Hundreds of the state’s business, science and education leaders will gather in Scottsdale for the Second Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference on Sept. 4. The conference will be held 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts located at 7380 E. Second Street. The free, day-long event is open to those wanting to learn more about integrating STEM education into their communities. STEM education, which focuses on science, technology, engineering and math, is the backbone discipline of Arizona’s new economy.
The Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference will include 16 thought-provoking panel discussions, a keynote address and roughly 50 interactive stations, where collaborating organizations from the Arizona SciTech Festival will demonstrate STEM activities. The conference offers a unique opportunity to network with some of the state’s top STEM professionals, learn best practices in communicating STEM, as well as strategies to engage communities, local schools and businesses.
“The conference is an intersection point for leaders to form partnerships and build upon STEM activities they can implement in their communities during our annual spring festival,” said Jeremy Babendure, Executive Director of the Arizona SciTech Festival. “It offers a platform to engage new collaborators and links content providers with venues throughout the state, which translates into a stronger network and a more impactful Arizona SciTech Festival.”
“A statewide commitment to STEM education is critical to developing an ongoing pipeline of future talent to build and sustain Arizona’s workforce and strengthen its economy,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, who is a panelist at this year’s conference. “Bringing the private and public sectors together in this forum to collaborate and lead on this issue is vital for our state’s success and global competitiveness.”
Conference sponsors include Cox Communications, Challenger Space Center, the City of Scottsdale and EventInterface. For more information or to register for the Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference, visit www.azscitechfest.org/conference.
The Kickoff Conference begins with a 7:30 a.m. breakfast mixer. Programming begins at 8:30 a.m. and continues until 6 p.m. The conference keynote presentation beginning at 3:45 p.m. will feature Geoff Notkin, star of TV’s “Meteorite Men” and Skylab Astronaut Dr. Ed Gibson. Notkin and Gibson will team up to provide unique perspectives on how they’ve worked to make the understanding and appreciation of science part of mainstream living.