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Science in the Sun
St. Pete Science fest for all-ages
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The third annual St. Petersburg Science Festival, featuring more than 30 new hands-on interactive exhibits for people of all ages, is set for Saturday, Oct. 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in downtown St. Petersburg.
ST. PETERSBURG - The third annual St. Petersburg Science Festival, featuring more than 30 new hands-on interactive exhibits for people of all ages, is set for Saturday, Oct. 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in downtown St. Petersburg. The festival, which is free and open to the public, will be held along Bayboro Harbor at USF St. Petersburg and Poynter Park.

Special events are scheduled in advance of the festival, starting on Oct. 16.

Held in conjunction with MarineQuest, the community celebration will kick off with an explosive science experiment on stage in Poynter Park at 10 a.m., led by St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, USF St. Petersburg Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska and USF College of Marine Science Dean Jacqueline Dixon, under the expert guidance of Mad Science Tampa Bay.

Last year’s Science Festival and MarineQuest drew more than 10,000 people. New events this year include a sneak peek exclusively for school children at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 18.

Along with a full day of science shows and music, this year’s Science Festival will feature over 100 engaging, hands-on activities ranging from crazy chemistry experiments to fighting robot competitions. Visitors of all ages can board a research vessel, build a fire, run an underwater remotely operated vehicle, peer into a microscope at aquatic animals and archaeological artifacts, escape fishing nets, test an artificial limb, create art from science, launch a rocket and a whole lot more!

Visitors looking to learn more about STEM careers - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - will have the opportunity to interact with scientists and engineers and explore the diverse array of expertise located around Tampa Bay and beyond.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase from USF St. Petersburg restaurants including The Reef, World of Wings, The Tavern at Bayboro, and the Campus Grind. A food truck rally returns for the second year in a row, featuring a variety of gourmet vendors parked along 3rd Street South.

Now in its third year the St. Petersburg Science Festival is expanding with additional special events for 2013.

• St. Petersburg SciCafé at the Dali Museum, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 6 p.m.

Festival exhibitor The Dali Museum will host a special SciCafé – Extreme Extremities: Arms, Legs, and Tails, on Tuesday, October 15 from 6 p.m - 7:30 p.m. in partnership with Secrets of the Sea Marine Exploration Center and Aquarium. This panel discussion will focus on prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation. Speakers include festival exhibitor Arlene Gillis, Program Director of the Orthotic & Prosthetic Program at St. Petersburg College Health, and Abby Stone, Senior Trainer at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. St. Petersburg SciCafé is an informal discussion series for adults to raise awareness and satisfy curiosity about things scientific.

• Sneak Peek for Schools, Friday, Oct. 18, 9 a.m.

This year, the St. Petersburg Science Festival added a sneak peek for schools on Friday, October 18, 2013. Over 1,250 students and teachers who pre-registered from across West Central Florida will get an early opportunity to interact with a select group of exhibits. This registration is now full. Saturday, October 19, 2013 will be open to the public.

• Festival Pep Rally, Friday, October 18, 5 p.m.

Official Science Cheerleader Alexa Schmidt will appear at Witches BBBQ Den, 111 2nd Ave NE #209, in downtown St. Petersburg on Friday, Oct. 18 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for a SciFest kick-off celebration. Schmidt is a former professional cheerleader with the Orlando Magic and is a Neurotherapist and Director of Athletics for Advanced Health and Performance Institute. Pep rally participants can assist with Project Mercury – a research study in which cell phones are swabbed to compare microbes on Earth with microbes sent to the International Space Station.

About the St. Petersburg Science Festival

The St. Petersburg Science Festival is the largest community celebration of science in the Southeast, and was developed to increase public awareness of the importance of science and to encourage youth to develop a passion for science and engineering by celebrating science as we celebrate sports, music, and the arts. The St. Petersburg Science Festival is a grassroots collaboration of more than 60 leading university departments, government agencies, and private partners, many of whom are part of the St. Petersburg Ocean Team, a consortium of research organizations that employ more than 1,600 marine scientists in St. Petersburg.

The St. Petersburg Science Festival is designed to provide equal opportunity for all participants. If you would like to request any particular aids or services pursuant to disability laws, please contact the City of St. Petersburg Community Affairs Office at 893-7345.

For more information about the St. Petersburg Science Festival, visit, like the Facebook page, St. Petersburg Science Festival, or email Science Festival Co-Chair Howard Rutherford at or call 803-9799, ext. 202.
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