Festival was founded by the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring and incorporates events at a wide range of museums, schools, community centers and other attractions. A complete listing of activities and locations is available at

“The Tennessee STEAM Festival continues to grow with an ever-expanding reach across our great state, providing Tennesseans exciting new ways to engage with science, technology, engineering, art and math,” said Discovery Center CEO Tara MacDougall. “The Festival is focused on promoting lifelong learning and on helping citizens better understand the world around them.

“We’re very appreciative of our sponsors and partners who have stepped up to support this critical endeavor at locations across the state. This Festival wouldn’t be possible without them,” MacDougall said.

Signature events during the Tennessee STEAM Festival include:

  • Storybook Science at the Discovery Center, Murfreesboro
  • Charlotte’s Web Activity and Movie Night at MTSU, Murfreesboro
  • Science in the Circus at Patterson Park Community Center, Murfreesboro

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 from Oct. 10-21.  The state festival, with events and activities spread across East, Middle and West Tennessee, was founded by the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring in 2017.

MTSU’s Colleges of Basic and Applied Sciences and Liberal Arts are proud to partner with the Discovery Center to be a part of 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,” he added.

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. A 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 Aerospace Department helps attendees experience the thrill of flight by making a paper airplane with provided supplies and be test flown.

• “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. School of Concrete and Construction Management director Heather Brown and alumnus Aaron Bertrand with 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. Limited to 25 participants of 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 on making STEM learning meaningful and authentic; how it’s different from traditional education; a discussion of careers to provide opportunities to make positive change in the world; and 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 computer science department will provide virtual reality demonstrations to the community. Attendees will wear virtual reality glasses and use touch controllers to experience and interact with the synthetic world. Geared for school-age children and older.

• “Communicating Science Through Storytelling with Andrei Codrescu (public event),” a free event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, in Science Building Room 1006. Acclaimed storyteller and past commentator on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” Codrescu will demonstrate how to put the “A” (arts) in STEAM with a visit that will integrate the two 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 also 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 (adult beverages require a separate purchase) from 6 to 9 p.m. at Hop Springs Brewery, 6790 John Bragg Hwy., in Murfreesboro. MTSU’s Physics and Astronomy Department and School of Agriculture’s fermentation science will present a night of beer tasting, sensory testing, painting and star gazing.

• “STEAM Medallions: Metal Pour,” a free event from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, in the Todd Art Building Sculpture Foundry, 542 Old Main Circle. Limited to first 20 participants of all ages.

• “MTSU MTeach ‘Charlotte’s Web’ Activity and Family Movie Night,”, free event from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the MTSU Science Building. College of Basic and Applied Sciences, MTeach program and School of Agriculture invite families to explore the beloved classic, “Charlotte’s Web,” with interactive connections between literacy and science. A screening of the movie will be at 7 p.m.

While most of the Festival’s events are free and open to the public, some are subject to admission charges and space limitations.

Connect with the Tennessee STEAM Festival on Facebook @STEAMFestival or on Twitter @STEAMFest.

Sponsored by Franke, the Tennessee Section of the American Chemical Society, FedEx, Dr. and Mrs. Scott Corlew, Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, Atmos Energy, Rutherford County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and CedarStone Bank, in partnership with Science Festival Alliance, Science Alliance of Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee Craft Week and the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.

About the Discovery Center

The Discovery Center at Murfree Spring is a hands-on, environmental, cultural and educational museum located in the heart of Middle Tennessee. More than 120,000 children and families visit annually, exploring exhibits and participating in programs that promote STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts & math) education. Adjacent to the Center is the protected Murfree Spring wetlands, a natural habitat for a variety of fish, amphibians and birds. Located at 502 S.E. Broad Street in Murfreesboro, TN, the Center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit or call (615) 890-2300.

STEAM Festival website (Link)
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