AUGUST 14, 2013

Arizona SciTech Festival brings together Arizona industry leaders for Sept. 4 kickoff conference

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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

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.

Full Program Agenda:
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Registration and networking breakfast
8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Morning sessions and networking
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch break (enjoy one of dozens of restaurants steps from the conference)
1:00 – 3:45 p.m. Afternoon sessions and networking
3:45 – 4:45 p.m. Keynote address
4:45 – 6:00 p.m. Reception (visit 50 interactive tables hosted by collaborators and partners)

Panel discussions scheduled for the Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference Sept. 4 include:
Festival Events & Best Practices
Festival Boons, Barriers and Dreams
Finding the Teachable Moment in Your STEM Activity
The Maker Movement: Connecting Innovation, STEM and Creativity
How to Evaluate Your Festival Event
In Schools
Supporting the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in Arizona
How Parents Can Support Their Kids in STEM
Student Panel: What Makes Science Exciting for Kids?
Bringing Science Festival Events to Your Schools
In Society
Using TV to Communicate Science
Teaching Science through Sports 
How Do Interdisciplinary Arts Foster Creative Thinking and Discovery?
Vision 2020: Sustainability Challenges for Our Future
In the Workforce
Arizona: Step Up to Meet the Challenges of a Global Economy with STEM
Enhancing Business: Educator Relationships with STEM
Arizona Cities @ Work: How Cities Can Showcase STEM and Innovation to Their Communities
“Balancing Acts: Women Role Models in STEM”

The Arizona SciTech Festival is a six-week, statewide celebration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) held annually in February and March. Through a series of more than 300 expos, workshops, conversations, exhibitions and tours held in diverse neighborhoods throughout the state, the festival excites and informs Arizonans age 3 to 103 how STEM will drive our state. Spearheaded by its Foundational Partners the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Science Center, Arizona Technology Council, Arizona State University, and The University of Arizona, the Arizona SciTech Festival is a grassroots collaboration of more than 350 organizations in industry, academia, arts, civic, community and K-12. Visit for more.

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