Fourth Annual STEAM Festival Brings Science to Life Across Tennessee

Oct 12, 2020 at 11:31 am by WGNS

(Rutherford County, TN) – Science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) will come to life at more than 100 events and activities across the state during the 4th annual Tennessee STEAM Festival, taking place Oct. 9 - 18, 2020.

The Festival was founded by the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring and incorporates outdoor and virtual events hosted by a wide range of museums, schools, community centers and other attractions. A complete listing of activities is available at

“The Tennessee STEAM Festival will look a little different this year in order to accommodate social distancing, but it still offers Tennesseans fun 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 everyone better understand the world around them.

“We are excited that the Tennessee STEAM Festival is being hosted at several locations in Rutherford County and throughout Tennessee," said Barbara Wolke, senior vice president of the Rutherford County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The Discovery Center at Murfree Spring continues to lead the effort of this fantastic state-wide festival; offering virtual and socially distanced opportunities for everyone.”

Signature events include:
  • The Look of Things Unseen: A transatlantic visual discussion about submicroscopic killers, with Martin Kemp, Emeritus Research Professor in the History of Art, University of Oxford, England (virtual)
  • Vaccines in the Time of COVID, with William Schaffner, MD, Vanderbilt University (virtual)
  • From Nothing to Something: The Innovation of Music, National Museum of African American Music, Nashville (virtual)
  • Scarecrow Contest, Lichterman Nature Center, Memphis
  • Pelican Festival, Reelfoot Lake State Park, Tiptonville
  • Hispanic Heritage Days, Discovery Center, Murfreesboro
  • Middle School Virtual Science Experiment, Girls Inc. of TN Valley, Oak Ridge
  • and much more!
This year the Festival’s Honorary Chair is William Schaffner, MD, epidemiologist at Vanderbilt University. Schaffner is often seen on national news programs talking about public health issues such as pandemics and the coronavirus.

“As an expert in infectious diseases and preventive medicine, it’s my job to make sure we make good decisions about public health in our communities so that we can all live healthy lives,” Schaffner said. “If you want to become a doctor or any other healthcare professional who helps others stay healthy, I’d encourage you to participate in the Tennessee STEAM Festival and learn how really fun science can be!”

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