Embrace Your Inner Nerd: Arizona SciTech Festival Kicks Off

1,200+ Science & Tech Events Happening Across Arizona

PHOENIX (Jan. 31, 2017) – Hundreds of organizations and communities across the state are gearing up for the 2017 Arizona SciTech Festival, an annual celebration of more than 1,200 events involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Held each February and March, the festival, now in its sixth year, is the third-largest science and technology festival in the nation and is widely credited with launching hundreds of statewide partnerships in science, technology, and innovation.

From drones and driverless cars to space exploration and start-ups, the SciTech Festival hosts hands-on, interactive events, workshops, exhibitions and tours. Whether you are into robotics, biotechnology or even the science of winemaking and baseball, SciTech has an event for you. For event highlights, click here.

A robust STEM culture in Arizona has been a pillar of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s education platform and his Office of Education.

“Arizona is a national leader in empowering students to become ambassadors for STEM education," Governor Ducey said. "In today's knowledge-based economy, encouraging Arizona's youth to become the next generation of science and technology leaders is critical to meeting the needs of modern employers and ensuring Arizona remains competitive on a global scale.”

National studies show there is a great need for science proficiency in K-12 education, which is the future workforce pipeline for employers in STEM-based industries.

“We know that students who are well-versed in STEM not only develop critical math and science skills – they also acquire proficiencies in communication, problem solving, creativity and critical thinking that will serve them well in any career," said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. "We are thrilled to support Arizona SciTech and be a partner in this event, which fosters an environment that sparks our young people's interest in STEM while making the subject matter accessible, hands-on – and best of all – fun.”

Eileen I. Klein, President of the Arizona Board of Regents, echoed those sentiments.
"Companies throughout the state, the country, and the world are increasingly reliant on a workforce versed in STEM disciplines," Klein said. "The Arizona Board of Regents is committed to increasing the number of our graduates in these fields, and initiatives like SciTech are incredibly valuable in their commitment to piquing students' interest in science and technology in a way that's tangible, approachable, and measurable."

"As a technology company, we at Cox Communications are acutely aware of the value STEM education will continue to play in our rapidly changing global economy," said RJ Muller, Manager, Community Relations at Cox Communications, the presenting sponsor of this year's SciTech. "Our sponsorship of SciTech is just one way we support the advancement of STEM curriculum in Arizona and throughout the country, and we're excited to watch as the more the 800 organizations who have committed to this year's festival bring science, technology, and the arts to our youth in new and interesting ways."

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Media Contacts:

Dr. Jeremy Babendure, Executive Director, Arizona SciTech Festival
JeremyB@azcommerce.com or (480) 250-7764

Susan Marie, SVP Marketing & Communications, Arizona Commerce Authority, SusanM@azcommerce.com or (602) 845-1231

2017 Sponsors:

PRESENTING: Cox Communications

PLATINUM: Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Board of Regents

GOLD: State Farm Insurance

SILVER: Arizona PBS, Arizona Renaissance Festival, Freeport-McMoRan Foundation, Honeywell, Intel, KJZZ, Maricopa Community Colleges, Nextiva, OnTop Technology Corp., SRP, Thomas R. Brown Foundations.

BRONZE: Accounting & Finance Professionals, Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Arizona Parenting, Grand Canyon University, K12.COM/Arizona Virtual Academy, Orbital ATK, PADT, Yelp

COPPER: APS, Arizona State University, Arizona Technology Council, Axosoft, Bear Essential News, Green Living, Event Interface, Phoenix Business Journal

KRYPTON: Biz in a Boxx, Midwestern University, PLTW

About the Arizona SciTech Festival: The Arizona SciTech Festival is a statewide celebration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) held annually in February and March. Through a series of 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 through a grassroots collaboration of more than 800 organizations in industry, academia, arts, civic, community and K-12 education. The Festival is anchored at the Arizona Commerce Authority, in collaboration with additional foundational partners including the Arizona Technology Council Foundation, Arizona Science Center, Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). Visit azscitech.com for more information.

About the Arizona Commerce Authority: The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the state’s leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona’s economy. The ACA uses a three-pronged approach to advance the overall economy: recruit, grow, create – recruit out-of-state companies to expand their operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to grow their business in Arizona and beyond; and partner with entrepreneurs and companies large and small to create new jobs and businesses in targeted industries. Visit azcommerce.com for more information and follow @azcommerce on Twitter.