“The idea was to showcase science education and career paths for the public in a fun way. Partnerships with Glendale’s educational institutions and local businesses made all the difference this year,” said Jeanine Jerkovic, economic development administrator. “We didn’t want to copy another community’s festival – we wanted ours to have a distinctly ‘Glendale’ personality.”
The themes of the events – including chocolate, aerospace, healthcare and hockey – all reflected a very distinct Glendale industry base. Additionally, families were the main priority for the 2013 Glendale Passport to Science Planning Committee. As an example, the events were held over several dates and weekends so that families with busy schedules would have several chances to participate. The free admission events were designed to provide families with various science education opportunities.
The 2013 season marked the second year of the Arizona SciTech Festival, although it was the first year the city of Glendale and its partners took a leading role in the West Valley. It was also the first year that Glendale launched its own “Passport” concept and website in order to better support the involvement of the partners incurring costs to hold events on their own, allowing the many events to be free to the public. Several local partners also donated prizes as part of a “Glendale Passport to Science Prize Pack” that aimed to encourage the public to attend at least four events. Passport stamps were earned by attending events.
What a difference a year makes. Comparatively, last year’s 2012 Arizona SciTech Festival only held three official events in the city of Glendale and the entire West Valley had a total of nine events. This year the West Valley featured a total of 28 events.
The Arizona SciTech Festival officially kicked off last year as part of Arizona’s 2012 centennial celebration. The Arizona SciTech Festival is a state-wide celebration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM or STEAM when you include the arts) held annually in February and March. Statewide, more than 350 events took place this year statewide.