‘STEAM Festival’ brings science to life across Tennessee

Nearly 70 partners offer array of activities for all ages, Oct. 12-22

MURFREESBORO, Tenn., Sept. 28, 2017—Science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) will come to life at nearly 70 events across the state during the inaugural Tennessee STEAM Festival, taking place Oct. 12‑22.

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 TennesseeSteamFestival.org.

“The Tennessee STEAM Festival is like nothing we’ve seen before in the state,” said Discovery Center CEO Tara MacDougall. “We’re thrilled that so many organizations and businesses have stepped up to participate and offer truly unique opportunities to experience the fun and excitement of ‘STEAM’ in our everyday lives.”

From art classes and virtual reality demonstrations to tracking monarch butterflies and the physics of chunking pumpkins, there’s something for nearly all ages and interests at the Tennessee STEAM Festival.

Major participating organizations include:

  • Discovery Center, Murfreesboro
  • The Muse Knoxville
  • Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro
  • Vanderbilt University, Nashville
  • Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville
  • Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Nashville
  • Discovery Park of America, Union City
  • Knoxville Museum of Art
  • Belcourt Theatre, Nashville

Signature events during the Festival include “physics of fastballs” clinic with the Vanderbilt Baseball team, “science of fear” lecture and screening of Friday the 13th at the Belcourt Theatre, robot challenges with The Muse and Knox Makers in downtown Knoxville’s Market Square, and much more.

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

In addition to the various events, the Tennessee STEAM Festival will provide outreach opportunities like Sounds of Science: Be Brilliant, Be Sharp. This hands-on set of science activities promote intergenerational explorations of sound. The Discovery Center, in partnership with the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon County’s Afterschool Network, has developed hands-on activity kits that will be facilitated by science and education students from Middle Tennessee State University’s MTeach program and held at afterschool and community sites around Rutherford and Cannon counties.

“The Tennessee STEAM Festival aspires to build interest and excitement in science, technology, engineering, art and math. Our goal is to help cultivate the next generation of citizen and professional science advocates and practitioners. We hope that many thousands of Tennesseans will be able to participate and, perhaps, learn something new or be inspired,” MacDougall said. “And we’re so grateful to our sponsors and partners who have supported this vital effort in communities throughout the state. We couldn’t have launched this Festival without them.”

Other participating organizations:

  • Adventure Science Center, Nashville
  • Arrington Vineyards
  • Arts Center of Cannon County, Woodbury
  • Batey Farms, Murfreesboro
  • Blount County Public Library, Maryville
  • Central Magnet School, Murfreesboro
  • Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, Nashville
  • East Tennessee History Center, Knoxville
  • The Grove, Murfreesboro
  • Hobgood Elementary, Murfreesboro
  • Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville
  • Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum
  • Lanes, Trains, and Automobiles, Murfreesboro
  • Linebaugh Library, Murfreesboro
  • Lotz House, Franklin
  • McFadden Community Center, Murfreesboro
  • Montvale Elementary, Maryville
  • Murfreesboro Center for the Arts
  • Murfreesboro Municipal Airport
  • Murfreesboro Parks & Recreation
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Patterson Park Community Center, Murfreesboro
  • Rutherford County Farmers’ Market, Murfreesboro
  • Schulz Brau Brewery, Knoxville
  • Schwan Cosmetics, Murfreesboro
  • Seven Islands State Birding Park, Kodak
  • Short Mountain Cultures, Woodbury
  • Sinking Creek Farm, Murfreesboro
  • Spring Hill Senior Center
  • Clair Street Senior Center, Murfreesboro
  • Tennessee State University, Nashville
  • Union Grove Elementary, Friendsville
  • University of Tennessee Arboretum, Oak Ridge
  • Volunteer Princess Cruises, Knoxville
  • Voorhies Engineering Technology, Murfreesboro
  • West Town Mall, Knoxville
  • Zoo Knoxville

The Tennessee STEAM Festival was developed by the Discovery Center, in partnership with the Tennessee Science Alliance.

Sponsored by TVA, Education Networks of America, FedEx, the Tennessee Section of the American Chemical Society, Rutherford County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Schwan Cosmetics.

About the Discovery Center

Marking its 30th anniversary in 2017, 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 www.explorethedc.org or call (615) 890‑2300.

Engaging Curious Minds to Fuel the Future.

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Jeff Krinks, Prufrock Communications


Closing Jan. 7

It’s your last chance to INVENT, DESIGN and TINKER at the Discovery Center’s Makerspace! The exhibit allows guests of all ages to get creative with hands-on activities and challenges.

Tennessee STEAM Festival

Oct. 11-20

Science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) will come to life at events across the state during the 3rd annual Tennessee STEAM Festival! The Festival was founded by the Discovery Center and incorporates events at a wide range of museums, schools, community centers and other attractions. Come & enjoy the fun!