With so many scientists studying and working in San Antonio, it was only a matter of time before local scientific innovators created a celebration inviting the public to come experience science for themselves.

This year’s Science Fiesta 2017 offers hands-on activities for participants of all ages. Now in its second year, the festival will take place on Sunday, April 9 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Witte Museum‘s Mays Family Center. The event is free and open to the public.

“Last year, we attracted over 3,000 people to La Villita,” said Liliana Espinoza, a UT Health San Antonio neuroscience graduate student and one of the event’s organizers. “This year … we will have activities both inside and outside the [Mays] Center.”

The idea for hosting an annual Science Fiesta was first conceived by Travis Block, a graduate student at UT Health San Antonio. Science Fiesta’s organizing committee is comprised mainly of Block’s fellow grad students whose common goal is to make science accessible for everyone by bridging gaps between the scientific community and the general public.

Block, along with other organizers, decided to create the nonprofit organization San Antonio Science in November 2015 to spread awareness, understanding, and enthusiasm for science in San Antonio. The group organizes unique programs that allow people to actively engage with science. Every first Thursday of the month, San Antonio Science hosts a trivia night at Ranger Creek Brewery’s tasting room.

“We believe that San Antonio should be celebrated as a city of science for our major contributions to many fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” the organization’s website states.

Various exhibitors will educate attendees through hands-on activities on topics such as immunization, asthma, the water cycle, pollution, and animals in research. Other scientific treats will include a display of some of the very first personal computers invented, brain exhibits, and a tutorial on the science of making ice cream.

Dinosaurs tracks were molded into into the side of the Mays Family Center. Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone
Dinosaurs tracks were molded into into the side of the Mays Family Center. Credit: Kathryn Boyd-Batstone / San Antonio Report

MAKbots, a robotics team made up of local high school students, will demonstrate their award-winning robot and competing for a world title in robotics.

The festival will also feature food trucks, a student science poster session, live music, and a performance by Grupo Folklorico de Bendiciones.

“Younger attendees can expect to participate in the festivities of Science Fiesta through hands-on activities that emphasize the excitement of science through discovery rather than learning science through memorization or reading from a textbook,” the event’s website states.

In other words, the event promises to make learning about science fun for everyone.

Iris Gonzalez writes about technology, life science and veteran affairs.