The free, family event, held in conjunction with the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s 18th Annual MarineQuest, celebrates the wonders of science, technology, engineering and math.
This year’s festival will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring four times as many exhibits as last year’s inaugural event, eight food trucks and a full day of entertainment.
USF St. Petersburg will have its own tent full of exhibits behind the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library. More exhibits, including a hydroponic fish farm and garden (see barrelponics photo, attached), will be across Third Street South behind the Piano Man building.
The 13 exhibits underscore the importance of undergraduate research at USF St. Petersburg, said Leon Hardy, Ph.D., visiting lecturer in Mathematics. Many of the projects and presentations began as student ideas and were developed in collaboration with faculty, he said.
Most of the projects emerged from a USFSP initiative called Green Energy Living Systems, a multi-disciplinary approach to developing green technology for a sustainable future.
One exhibit at the USFSP SciFest tent will be a Hydro car, which uses water as fuel. Another exhibit deals with the production of methane from waste. Festival-goers also will see displays of nanomaterial solar cells, tactile touch screens, multi-ferric devices, plant microbial fuel cells (see photo, attached) and solar cells using chlorophyll.
Students expected to be in attendance include John Veneziano, Doug Borgman, Araon
Burnham, Thien-Bach Huynh, Brandi Murphy, Luke Hoerner and Brooke Freeberg. Faculty members pariticiapting are Dr. Hardy, Dr. Anna Lewis, Dr. Madhu Pandey, Dr. Joseph Dorsey, Dr. Iuri Hezfeld, Dr. Manoj Ram and Dr. Neil Matthiessen.
The festival kicks off at 10 a.m. at Harbor Walk Circle with the Mt. Zion Progressive Baptist Missionary Drum Line. The public is invited to join the marching band as it winds its way through USF St. Petersburg along Bayboro Harbor to the entertainment stage for a welcome by Festival Co-Chairs Theresa Burress and E. Howard Rutherford followed by a “water works” experiment.
The festival is a collaboration among USF St. Petersburg, the USF College of Marine Science, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg College, Draper Laboratory, Progress Energy, Paramount Power, AAA The Auto Club Group, Bayfront Health System, United States Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, The Pier Aquarium, Secrets of the Sea Marine Exploration Center and Aquarium, the City of St. Petersburg, Science Festival Alliance, yourmembership.com and Media Sponsors WEDU, BayNews 9 and WMNF-FM 88.5 Community Radio.